What a great saying that so fits where we, the citizens of Cannon Beach, have found ourselves today.

Before the pandemic the city hall project was somewhere between stopped and slow which is where the blue ribbon committee left it and the city council should have left it. But then along came the coronavirus.  

The city council meetings were closed except for electronic participation. What a clever time to push through a new city hall project with very little citizen scrutiny. Bruce could mix up his own blend of municipal building Kool-Aid and serve it to a city council thirsty for their legacy. legacy.         

Bruce once told me that he had built a municipal building at most every city he worked for. Clearly then that’s his priority.

And equally clearly his priority is not to sit down either individually or collectively with the  restaurants to get a feel for the impact on their businesses, their customers, and their lives.  Especially with the coronavirus still raging.                                                                       On three occasions I asked Bruce if any of his financial schemes included insurance to pay off the bonds in the event of a tsunami.  He repeatedly told me the insurance would rebuild the city hall and I repeatedly asked him what would rebuild the tax revenues to pay off the loan.

Everything west of Hemlock will be gone along with much of the east side. Property taxes will dry up within a year. Room tax will be a distant memory. The proposed sales tax wouldn’t be there even if it did pass. And we will be left with a mostly destroyed city and a mostly destroyed city hall carrying a mortgage of somewhere between 15 and 25 million dollars.

 If insurance isn’t there to pay off the mortgage the city will start off it’s next life deep in the hole or bankrupt. Bruce has refused to answer my questions on this for three years. I wonder why ??                                

Folks there are far more important things in Cannon Beach to concern ourselves with than six people getting their names on a brass plaque on the corner of their fantasy city hall.

Get the coronavirus completely behind us. Restart a public process with citizen involvement. Put the police in portables so they have a safe environment and fund the fire department in a more reliable way. Make smart business decisions.                                   

City councils and city managers come and go. Some of us have been here for three four or five decades, and some of us a shorter time. We all deserve better than this. Vote No.

James Litherland

Cannon Beach

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