by Garry Bullard, Former Mayor of Manzanita
To the Manzanita Community:
Our community includes full-time residents, second home owners and a flood of visitors who come in and go out like the tide. To all three constituencies Manzanita is a special place.
In my 10 years as mayor (2006-2016), I learned that the spirit of volunteerism is one of the qualities that makes Manzanita so special. Volunteerism generates pride in our community and supports a respect for differences of opinion. We are, after all, friends and neighbors. We experience this connection at the Post Office, at the Library, at Little Apple and elsewhere as instinctive good will, optimism and friendship. Whatever the issue, personal attacks, negative innuendos and hidden agendas add nothing to the merits of an idea or proposed course of action.
One of the fruits of our spirit of volunteerism is an excellent Mayor, City Council and Planning Commission who all do their homework. Working in tandem they defend our community and work to provide the infrastructure and municipal services that make our community a good place to be. These community leaders are all volunteers.
We also have been fortunate to have had an excellent city manager/city planner for more than 20 years; he was recognized as the best in Oregon by the League of Oregon Cities in 2016. He retired last year and a fine administrative staff and a new city manager continue the good work. Our new city manager served as understudy to the outgoing manager for 18 months in preparation for a smooth transition. She is a quick study and doing well in a challenging job in challenging times.
I mention this because it is pertinent to the issue at hand: will you support a $6.5 million bond measure to build a multi-purpose facility that will provide an emergency response gathering place and services, public safety offices and space for city operations and governance? There is a proposed concept to accomplish this that places these important community services outside the tsunami zone. I believe it is a project that will create additional community pride.
For more than a decade we set aside money to accomplish the current proposal. In hindsight, it was not enough, but it was a start and a public commitment to the need. We have the leadership to accomplish this project. It is within our collective means. Like other projects – the water system, the waste-water system, the Fire District, paving Laneda and Carmel, the short-term rental tax – it is time to take action.
Let’s get on with it. Please vote yes on November 5.