Short sworn in as Depoe Bay mayor

DEPOE BAY — Outgoing Mayor Robert Gambino turned the reins over to Mayor Kathy Short at Tuesday’s Depoe Bay City Council meeting. Returning council members welcomed Short and its three newly elected councilors to the table at Depoe Bay City Hall.

Autumn Watson, Lindsy Bedingfield and Fran Recht joined the council in Position 1, Position 2 and Position 6, respectively.

Joyce King was elected to the council president position following Short’s elevation to mayor, which also left Short’s city council position open. The open position will be publicized and is open for applications for the next 30 days.

The new council’s first act was to accept Depoe Bay’s representation in the updates to Lincoln County’s Multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The plan covers what the city and its departments will do in the event of a natural disaster or other emergencies, such as a sewer line break or bridge collapse. Having the plan in place will expedite requests for emergency funds in such incidents and for pre-disaster mitigation. 

“The plan is like a fishing license for federal money in case of an emergency,” City Planner Jaime White said. “With it we can say we’ve identified things and show here are some of our fixes.” 

The plan is scheduled to be accepted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency this month.

Public Works Director Brady Weidner said the city saw one of the heaviest rainfalls in the last five years during the last two weeks, and the public works department has been working to combat flash flooding during that time. The department has also been working to add radio reads to city water meters to make collecting data easier.

City Recorder Barbara Chestler said the new website has been assigned a project manager, and representatives from the city will soon meet to discuss aesthetics and provide all the information that will need to be included on the new site.

The council briefly discussed the recent activation of the city’s Emergency Warning System. Chestler noted city hall received numerous phone calls reporting the system’s verbal message was garbled and added many people had referred to it as a tsunami warning system.

Chestler proposed the council address the incident in the future and possibly work to clarify the full scope of the system and its use to residents. Short said she intended to address the issue, along with other subjects, during the council’s workshop on Jan. 19, adding it might be a good learning opportunity for the city and its residents.

Bedingfield, who has a background in city planning, brought up that the city’s comprehensive plan hadn’t been updated since the 1980s, though it was quantified in 2005. She said one of her major goals moving forward will be getting that document up to date.

The Depoe Bay City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, with its next meeting scheduled for Jan. 19.


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