Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, June 16, 2017, Image 1

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    JUNE 16, 2017 • VOL. 41, ISSUE 12
Builder’s fees to help meet housing need
Tax on building
permits would fund
affordable housing
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
City councilors approved an ex-
cise tax Tuesday, June 6, designed to
fund affordable housing projects.
In a 4-1 vote, councilors approved
a 1 percent tax that would be applied
to building permits — so if someone
applied for a permit to build $200,000
home, $2,000 would go into the fund.
If the surcharge was applied to
commercial and residential permits
in 2016, the tax would have yielded
about $96,000, City Planner Mark
Barnes said.
Councilors who voted for the tax
supported any way for the city to
raise money for affordable housing
projects, as well as the builder incen-
Councilors approved
a 1 percent tax that
would be applied to
buidling permits.
tives that would waive the tax if the
proposed units were affordable.
What projects are chosen and
assessed to be affordable — which
means households intended for peo-
ple with incomes 80 percent of the
median county income — would be
decided by the City Council.
But Councilor George Vetter, the
one dissenting vote, took issue with
the principle of taxing a small group of
people to solve what he calls “a com-
munity problem” in Cannon Beach.
“I would much prefer to see this
issue solved with a general obligation
bond,” Vetter said. “In a citizen survey,
the people identified this as a commu-
nity problem. I’d like to see the solu-
tion come from their pocket books.”
Council votes to negotiate lease at center
Cannon Beach Academy
finds a home
Vetter also said that he doesn’t
think the waiver will be enough to
entice developers.
“We’re talking about market val-
ue,” he said. “To get the best return,
we would need to make up with
some kind of subsidy.”
Other cities like Salem and Port-
land have passed similar taxes, while
Astoria is still considering the option.
See Tax, Page 7A
City fills
Police Chief Jason
Schermerhorn to
replace Brant Kucera
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Cannon Beach Academy board member Phil Simmons, Lisa Nofield and academy board President Kellye Dewey all
celebrate after the City Council vote to negotiate a lease for the former Children’s Center.
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
hen the City Council voted unani-
mously to begin lease negotiations
with Cannon Beach Academy, a
feeling of elation and relief enveloped the
council chambers.
“We did it,” Amy Moore, the newly hired
executive director of Cannon Beach Academy,
said fighting back tears. “It’s a small battle that
we won, but it’s progress. We’re doing this for
future generations, for the kids in this town.”
The council’s vote Tuesday confirmed the
academy can move forward in negotiating a
lease for the city-owned, former Preschool and
Children’s Center at 3781 S. Hemlock, which
See Academy, Page 10A
Cannon Beach Academy Executive Director Amy Moore tears up as
Cannon Beach city councilors vote to pursue lease negotiations with
the school.
Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn will
serve as interim city manager starting in July.
After 2½ years in Cannon Beach, City
Manager Brant Kucera is leaving at the end
of the month to become the city manager of
Sisters, citing the need for “a change of pace.”
“Sisters is a small city but it’s growing
fast and I find that opportunity really appeal-
ing to me,” Kucera said at the end of May.
Schermerhorn was suggested as a can-
didate because he had served as an interim
city manager briefly between former city
manager Rich Mays’ retirement and interim
city manager Jennie Messer in 2014, Kucera
said, and is familiar with the duties.
“He is well-liked and well-known
throughout the community,” Kucera said.
The City Council voted unanimously for
Selecting the police chief also means the
city does not have to spend time or resources
finding, hiring and training an interim pick
from outside City Hall.
Schermerhorn has been the police chief
of Cannon Beach since 2012, and before
then was a sergeant for Seaside Police from
2005 to 2012. He received a bachelor’s de-
gree in criminal justice from Western Ore-
gon University.
He will be receiving Kucera’s salary
during the interim.
City councilors chose Jensen Strategies
based out of Portland to lead the nationwide
search to fill Kucera’s position by November.
During a work session Tuesday, councilors
chose Jensen Strategies because they exclu-
sively recruit for Oregon cities, and coinci-
dentally was the firm that selected Kucera to
be city manager in Sisters. The process will
cost $24,000, plus additional expenses.
A meeting with the firm is scheduled Mon-
day, June 26.
While summer is generally the busiest
time for law enforcement in Cannon Beach,
Schermerhorn said he was not concerned with
an overwhelming workload. With how the hi-
erarchy of the department works, Lt. Chris
Artists find canvas in the sand
See Manager, Page 10A
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
The Cannon Beach Sandcastle
Contest has seen many changes in
its 53 years.
Some of these changes are
seen in the number of people, the
competitors, and, of course, the
sandcastles themselves.
But this tradition has one ele-
ment that no tide can wash away:
Debbie Nelson, the chairwoman
of the Sandcastle planning com-
Nelson has been the chair-
woman for the past seven years,
as well as a participant, judge or
event organizer every year since
the contest began in 1964.
“I have decades’ worth of
Sandcastle shirts at my house,”
Nelson said, laughing.
About 15,000 master artists,
amateurs and spectators are ex-
pected to come to this year’s
Sandcastle celebrations Friday
through Sunday, June 16 through
18. Regular festivities, like the
sandcastle building contest, pa-
rade and 5K fun run and walk, are
all returning.
This time it will all happen in
a special context: the 50th anni-
versary of the Oregon Beach Bill.
There will be information at the
event this year for visitors inter-
ested in learning more about the
bill that passed in 1967 and de-
clared the Oregon Coast open to
the public.
“It’s because of this bill that
we can continue to do this,” Nel-
son said.
Shortly after the bill’s passage,
Nelson remembers going to the
first Sandcastle Contest when she
was 4 — the year after a tsunami
hit the North Coast.
She remembers first festivities
being small and mostly local.
“The town didn’t really ad-
vertise,” she said. “It was to help
quell fears after the tidal wave.”
Cannon Beach Mayor Sam
Steidel also remembers partic-
ipating in the early days of the
festival, when most contestants
were kids and families rather than
world-class artists.
“Families would get plots next
to each other, and then help each
other out with each other’s cre-
ations,” he said.
Ebbing and flowing
Now, the contest has become
the oldest west of the Mississippi
River, attracting up to 30,000 peo-
ple and some of the world’s most
competitive sandcastle makers.
Steidel — who, like Nelson, is
a lifelong Cannon Beach resident
See Sandcastle, Page 7A