By Brad Hart
As I’m sure many of you have seen on social media and the City Council Meeting on 5/3, a lot of emails were released from a request to the City of Manzanita for public records. One of those is attached below. The following is a response to that email.
My name is Brad Hart, 53 years old. I’m a full time resident and voter in Manzanita. I’m involved, contributing through volunteerism with the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVCNB) and other organizations to make our community a better and safer place to live. I was honored and humbled to receive the Volunteer of the Year award from the EVCNB for 2022. I was included in the Harshbarger CERT award along with a group of distinguished EVCNB CERT volunteer colleagues.
The EVCNB is recognized in our local community, Tillamook County and by the State of Oregon as a leader in community education and disaster preparedness. It and its volunteers have received awards and honors from the State’s Medical Reserve Corps, SERV-OR, and other organizations. The organization, as well as the many volunteers that give countless hours of their time, are dedicated to building personal, community and regional resilience, developing programs to ensure readiness, and promoting a culture of emergency preparedness. The EVCNB is recognized as a blueprint for many other communities to help them prepare, be organized and ready to respond in case of a disaster.
Mr. Kugler, Manzanita Mayor Deb Simmons’s “trusted advisor”, makes inexcusable remarks ridiculing the efforts of the founding generation of volunteers such as this excerpt: “their medical needs attended to by 80-year-old EVC volunteers”. I view these individuals as being the foundation of the EVCNB. Having started the organization 15 years ago and leading it to what we have today, it is no less than heroic. These senior members of the organization are personal mentors, role models and leaders in our community. I strive to follow in their footsteps. I for one would be happy to receive help from qualified and trained volunteers, regardless of their age, at Underhill or elsewhere if a disaster strikes.
I’m appalled and find the email to be mocking in nature of all the efforts of the EVCNB organization and the many dedicated volunteers. These volunteers have contributed countless hours of their time to benefit our community. Excerpt: “those tourists that survive will be provided with a complimentary go bag signed by the EVC volunteers to show the City’s gratitude for your visit”. Making a joke that the go-bags being given to tourists as gratitude for a visit during a disaster is reprehensible.
Kugler continues to conflate EVCNB with the City of Manzanita. EVCNB is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization promoting preparedness throughout the Nehalem Bay area. The City of Manzanita is just one part of the broader community served. The cities and County are responsible for the needs of any people within their jurisdiction after an emergency or disaster. Mocking this responsibility is childish.
There are many volunteers involved in the betterment of our community. Eighty years old, older and younger. I personally choose to focus on efforts to help not only my family, but the greater good of our community. Regardless, if I survive the big one, I’ll be here to help my fellow citizens in any way possible.
If you want to know more about the EVCNB and all the good work we do, please contact me, or visit the www.EVCNB.org website. You can get more involved in your local neighborhood cluster, emergency communication or simply to learn more about being prepared for a disaster. There are many volunteer opportunities. We welcome anyone to help with our mission, no matter your age.
Email referenced below:
From: Randy Kugler <email@example.com>
Subject: Use of TLT funds
Date: February 16, 2023 at 2:39:38 PM PST
To: Jerry Spegman <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Brad Mayerle
<Brad@mayerletydeman.com>, Debra Simmons <email@example.com>
When conversations come up on uses of TLT monies, you might want to become familiar with the statutory language below that is used to consider how those funds can be used. “Tourist” means a person who, for business, pleasure, recreation or participation in events related to the arts, heritage or culture, travels from the community in which that person is a resident to a different community that is separate, distinct from and unrelated to the person’s community of residence, and that trip:
(a) Requires the person to travel more than 50 miles from the community of residence; or
(b) Includes an overnight stay.
Does the cost of constructing facilities used for the storage of emergency supplies and the purchase of the supplies themselves qualify?
I suppose if Manzanita wants to promote itself as the first disaster destination locale that offers those lucky few visitors who time it just right to take advantage of our next tsunami, it might just work.
Those visitors who travel more than 50 miles or stay overnight when the big one hits can afterwards go up to Underhill, sleep in the open or in tents on cots now that the Q Hut is going away, eat prepackaged meals and have their medical needs attended to by 80 year old EVC volunteers. To complete this unique recreation experience, those tourists that survive will be provided with a complimentary go bag signed by the EVC volunteers to show the City’s gratitude for your visit.
If you can’t laugh about some of the nonsense and uninformed comments that come out of these meetings you’re not going to survive.