The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, October 19, 2018, WEEKEND EDITION, Page 4A, Image 19

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Jones for Astoria mayor
he city of Astoria is poised to
elect only its third mayor in 27
years on Nov. 6, following in
the footsteps of Willis Van Dusen and
Arline LaMear.
Fortunately, voters have two excep-
tional candidates to choose from —
Bruce Jones and Dulcye Taylor.
Both are intelligent, personable, artic-
ulate and highly engaged in the com-
munity. Either would represent the city
very well.
They offer very different qualifica-
tions and personalities, however. And in
Jones, we have the opportunity to select
a proven leader of the highest caliber.
As a Coast Guard officer, Jones rose
through the ranks from officer candidate
school to command Sector Columbia
River and serve as chief of strategic
planning for the entire service. One
does not achieve such lofty responsibil-
ity without extraordinary competence,
problem-solving skills and the ability to
collaborate effectively.
The Coast Guard is the largest
employer in our area. Jones understands
the vital economic importance of its oper-
ations to the community. (As an aside, he
knows the service’s decision-making pro-
cesses and may be in a unique position to
help the city compete for the new cutters
to be built in the next few years.)
Most importantly, he commanded Air
Station New Orleans during Hurricane
Katrina in 2005. He has dealt with life-
and-death emergencies, and knows the
importance of preparing for a Cascadia
Subduction Zone earthquake and tsu-
nami. One of the first things he wants to
do is bring key regional players together
for a tabletop exercise to examine sce-
narios and brainstorm solutions.
“I promise we will be better prepared
in four years,” he said.
We are also impressed with the spe-
cific ideas Jones has to address the hous-
ing shortage and jobs, among other
The city could create incentives to
encourage developers to build more
vertical, high-density housing, per-
haps using vacant city land, he said. He
would make sure that community efforts
existing buildings, rather than build
45-foot-high hotels. She would also like
to revisit the conversation about devel-
opment at Heritage Square. She prom-
ises to fight to make the town’s econ-
omy sustainable throughout the year,
balancing the needs of businesses and
She also promises to bring passion to
the job.
“I’m notorious for crazy ideas that
sometimes work,” she laughed.
Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
From left, Bruce Jones, Michael ‘Sasha’ Miller and Dulcye Taylor participate in a candi-
date forum earlier this month at Clatsop Community College.
Bruce Jones
Dulcye Taylor
to alleviate the plight of the homeless,
such as the Astoria Warming Center and
Helping Hands, are fully supported. He
would like to see new apartments rather
than hotels, even at market rate, to free
up homes in town for occupancy. He
would dedicate resources to enforcing
the city’s short-term rental regulations.
And he would support economic
development efforts that don’t involve
tourism, to diversify the economic base,
he said. The activity going on at Tongue
Point is an excellent example of how to
bring in family-wage jobs.
Taylor would be excellent, too
In an election without Jones in the
race, Taylor would have our whole-
hearted endorsement.
Her experience as owner of a down-
Michael Miller
town business — Old Town Framing
Co. — and as board president of the
Astoria Downtown Historic District
Association give her valuable insights
into the needs of the downtown core and
the business community.
She is active in many organizations
and has served on citizens advisory
committees for the Garden of Surging
Waves, Astoria Parks and Recreation
comprehensive master plan and the
Astoria Diversity Project.
Taylor and Jones are not far apart on
the issues of housing and homelessness
— both mentioned the pressing need
for boarding-house style living arrange-
ments, for example. They also agree that
the city should amend zoning codes as
necessary to achieve its goals.
She would like to rehab the city’s
Wait — what about Miller?
Yes, there is a third mayoral candidate
— Michael “Sasha” Miller.
We believe he means well, is passion-
ate and cares deeply about Astoria. But
his campaign is long on outlandish state-
ments and short on specific ideas to get
things done. We don’t think his candi-
dacy should be taken seriously.
