From Oceanside True Friends
Both sides on Oceanside incorporation have been sending op-eds and letters-to-the-editor (LTEs) to the County’s two newspapers, the Headlight-Herald and the Tillamook County Pioneer. Assertions and rebuttals on incorporation have flying back and forth for a while now in Oceanside, and that will likely continue. We sympathize with the editors that have to read all of these salvos.
Some of the already-established cities in Tillamook County are having plenty of controversies of their own. It seems like every city has issues and candidates to debate. Again, our sympathy to the editors that have to read through these things. They are probably more familiar with the controversies in every town in Tillamook County than they would like.
We recommend to Oceansiders that they spend some time with the op-eds and LTEs that pertain to other cities, as some of us at OTF have been doing.
Fair warning that reading those filled us with dread. We dread that incorporation will mean our small community will be divided over candidates and issues, at least every two years. We say “at least” because the “every two years” reflects just the election cycle. We can end up with a divided community every time a controversial topic comes up: a hotel proposed in the land-use zone where hotels are allowed; what TLT money should be spent on; where and how a city hall is to be built.
By the way, it’s hard to imagine much of a debate on whether to build an Oceanside city hall if incorporation does pass. But first there will have to be work to find a temporary city hall because the petitioners’ idea for a temporary city hall in a trailer parked at the wastewater plant didn’t stand up to the first scrutiny (go to www.noincorp/blog to find out more). That idea should be flushed by the petitioners themselves.
Oceansiders could come to a quick agreement on a new City Hall, right? We could look at Manzanita to see how long it took them to agree on a new city hall. They started looking in 1997 (https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/manzanita-moving-forward-with-city-hall-plan-town-hall-meetings-survey/). Oh, that article says they are still trying to agree…
That’s right. Twenty-five years and Manzanita still doesn’t have a viable plan for a city hall.
Not throwing shade on Manzanitans, by any stretch, and we apologize if they are offended by this. We are positive they have dedicated citizens working on this, and by now there must be thousands of hours invested by citizens. The variety of work and educational experiences among the citizens of Manzanita is probably among the richest in the state or even the country, given its size. We venture to guess that they even have “experienced lawyers” living in that town that get involved with civic issues.
The point is that even dedicated people, with a genuine love for a community, can get on opposite sides about things right in front of them, and then passion rules. Think short-term rental regulation, parking in “downtown” Oceanside, where to put a new city hall.
We have been using the theme “Remember Why You Live Here” on some of our literature and street signs. It’s a genuine sentiment. Many of us moved here after tiring of “big city” life and just want to relax.
But if you have an itch to get into more civic life than this sleepy (for now) unincorporated community can offer, look a bit farther to Tillamook County, and put your talents to work there. Poverty, houselessness, unaffordable/unavailable housing (by the way, some of the short-term rental revenue generated by Oceanside goes to County programs to alleviate those housing issues), the Community College: just a few of the issues or institutions you could help.
Let’s not spend our time debating on whether an Oceanside city hall should be built in the tsunami zone.
No one would ever propose that.