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Rockaway council meeting brings up innuendoes about budget committee; abatement process discussed for two properties

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Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 11:06 pm | Updated: 6:42 am, Tue May 31, 2011.

UPDATE: Since this meeting, City Manager David Wiegan has submitted his resignation, effective June 16, citing a "very hostile work environment." A special meeting of the city council has been set for 6 p.m. May 31 to discuss Wiegan's resignation.


ROCKAWAY BEACH - The Rockaway Beach City Council took action on two properties deemed to be violating nuisance ordinances during a meeting clouded by innuendoes and terse comments about the city's contentious budget process.

Councilors voted on May 25 to proceed with the abatement of Robert Cissna's property at 1420 U.S. Highway 101 N. The property has junk vehicles and car parts across the yard, according to city reports. The vote means the city will pay to remove the vehicles and bill Cissna for the work.

Rebecca Rose, who rents the property in question, came before the council and said she doesn't have the money to make the requested changes.

"I've done what I can without a job because my name's been so slandered," Rose said. "...There's been eight vehicles removed from there, there's been lots done, and if anybody can do better, I'm right here. I could use the help."

The council said Cissna is legally responsible for maintaining the property, not Rose. According to city officials, Cissna has signed for, but not responded to, certified letters asking for the property to be cleaned.

A second property at 603 S. Easy St. has also received notice of violation from the city. Owner Ronald Vance told the council May 25 he planned to have the property clean and in compliance by June 7.

"Once things start getting overwhelming and out of hand, it's difficult to get it under control," he said. Vance said he recently made a final child support payment and would have some additional money to work on the property.

The city has received 13 written and numerous verbal complaints about Vance's home. Neighbor Jack Nutt complained before the council about an alleged layer of household garbage in Vance's garage that is causing a rat problem in the neighborhood. Nutt said a rat made a nest in a junction box of his truck, causing thousands of dollars in damage. 

"This is costing me and my neighbors a considerable amount of money," Nutt said. "I don't think it's asking too much to clean all of this garbage up and keep it clean."

Nutt said the home has been a problem for years.

Councilors agreed to allow Vance to work with the city code enforcement officer to have the property cleaned by June 7. If not, they indicated they would vote to begin the abatement process at the next council meeting on June 15.

The other major topic that evening was on the city budget, and several councilors and audience members alluded to contentious budget committee meetings held prior to the council meeting.

Though the room was packed with citizens, only one spoke during the citizen's comments portion of the meeting. Judy Mammano, wife of Fire Chief Barry Mammano, chastised members of the council for comments that "border on harassment, slander and certainly defamation of character... if it continues, you will be hearing from my attorney."

She didn't say what those comments were, but they apparently stemmed from an incident at one of the budget committee meetings. At the end of the meeting, Councilman Jack McClave alluded to the "non event" at the budget committee meeting, and a "discussion" with the fire chief that followed.

"At no time did he ever hit me, scream at me, knock me down or anything else," McClave said.

Mammano ended her statement to a strong round of applause from the audience, which was gaveled down by Mayor Dennis Porter.

"When members of Team Rockaway were elected to serve as counselors for our city their campaign promise was to bring the city together," Mammano said. "I would think that being newly elected you would want to listen very carefully, gather all the information available to you, do research, and look to the people who have been hired to manage the city and have been on the council longer than you."

At the opening of the meeting, Porter gave a "state of the city," in which he discussed issues that he said were a priority of citizens - a reduction of administrative costs, increased revenue for the city, and street repairs.

He said work on the streets was currently being done.

"However, what I don't see is a reduction of administration costs and an increase in city revenues," he said. "What I have seen being presented by our city manager to the members of the budget committee is an increase in our costs budget-wise, and I have not seen any action on the part of the city administration in an attempt to reduce administrative costs."

During council comments, Councilor Rodney Breazile, City Manager David Wiegan and a citizen member of the budget committee shared some terse words over the city budget. Breazile made a motion requesting that Wiegan present to the council, before the next meeting, a budget proposal that cuts city spending by 5, 10 and 15 percent. The motion died for lack of a second, but not before Wiegan claimed the request would be time consuming and unnecessary. The budget committee had already voted, 8 to 4, to propose a balanced budget to the council that does not require budget cuts, he said. Wiegan added that city personnel costs are union negotiated and were pre-determined before this budget cycle.

"This particular year, my role as budget officer was to keep us basically intact while we have time to work on deficiencies," Wiegan had said during the city manager comments. "... It's not where you snap your fingers and all of a sudden you have all kinds of savings. Savings come with consequences. You have to tie your expenses to revenues, you have to have those things rise and fall together so you don't lose basic services... I did not expect that we would have total harmony (in the budget process). We did not. That's part of the process. That's why we have legitimate debate."

