NEWPORT — Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer received honorable mention at the Oregon Mayors Association meeting held virtually this year. Sawyer was nominated for the 2020 Mayors Leadership Award by Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel. Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer was given the 2020 Mayors Leadership Award on Zoom last Friday, Aug. 7.
The Mayors Leadership Award, established in 1993, recognizes the contribution made by mayors throughout Oregon to their communities. In judging the nominees, an Aug. 11 press release from the mayors association noted the committee considers whether each mayor nominated has “demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities which have contributed to lasting benefits in their city and the community as a whole; shown considerable involvement in community affairs and intergovernmental relations; shown exceptional skill in helping to facilitate productive relationships between the governing body and city employees and helped other Oregon mayors reach their full potential as community leaders.”
“During Mayor Sawyer’s tenure, he has proven to be an excellent leader in the city of Newport, regionally, on the League of Oregon Cities Board of Directors and as a national advocate for the city of Newport,” Hillsboro Mayor Steve Calloway said, pointing out that Sawyer has served on the Newport City Council since January 2011, and he has been mayor since January 2019. Prior to that, Sawyer was a police officer for the city of Newport, retiring as a sergeant.
In a letter supporting Sawyer’s nomination, Nebel cited the mayor’s diligent work and efforts to replace the vulnerable Big Creek Dams, his coordination of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in the city and Sawyer’s leadership during the COVID crisis, particularly his role in Lincoln County’s unified response, among other achievements.
“Congratulations, Dean,” Callaway told Sawyer. “We’re proud to be your colleagues as mayors. We wish you continued good luck.”
“I am totally blown away. This is totally unexpected,” Sawyer told Callaway. “All of the things that you said, it wasn’t just me. It was the whole, collective city, the city manager, the city council,” he said. “I’m very humbled. Thank you very much.”
Sawyer continued, “It’s been a very difficult year for us here in Newport. It’s been a very difficult year for all of us in Oregon. And I think we all need to work very hard and step to the plate.”