Manzanita citizens provided input about the city hall petition during a council meeting Wednesday, July 7. The petition circulated in May.
A petition signed by 260 Manzanita residents in May asked the council to give the remodeling option of the Underhill Plaza a fair evaluation as an option for the new city hall. Citizens who submitted their names on the petition had the opportunity to speak during public comment and discuss the city hall project and how their input could be utilized.
Carol Kennedy, on behalf of Will Stone, conducted a presentation on the petition.
“A petition of the citizens of Manzanita was presented at the May 5 city council meeting,” Kennedy said. “The petition respectfully requested that the city council provide citizens with more options for the city and police department headquarters.”
Kennedy said the citizens asked for a remodel option of the Underhill property. The petition came about after the Manzanita Listens workshops, as citizens were told any remodel option was off the table.
“The petition was signed by 260 Manzanita residents,” Kennedy said. “It was accompanied by a letter from Will Stone, whom I’m representing, relaying the history and rationale for the request.”
Interim City Manager John Kunkel had placed the petition on the July agenda, Kennedy added. The petition was removed from the agenda. The citizens comment portion of the meeting was utilized for citizens to address their concerns. Each citizen had three minutes, although Kennedy, being the presenter of the petition, was given 10 minutes to speak.
Randy Kugler said Manzanita Listens found that citizens said cost was the top priority in building a new city hall. Repair and remediation of the school on the Underhill Plaza would be $1.3 million. This includes $400,000 in contingency for unexpected work.
Susan Soto said the petition does not represent her and she had not heard about it until several days ago. She believes the Underhill property and city hall building should be demolished.
“This is one of the most important towns and places on the Pacific Ocean,” Soto said. “We’re not acting in this way and its very concerning to me as a citizen here that we’re not operating from a place of what is our future.”
Linda Ballard was one of the signature gatherers of the petition. She said the people she met with enthusiastically signed the petition.
“They were all very worried about the cost for the new city hall,” Ballard said. “They welcomed the opportunity to express their concern by way of the petition.”
Gerald Wineinger said new construction of a city hall might not be the most practical and affordable option. A remodel can provide a lower cost option.
Mayor Mike Scott said the city would be having some discussions from the input.