EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a special election happening in the City of Tillamook due to a ballot error. The elections for two City Council positions is being conducted again. For information about the candidates, go to the MooVoter group on Facebook or the County’s election website (links below.)
By Yvette Clark
The City of Tillamook is represented by a council of six. Each one is elected through a ward system that contain about 1,000 people. Votes in these wards average about 250. This is to say that 250 voters will determine one each of the two council seats that are on the upcoming ballot. Yet, those two councilors will make decisions that affect ALL 6,000+ residents, as well as millions of visitors of the City of Tillamook.
You may not be a registered voter in Ward 2 or 5 in the City of Tillamook. You may not have the power to vote for one of the councilors that will be elected there on March 14, 2023. But, you do have your voice and I encourage you to use it. These two councilors will technically be representing you, and their decisions will affect your life in some way over the next four years.
Housing, homelessness, crime, public safety, tourism, road maintenance, taxes, business issues, garage sale permits, business permits and limitations, community development, city improvements, etc.; all of these issues fall under the guidance of a City Council. In addition, they interface with county and federal agencies for funding, guidelines, safety, and improvements. In short, it’s a big job that affects many people.
Although you may not be able to vote directly for one of these candidates there are many ways that you can help the people that will be voting make the best decision. #1 Ask questions of the candidates. You can do this on Facebook via MooVoter, or via their emails which are listed on the county website (https://www.co.tillamook.or.us/clerk/elections/clone-2023-march-special-election), some have Facebook pages, some you may know personally. #2 Write letters to the editor or share your opinion via social media for candidates you endorse. #3 Tell your friends and neighbors which candidates you endorse and why. If they live in Ward 2 (which stretches the length of town from Latimer Rd. to 12th St., bordered by Elm and Pacific) or Ward 5 (a large, rambling ward on the South side of town. You can see a map at https://tillamookor.gov/elected-officials/) encourage those people to vote. Lack of participation by voters remains a challenge everywhere. In the last election a seat was won by only 2 votes. So, EVERY vote truly does count.
This call-to-action is directed toward the residents of the City of Tillamook, but it truly applies to anyone in the county, or anyone visiting. Like a human body, everything is connected and what happens in one area affects the whole. I hope you’ll take some time and get to know these candidates and use the power of your voice. It’s what you have that can make a difference in assisting those with the power to vote in making the best choice. For in the end, your little contribution to the process will ultimately effect who will end up with the POWER to make decisions that affect us ALL.