LETTER & PETITION TO TILLAMOOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: Citizens Deserve a Fair Shake after the Chaos of 2020; Reconsider County Park Fees

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tillamook County Board of Commissioners increased the Tillamook County Parks parking/day use fees and annual pass costs to increase revenue to support the increased use of county parks. The annual pass and day use fees are substantial higher than any other county or state parks, and Susan Aalykke put together a 3-part op/ed series looking at the inequity of the commissioners decision to increase fees without due public comment and process. The county has recently announced a volunteer work opportunity in early January to “earn” a free annual park pass.
There is also a change.org petition to remove Barview Jetty Park from the fee parks with nearly 2,500 signatures (see information and links below) started by Nicole McEachern that raises the concern about access for fishermen to “look at the bar” before going out. The BOC has indicated that the fee increases are meant to get more from visitors, but didn’t consider the impact to residents. A volunteer program for Tillamook County residents to earn a free annual pass is offered, but many that use the parks are unable to volunteer. See Rick Hampton’s comments from Facebook below …

To Tillamook County Commissioners:
I have tried to appeal to you in every human sense possible to demonstrate, understanding, empathy, compassion to the residents of Tillamook county and others who are suffering from the events of 2020. On Thursday Dec. 15 I discovered in the archives of the Headlight Herald there was no public notice for the 2 Tillamook County Commissioner board meetings held in Sept. The board meeting on Sept.23 should have had a public notice in the classified section of HH. Whether this was oversight or intentional it was not there. Oregon law 192.620 requires an informed public in which those interested can take an active role in the decision making process. The many articles do not constitute this. According to Oregon law public meetings 192.640 written public notice is required in printed form. The Headlight Herald is the only printed (vs digital) newspaper we have in the county. Please do the right thing, reverse this order and go thru the legal and ethical steps to come to a fair order. Give the residents of Tillamook County, your conscious, Commissioner Baertlein your legacy of office a Xmas present. I await the affidavit which proves you complied with the law as I requested of county counsel in my e-mail to him. Even if you keep the existing fees the same I am over 65 and will pay the same annual fee. I have more than self interest in this.
Susan Aalykke, Tillamook, OR


Please remove Barview Jetty as a location for a day use area fee
Nicole McEachern started this petition to Tillamook County Commissioners
CLICK HERE to sign petition: https://www.change.org/p/tillamook-county-comissioners-please-remove-barview-jetty-as-a-location-for-a-day-use-area-fee
My main concern here is about how the Garibaldi Fleet (fishermen) use the Barview Jetty parking lot to check, what we call, “the jaws” when heading into the Pacific Ocean for Dungeness crab season, as well as many other fisheries. The F/Vs captains check the bar multiple times a day to make sure it is safe for them and their crew to cross the bar and not put any lives at risk, as the ocean can change drastically in minutes. Sometimes it’s a life and death decision. These men/women should not be charged to save a life of a fellow fishermen and keep their boats out of harms way. It is not feasible to turn a boat around in the bar if it is too rough, so they drive to the jetty parking lot to verify that it is safe….
Their families also like to sit down there and watch them cross the bar into the ocean to know they made it safely, and keep their minds at ease, while they wait for a safe return. The ocean is not forgiving and tomorrow is never promised. Sometimes, it’s the last goodbye.
As well as the fishermen, some people use this location as their “therapist” A literal mental health office without the costs. Their “happy place”. I, myself, have personally sat down there on a bad day, talked to God & the “gone too soon”. That place never ceases to improve a mood or to back someone off a cliff. It’s an amazing place and charging for this I believe will risk lives. On multiple levels.
Personally, I grew up fishing off the rocks, playing in the tide pools, and at the sand hill. We camped there as a family when I was a kid. So many memories. If there was a charge for that back then, than we never would’ve experienced any of these things.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to visit a beautiful place, especially if there is a charge just to drive down there for 1-10 minutes or maybe 3 hours.

Rick’s Pics – December 11th at Barview Jetty Park
I was sitting at Barview Jetty watching waves wash over the south jetty, listening to the County leaders talk on KTIL. I heard about how the tourist are taxing our limited resources of law enforcement, county maintenance of parks and that the new day use fee will be a fee for county residents but a tax for tourists … I thought to myself CRAP this could be one of my last photo opportunity at any of the County Parks ( which I had hoped that this next year to do a project photographing all of Tillamook County Parks and the beauty and diversity of each park ) being disabled 90 % of my photos are from the front seat of a vehicle, I do not use the facilities at the park, I do not use the hiking trails or boat launches, I do not leave garbage at trash cans or dumpsters but I do park for about 15 minutes minimum to 30 minutes maximum, I photograph what I see from parking area and leave
Going to use Barview Jetty as reference in 15 to 30 minutes one may see fishing and crabbing boats leaving or returning , waves crashing over the jetties, sunsets over the ocean, bald eagles, pelicans, a wide variety of ducks, seals, sea lions and occassional whale.
Here are a couple of Rick’s photos from that day:

Photo by Rick Hampton – Rick’s Pics

Photos by Rick Hampton, Rick’s Pics