We also don’t think standing naked
with a sign on Marine Drive, even for a
noble cause — to protest the treatment
of a mentally ill homeless man — is the
type of behavior we desire in the next
Miller declined an interview with The
Daily Astorian’s editorial board, citing
the newspaper’s publication of an op-ed
arguing that bad forest management, not
climate change, is causing California’s
record-breaking wildfires. It was paired
with another op-ed arguing that climate
change is indeed responsible.
We accept and respect that decision.
However, it calls into question how tol-
erant he would be of points of view other
than his own. That’s a disqualifying
shortcoming in someone who wants to
lead Astoria. The city is chock full of citi-
zens with widely diverse opinions on just
about everything and who aren’t hesitant
to express them.
Declining the interview also allowed
him to avoid fielding direct, specific
questions on local issues — questions
that Jones and Taylor happily and enthu-
siastically answered.
“Both Dulcye Taylor and Bruce Jones
are excellent people, one of them can
have your endorsement,” he wrote.
Wish granted.
Vote ‘yes’ for Sunset Empire recreation bond
e are so fortunate to live in a truly
special and beautiful pocket of this
country, which provides each of us
with an opportunity to contribute civically and
contribute to the democratic process. By now,
many of you have already
received and perhaps cast
your ballots for the upcoming
Nov. 6 election.
This election features a
string of important decisions
for voters throughout our
community as they cast their
ARCHIBALD ballots for their preferred
candidates for mayor, city
councilors, county commissioner and gover-
nor. There are also several important measures
both locally and throughout our state.
Regardless of your political party or
leanings, it’s the opportunity to participate in a
truly equitable system that is most amazing.
As you probably know, the Sunset Empire
Park and Recreation District strives to serve
our entire community throughout South
County with high-quality recreation programs
and facilities. The motivations for issuing
the request to our residents to support bond
Measure 4-196 are many, and I would like to
highlight our rationale below.
• The expansion, if approved by voters,
would include the building components most
sought after and most necessary for our com-
munity — indoor walking track, gymnasium
space, fitness space and expanded youth
program space.
• The expansion would also allow SEPRD
to discontinue renting space for current pro-
grams, bringing the entire program offering
in-house and offer more robust opportunities
for a greater audience.
• We need more spaces in our community
to play, particularly when it is wet, windy,
cold or dark. Our county features some of the
Opsis Architecture
Street view of proposed Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District building expansion.
most beautiful places in the world, but it also
features double the precipitation and a higher
obesity rate than the state or national averages.
Where do people go to get their exercise,
particularly in the winter months?
• The children in our community need
safe spaces to grow, exercise and flourish.
It’s not just adults who are heavier than ever
before. It’s also our children — who, because
of chronic diseases associated with obesity,
will have a shorter life expectancy than their
• Park and Recreation facilities, just like
other public spaces, improve the quality of
life for all residents and make the commu-
nity more livable and viable. Facilities also
increase property value, serving as a good
investment for a community to make.
• The building would also allow the
district to host more programs which are
economically beneficial and produce more
revenue, which would make SEPRD more
• The district explored the possibility of
acquiring the soon-to-be-vacated Broadway
Middle School property, but the acquisition
and remodel costs of that project far exceeded
the $20 million project contained in Measure
4-196. Therefore, the district is moving for-
ward with this route, the more economical of
the options.
• The Sunset Pool would be almost
completely untouched in this expansion. The
expansion would, however, provide dryland
fitness opportunities to complement the pool
• The district would be able to add multiple
additional family changing rooms to accom-
modate the large number of families served, as
well as meeting important inclusive needs for
all of our users.
• If approved, the expansion would increase
the average property taxes of district residents
by less than $10 a month. The bond would
expire in 20 years and construction would be
completed by 2021 or 2022.
SEPRD will host its final community
forum on at 5 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Bob
Chisholm Community Center. I encourage
you to come and find out more information
about this project, which could transform this
community and our overall health.
Skyler Archibald is executive director of the
Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.