By Cara Mico, Assistant Editor
Sandi Huntley has lived in Nehalem going on 17 years, 16 of which was spent working at the Ocean Inn in Manzanita. Before that she worked at Tuality Community Hospital where she ran the x-ray filing room. Ms. Huntley retired in May of this year at 68, but that isn’t stopping her from running for City of Nehalem Councilor, position 2.
The position is currently held by Ruben Bitts for a special two year term because the previous councilor resigned in the middle of their four year term. After Mr. Bitts was appointed to the seat, the position was required by law to go up for election in the next election, which is this November.
Ms. Huntley’s former father-in-law was born in Seaside and raised in Manzanita, so when she was looking for a change, her son convinced her to move to the coast and she hasn’t regretted the decision. A little over three years ago, the son that convinced her to move, died of an unknown heart defect leaving behind three children.
“Everybody knew my son and embraced my family, they had a fundraiser to help with funeral services, helped with fire wood, I didn’t have a good way to help repay that kindness, that’s the real reason why I wanted to do something for Nehalem as a city.”
Although most of Ms. Huntley’s time has been spent caretaking for her husband, she also has some ideas if she were elected.
“Off the top of my head, I don’t know how feasible this is, perhaps some of the out of state homeowners could provide a rental discount for locals, it seems like there are a lot of people making a lot of money that isn’t going to the local cities, maybe there could be a tax,” suggested Ms. Huntley when asked about the topic of affordable housing.
“The council is the voice of the people who live there and their goal is to talk to the people and get a consensus as to what is important to them. There are people who work at the inn, at the gas station, at Mohler, they don’t always know that they have someone to be a voice for them.”