LINCOLN COUNTY — Voters are busy checking boxes for the May 21 special election. In many of the Lincoln County races, there is only one choice on the ballot.
The Port of Newport, one of the region’s most important economic engines, has received statewide attention as a bill to turn the locally-control facility over to the state gained early traction, then faltered. Commission President Stewart Lamerdin is running for reelection to the Position 3 seat and spearheaded much of the effort to get the state to back down. He told the News-Times he looks forward to the continuing challenges of guiding the port into a viable future. Attempts to reach his rival for the seat, Rob Halverson of Newport, were unsuccessful.
JIm Burke is running again for Position 5 on the port and Walter Chuck seeks reelection for Position 1.
Other contested races:
Seal Rock Rural Fire Protection District
Position 2: Three candidates. Karl T Kowalski, incumbent, no information given on voters’ pamphlet
Larry Henson, who is retired with extensive government experience including Newport planning commissioner; Housing Authority of Lincoln County (HALC) commissioner and a Seal Rock Fire District volunteer, is running for Position 2 against paramedic Tina Fritz, who recently started working for Pacific West Ambulance and was an emergency medical technician and firefighter in Kennewick, Washington.
Position 3: Three candidates. Dustin Joll of Waldport and Paul Rimola of Seal Rock are running against incumbent Larry Silverthorn, who has been with the district since 1987 and is a volunteer. The maker and seller of Seal Rock’s wooden bears, Silverthorn helped start first response service for the district and build the bay shore station. He also helped start the Water Rescue Team, which he headed for 15 years.
Joll is a flight paramedic with 20 years in emergency and fire services, including work in private and fire-based organizations in paid and unpaid roles. Joll was the EMS coordinator/ captain at Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue. His government experience includes Lincoln County Ambulance Service Review Committee, 2015-2016 and Opportunities for Collaborative Efforts in the Lincoln County Fire Service Feasibility Study, 2012.
Rimola, retired, does not have a background in fire or EMS. With experience in industrial sales and design and construction materials and testing, he stated his position thus in the voters’ pamphlet:
“I am running for a position on the SRRFD Board primarily as a taxpayer advocate. As a taxpayer, it seems that every year we are asked to fund more and more paid firefighters with incremental increases. The lament from the current board is that they cannot recruit volunteer firefighters. If that is the case, incrementally adding more personal is not the answer. A plan is needed.”
Position 4: Two candidates. Peter Benjamin, incumbent and board treasurer, faces challenger Erik Dedijer-Small. Benjamin is past president of the Seal Rock Firefighters Association and board member of the Seal Rock Fire Protection District Board of Directors since 2011. He was a volunteer firefighter for 16 years and served as an Emergency Medical Technician for 15 years. Benjamin also served twice as Seal Rock interim fire chief.
Dedijer-Small was a seal Rock fire volunteer from 2005 to 2017, when he was made captain. A residential contractor who graduated from Waldport High, he has worked as a structural firefighter, in solar construction, funeral service, agriculture, forestry and conservation.
“I would work closely with our elected officials to improve our Seal Rock Fire and restore trust and confidence in our elected official,” Dedijer-Small said in the voters’ pamphlet. “Seal Rock Fire must be more open, engaged, responsive and more accountable for our community.”
Yachats Rural Fire Protection District
Position 1: Three candidates, Cy Kauffman, incumbent; Drew Tracy, no information given in pamphlet; A’lyce A Ruberg. Ruberg has a background in nursing, paramedicine and with CalFire. Previously, she was an EMS/Fire services coordinator for CalFire, San Francisco Fire Department and has lived in Yachats full time for 10 years.
Position 2: Katherine Guenther of Yachats
Position 3: Ernest I Smith, Donald Tucker. No information given in voters’ pamphlet.
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District
See May 8 News-Times story page A4
Here are the candidates for uncontested races:
Oregon Coast Community College District
Zone 3 Board of Education: J F (Jeff) Ouderkirk of Newport
Zone 4 Board of Education: Nancy Osterlund of Toledo
Zone 6 Board of Education: Clifford H Ryer of Seal Rock
Zone 7 Board of Education: Deborah Kilduff of Waldport
Lincoln County School District
Zone 1 Board of Directors: Megan Cawley of Otis
Zone 2 Board of Directors: Liz Martin of Depoe Bay
Pacific Communities Health District
Position 1 Director: Bonnie Saxton of Newport
Position 2 Director: Ralph A Breitenstein of Newport
Newport Rural Fire Protection District
Position 1 Director: Stan Parker of South Beach
Position 2 Director: Peter A Boris of South Beach
Position 3 Director: No candidate
Depoe Bay Rural Fire Protection District
Position 2 Director: Janel Gifford of Lincoln City
Position 4 Director: Richard J Krolak of Gleneden Beach
Position 5 Director: Barbara Leff of Depoe Bay
Siletz Rural Fire Protection District
Position 1 Director: Richard L Olson of Siletz
Position 2 Director: Patrizia R Skauge of Siletz
Toledo Rural Fire Protection District
Position 3 Director: Jeff Doyle of Toledo
Position 4 Director: David Loomis of Toledo
Position 5 Director: David Boyce of Toledo
Alsea Rural Fire Protection District
Position 2 Director: Al France of Alsea
Position 4 Director: Mike Follett of Alsea
Position 5 Director: Jake Sapp of Alsea
Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue District
Position 4 Director: Kevin Battles of Waldport
Position 5 Director: Reda Eckerman of Waldport
Linn-Benton-Lincoln Education Service
District, Zone 7: David Jon Dunsdon of Yachats
Lincoln County Library District
Zone 3 Board Member: No candidate
Zone 4 Board Member: Virginia Tardaewether of Toledo
Zone 5 Board Member: Brian Fodness of Seal Rock
Greater Toledo Pool Recreation District
Position 4 Director: Peter Vince of Toledo
Position 5 Director: Kay Chambers of Toledo
Port of Toledo
Position 2 Commissioner: Chuck Gerttula of Toledo
Position 4 Commissioner: Mike Kriz of Toledo
Position 5 Commissioner: Penny Ryerson of Toledo
Port of Alsea
Position 2 Commissioner: Rob L Bishop of Waldport
Position 4 Commissioner: Jan Power of Waldport
North Lincoln Health District
Position 1 Director: Bettye Ruth Gamester of Lincoln City
Position 4 Director: Kitty Bushman of Lincoln City
Position 5 Director: Dick Anderson of Lincoln City
Position 6 Director: Terry Buggenhagen of Lincoln City
Measure 21-195 – City of Yachats – Measure proposing amendments to the City of Yachats Charter QUESTION: Shall amendments be adopted to the City of Yachats Charter? SUMMARY: Approving this measure would adopt amendments to the City Charter. The City Charter was last updated in 2015. If approved, the proposed Charter amendments would take effect July 1, 2019. The proposed amendments address three discrete subjects for the City Charter. The first amendment would clarify the City Council's quorum requirement in the case of a vacancy on the Council. The second amendment would establish the position of city manager as a charter level city officer. The third amendment would formalize the City’s municipal court and municipal judge position.
For information on water, road and sanitary district races, consult the voters’ pamphlet or the Lincoln County Clerk’s website.