OP/ED: Let’s Change Our Minds, Not Just Our Underwear

By Kim Rosenberg, Manzanita resident
It’s easy to be discouraged some days. It’s easy to think that all the problems we face are too big, that what we as individuals do, doesn’t matter and that the actions we could take are too hard and require too much effort.

We wish things were different, easier, better in some way but as my mama used to say, “Wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which hand fills up first.”

Only she didn’t say poop.

I don’t know about all y’all but sometimes I focus way too much on the problems I face and then the tiny violins come out, and my spirit sinks.

And so I’d like to call your attention to what we’ve done in the past year. That complacent community that I’ve heard people describe Manzanita as just a couple of years ago woke up on fire to engage with city government. Many of us took to reading the Comprehensive Plan and Ordinances; more people than ever regularly attended City Council and Planning Commission Zoom meetings and even spoke at public hearings; tons of folks have written letters and made records requests and done research about things they were confused on. We put a real moratorium on view grading, we discovered flawed zoning code to fix and met in small groups all over town to discuss land use issues. We’ve gone to the Pine Grove and written our ideas down and talked with staff and been part of the great information gathering for the comprehensive plan update.

Because we got involved and spoke up, we were heard and those land use documents are being updated and things are happening. Our City Manager, Leila Aman continues with the information gathering Wednesday the 28th from 5-7 at the Pine Grove.

Ms. Aman has been appointed to represent Tillamook County with Mary Faith Bell to the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority. Aman’s passion for and expertise in workforce housing make this an excellent opportunity, not just for her but for our entire community.

We have the opportunity in the coming year to keep moving the ball forward. It’s not like STR’s, workforce-housing, infrastructure improvements are going to fix themselves. But the future is not all doom and gloom. We can work together and get things done. Soon we’ll have pretty much a brand new council. How they work together to build consensus not only among themselves but also in our community, will matter. They each have a vote, just like we do.

At a certain point it’s time to stop replaying the past–who did what to who and why we hate that guy or how we were wronged when we knew we were right. Let’s put that bag down and move forward. Even if the other guy won’t. Especially then. The grudges we’ve held on to so tightly do not serve us. Those tired old bags will only get in our way. Let’s get off Facebook and talk to each other.

Here’s the deal–the stuff we wrote down on the Pine Grove walls at the first listening session was pretty much all the same stuff. Most of us want the same things. We just call those things by different names or have a different take on how to get to where we want to be.

Let’s open our minds this year and let go of our rightness. When that feeling of smug superiority fills us, let’s look at things from a different perspective. Let’s ask more questions and actually listen to the answers before we chime in.

We’re all on this ride together. I can’t wait to see what we can do by this time next year!