City of Manzanita City Council Meeting, September 4, 2019

Comments of Chip Greening (Ridge Road, Manzanita)
Mayor and Council Members:
Thank you for the opportunity to speak for the first time in this chamber. I am prompted to do so after reading and hearing so much invective, innuendo, half-truths, and alternative facts regarding the proposed City Hall Project.
We don’t have time to set the record straight on every misrepresentation, so let’s talk about a couple of examples.
It has been claimed that the City improperly allocated staffing costs between the general fund and the water department. But the City’s auditor gave the City a clean audit for 2018 AND, after this matter was raised, confirmed in a July 31 letter that the cost allocation is proper. Not only is this claim discredited, it has nothing to do with the City Hall Project. It’s a Red Herring.

The naysayers have recently suggested that other communities should contribute to the project because the emergency facilities are much bigger than needed for Manzanita residents. I am a volunteer with the Emergency Volunteer Corps. If an earthquake and tsunami occur at a time when the City is full of visitors, the proposed facilities will be overwhelmed, not underutilized. Moreover, other communities are not sitting on their hands but are making their own preparations. NCRD, for example, is an emergency assembly site in Nehalem.
Finally, it’s alleged that this Council has not told us the “true cost” of the proposed bond issue because they have omitted to mention that the bond will carry interest. This is loan financing 101—something familiar to all of us who borrowed money to buy a house or a car. What we care about is whether we can afford the monthly payment. This “true cost” issue is yet another red herring.
The City’s present administrative and public safety facilities are both inadequate and at risk in the event of an earthquake and tsunami. To most of the City’s sensible citizens, it only makes sense to consolidate operations on higher ground. Since the Council has not yet selected a design architect, we will have a chance to provide our feedback when the selected architect presents proposals at public meetings next year.