LINCOLN CITY — During the first hour of its regular meeting on Monday, the Lincoln City City Council appointed applicants to various city committee positions.
The council, in the near future, will be looking into the roles the various city committees play, but on this night it focused on filling empty seats.
After an interview by the council, Nancy Oskenholt and Ty Guadagno were appointed to the budget committee for three-year terms. There were three positions available and four applicants, but applicants Larry Armstrong and Fran Lonnon were not in attendance at the meeting.
Councilor Riley Hoagland requested prior to the interviews that the missing applicants be contacted to make sure they were aware the meeting was underway and there was no miscommunication. He noted the vote would leave a position open and would confirm two applicants without considering the other two, so he voted against the appointment. Council President Judy Casper acknowledged a seat had been left open and stated anyone wishing to apply could now still do so online at lincolncity.org or by contacting the city recorder.
For the non-budget committee seats, council members paired up to conduct interviews before the meeting and shared their recommendations with the rest of the council before voting Monday night.
Jane Mulholland was appointed to the parks and recreation board, while Barbara Hahn was reappointed, both for three-year terms. Councilor Diana Hinton had interviewed the two and said Hahn was a very active current member of the board, while Mulholland had excellent references and would make a good addition. Both applicants said during their interviews they wanted to address the parks and recreation department’s budget.
Laura Joki was reappointed to the explore Lincoln City Committee and was joined by Alanna Miel, who was newly appointed.
Joki was noted by interviewing council members Rick Mark and Hoagland as a potentially controversial applicant, with the two stating she was the only applicant they had received public comment on. It was noted Joki had shared strong personal opinions in regard to the city and other topics online, which at times bled into her role as the committee’s chairperson during her previous term.
Mark and Hoagland said when they spoke with Joki that she seemed perfectly qualified for the position still and were willing to take her expressed desire to continue serving the community in the position at face value. Hoagland said he’d heard of Joki’s online reputation, but managed to come to an understanding with her during the interview process.
“Mark and I interviewed her and kind of came to terms with her,” Hoagland said. “Joki knows she has a certain reputation in town, especially on social media. Without getting into everything she said, she knows it’s about her. But what came through in our interview is that she has a love, an understanding and a desire to bring people to Lincoln City.”
“There’s a bit of a history, but I’m hesitant on what I should or should not say,” Mark said. “This is the only applicant for a position that has generated comments to me from people in the public, and they haven’t always been positive.”
Mark said he hadn’t come to a decision until that moment in the meeting, but said everyone can learn lessons over time and backed Hoagland’s recommendation to reappoint Joki. Hoagland noted that part of what the three discussed would be that Joki may want to step away from any leadership roles on the committee moving forward.
During the meeting, Hoagland asked what options the city had regarding removing people from appointed committee positions if they proved problematic or unable to fulfill their duties. City Attorney Richard Appicello said removal is possible under certain circumstances.
“If an appointee becomes a problem, not in terms of them exercising their constitutional rights, but in terms of their ability to work with others on the board, then you could take action under Chapter 206 of our code,” Appicello said.
Other agenda items from Monday’s meeting included:
• The city accepted its Fiscal Year 2021/2022 goals, which outline broad goals for the city to pursue in the near future. Notable items included examining the role of city committees, funding and environmental issues for the area.
• The council awarded a construction contract for the Spyglass Pump Station to Bateson Ent. for $399,998 with a construction contingency of $39,999, for a $439,997 total.
• The council approved an ordinance instituting a grace period for the upcoming polystyrene ban. The ban goes into effect April 1, but the grace period would replace citations with warnings until July 12.
• The council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance regarding an alternative contracting method for the NE 14th St. Project. The project will add pedestrian improvements on the north side of the street, such as new sidewalks and curbed gutters. Public Works Director Lila Bradley said the change would allow the contractors to make adjustments to the project to make it more cost-effective. This would help bring the project closer to its $600,000 budget after engineer estimates were closer to $700,000. Construction is expected to impact roughly 30 residents in the area.