The budget committee will present its recommendation for the roughly $6.3 million city budget during the June 15 council meeting. The city council must adopt the budget before the end of June.

The meeting adjourned with a parting comment from Mayor Porter. 

"Can't we all just get along?"

In other business:

• It was announced that Terry Walhood will be the next head of the beautification committee.

• The police department received approval to apply for a COPS grant that would pay for three years of a four-year contract to hire a fourth officer.

• The Rockaway Lions Club received approval to station a mobile hot dog stand at the wayside May 27-30.


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • ddyeo503 posted at 12:14 am on Wed, Oct 19, 2011.

    ddyeo503 Posts: 1

    Rockaway Beach Coucil I think could be a little less threatning and a little more understanding with Rebecca Rose's situation. I met Rebecca at the place were she used to work and she seems to be a hard worker and is just a little down on her luck. That being said if they bring her any more demand's for this property and you need some one to help her with this property I would be glad to help. Of course there would no charge this. Dan Yeoman. 503 927-9205. I would just like the coucil to leave her alone.

  • Headlight Herald posted at 9:49 pm on Wed, Jun 15, 2011.

    Headlight Herald Posts: 32 Staff

    Apologizes. The name Ronald Vance was on the paperwork involved in this abatement case, mostly likely because he was listed as the property owner.

  • kittyeyes posted at 9:59 am on Thu, Jun 2, 2011.

    kittyeyes Posts: 1

    First of all, the writer of this article should do her homework. RONALD VANCE has been dead for years. This is Randall Vance, his son, who was supposed to be caring for his father who died on the floor of this same house. Ronald and his wife Eleanor BOTH passed away in this house while their "son" was leeching them both to death. This home was clean, wonderfully cute and well kept when I was married to Randall Vance and had FIVE sons with him. I have not been married to him since 1997 and as far as CHILD SUPPORT???? WHAT CHILD SUPPORT? He was given a credit of 55,000 dollars toward his back due child support. He meant he was paying off the penalty to the state of Oregon for having his girlfriend file a fraudulent child support case in Tigard so that he could collect back some of the social security that was being collected off of him and being paid to the support he owed his last son who is now 15 years old. This guy is a vagrant and a loser. He walked away from FIVE little boys aged 11 to 8 months old without as much as a spoken word of love or care to any of them. Everywhere we lived he would do nothing to keep up the home...lawn care or any other care...it was enough that he had to work. (he said) He finally found out how to live off his disabled father by claiming to be his "care taker" and sat around his father's once nice home and turned it into a dilapidated MESS. DO NOT defraud Ronald Vance's name by saying he owns this horrible property. He was a kind decent hard working man who would be heart sick to see his little beach house look like this. He was a decent grandpa and man who didn't deserve to die on the floor alone. Two weeks before he died he called me asking for help because he was all alone and had no medication...so my oldest three sons went to his aid taking time off of their jobs in Central Oregon. After a week they had to return to their jobs and while trying to make arrangements for their Grandpa, he died on the floor of his home ALONE. Not only is this guy living on a property that was supposed to go to Ronald's grandsons (his words) but he has also spawned more children who are obviously living in squaller and filth. He should be made to clean up this property and Forced to get a vasectomy as well. Maybe child welfare should get involved to make sure these kids aren't infested with lice or worse. I thought meth houses were supposed to be torn down!

  • kilchisriver posted at 10:35 am on Mon, May 30, 2011.

    kilchisriver Posts: 413

    Rockaway Beach ….. the quaint and quiet little town on the north Oregon coast filled with brotherly love, petition-packing mamas and a trail littered with former city officials who have resigned or been voted out of office. A town whose citizen antics amuse and entertain the remainder of Tillamook County and much of Oregon. Who’s next? What indignity (real or imagined) will bring the petition gatherers to their feet again dedicated to reform with clipboards and pencils at the ready? What issues will incite the citizenry to fresh innuendoes and terse comments at the next City Council Meeting? Stayed tuned – the North Coast Saga will continue! We shall be furthered amused and entertained! Another blue cow? Perhaps a giant pink flamingo? A ten foot tall statue of a citizen with a clipboard and petition in hand doing battle with another “corrupt and outlandish” elected official(s)? The mirth! The laughs! Bless you Rockaway Beach – in a climate and year filled with rain and cool you have brought a small amount of warmth and a few rays of sunshine into our hearts.


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