By Randy Kugler
Some in the community have suggested that the “No Bond” folks have no viable financing plan or that securing a loan for a project would be just as expensive as a Bond and not possible given the City’s Budget structure. These observations come from individuals with no background in municipal government, budgeting, or infrastructure financing and development. If the question is do I believe that there is a way to have a new City facility for Administration, Police and emergency preparedness ready for occupancy within 3 years without taking on 31 years of additional property tax debt, the answer is yes. Can this be accomplished with resources currently available to the City, the answer is again yes.
These same critics also infer that the no Bond folks such as myself want to hold on to the past, deny the reality of the pressures of growth and change facing Manzanita and are somehow against “building for the future”. During my tenure as City Manager, the City Council with the support of our citizens accomplished the following:
Established Manzanita’s first Police Department and Municipal Court.
Provided our then volunteer Fire Department with every piece of fire and emergency response equipment that the volunteers requested.
Built and established a residency behind the Fire Station for Tillamook County Hospital to house an ambulance crew in Manzanita to respond to City emergency medical calls.
Built a new Public Works compound on Oak Street to move Public Works out of the garage that served as their facility next to City Hall.
Built a new reservoir for water storage and fire protection.
Installed the City’s first water meters for all residences and businesses to promote conservation.
All of this was accomplished without any Bond measures and at a time when short term rental revenue was about 10% of what the City now collects each year. I would suggest that this represents a clear record of progressive leadership that had an eye on the future and employed responsible and creative financing solutions to meet community needs.
A serious and detailed discussion of how to finance this needed project can not take place on social media. If you want to see more options that are possible and how they might be paid for, first vote no on this Bond.