As your mayor and on behalf of the city council, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to everyone in the community who has done their part in big ways and small to help us deal with this truly unprecedented situation.
Nearly four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to review with the community where we are and what the city has planned in the days ahead.
First, a look back at the last several months.
Gov. Kate Brown put Oregon under a stay at home order effective Monday, March 23. That weekend the weather was beautiful, and we were overwhelmed with visitors who were ignoring the governor’s order.
By 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 22, we declared a State of Emergency. All city employees reported to work and boarded up and closed all city facilities and we asked visitors to return to their homes. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners were informed as to what we were doing. The commissioners followed suit with a countywide lockdown that afternoon.
For the next 70 days we operated under a State of Emergency with most businesses closed, including motels and short-term rentals.
We ended the first State of Emergency on May 29 and reopened motels and short-term rentals at 50 percent capacity. We are now back to 100 percent capacity.
With the reoccurrence of the virus and with cases continuing to increase, we initiated our second State of Emergency and led the way with a mandatory mask order on June 24. This was soon followed by a statewide mask order.
As the public health emergency continues, we are holding weekly leadership conferences with department heads and city councilors. These 10 a.m. Friday calls are conducted via Zoom and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to join us. Simple easy to follow instructions are provided on the city’s website under the COVID-19 tab.
Additionally, in order to keep our community connected and up to date about the pandemic and our response, we have produced more than 60 community videos that are posted at the city’s website under the tab “Mayor’s Videos.”
Members of the city council have been fully involved in our response and our planning for the future. They each have been assigned an area of responsibly during this pandemic.
• Council President Linda Kozlowski has taken the lead on emergency response due to her long involvement with the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay.
• City Councilor Steve Nuttall has the leadership for our short-term rental workgroup and the short-term rental and transient lodging community.
• City Councilor Thomas Aschenbrener has the lead on issues related to food security and charitable donations.
• City Councilor Hans Tonjes is providing leadership to coordinate between the city and our business community.
It is all too obvious that the future is far from clear. The long-term effects for our community are uncertain. Many of the questions all of us are asking to remain impossible to answer.
Will food supplies become scarce, will schools be able to open, will we enter an even worse economic downturn, will the virus mutate into something even more serious, when will a vaccine or other treatment be available?
We have to expect the COVID-19 situation to get worse this fall before it gets better. We may well have to dig in through the end of this year to protect our neighbors and ourselves as we wait for a vaccine.
Still, there are a number of things we can do.
• We will continue to stay engaged with community and state leaders and keep everyone informed.
• We will soon announce the establishment and membership of a Manzanita public health and safety advisory committee comprised of local citizens with knowledge and experience in public health, health care, public safety and public communications. We will ask this committee to provide the city and the community with the latest and most accurate scientific information.
• We will stay calm and continue to support each other, our local merchants and non-profit community in every way we can.
• And we will continue to stay safe by following three basic rules: wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash our hands frequently.
Though there may be more dark days ahead, we will continue to stand together. We will get through this pandemic. This will end because we are a resilient and caring community, and we will come out of this as a better community.
Thanks, and stay safe and do all you can to help our community stay safe.
- Mayor Mike Scott, City of Manzanita