By Linda Kozlowski, President, Manzanita City Council
As a community volunteer, I wear many hats. The two I am most proud to wear are those of Manzanita City Councilor and President of the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay.
As one of the founders of EVCNB, I have seen it grow and thrive with the support of many other passionate, skilled, and energetic dedicated volunteers! Our goal is to promote a culture of preparedness in the Nehalem Bay region.
A brief look-back reminds us of how things were just a few years ago. It is a safe bet that preparedness for a major disaster was not on the minds of the majority of our residents prior to the Great Coastal Storm of 2007. The damage and isolation caused by the storm left Nehalem Bay area citizens wondering how they could have helped themselves and others more, which led to the idea that trained volunteers and a prepared community could help mitigate the consequences of future widespread emergencies. The Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay emerged out of the community’s belief that preparedness could lessen the chaos inherent in major disasters.
Equally important is the fact that not only did our citizens step up, but so did our regions’ cities, agencies, and tax districts as they began to work together to support regional community resilience.
The City of Manzanita was one of the first in the region to commit to supporting our citizens after an emergency very seriously. Preparedness is a goal of Manzanita’s City Council.
The aftermath of the 2016 tornado that hit Manzanita is a great example of a community coming together. The City coordinated the effort and got support from all over the county! For me, a major outcome from that experience was that the first place Manzanita citizens looked for information and assistance was our incredible Manzanita City staff. The staff worked long days and over the weekend to ensure the citizens were safe and supported. They provided those services out of a cramped and potentially dangerous building.
Because of that experience and many others, I am strongly supporting consolidating staff, providing a safe workplace, and having the infrastructure to respond to any emergency…whether it be a flood, fire, tornado, or a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.
The proposed City Hall meets all those needs and more. It is designed for efficiency, effective organization of city staff on a day-to-day basis, and can adapt in an instant to a centralized emergency response hub for Manzanita’s citizens! The proposed City Hall allows for more efficiency, it will allow staff to better serve our citizens, and it allows for a capable response and recovery after an emergency.
Just watching the recent disasters all over the world, it is quite clear everyone needs to be prepared, and leadership and organized response efforts are critical.
I am asking you to support the New City Hall, our great staff, and our wonderful community! Be Prepared. Disasters Happen!