Vote for recall

To the editor,

When the new mayor of Astoria was recently inaugurated, the first thing she did was to congratulate the loser in a bid to bring the city together.

In the last mayoral election for the city of Gearhart, I lost by a mere handful of votes to Mrs. Dianne Widdop. Mrs. Widdop never partook in such pleasantries and thus set the tone for her regime. In fact, her personal animosity was evident when she stated in a City Council meeting that she disdained a council member because the council member had endorsed me.

Now the city is split, with council members openly rebuking her and the chambers filled with disgruntled citizens.

Mrs. Widdop set off into her administration with an avalanche of ordinances as if she envisioned the city of Gearhart as Dog Patch in a Lil’ Abner cartoon. We were inundated with the following ordinances: an abandoned car ordinance, a burning ordinance, a light ordinance, a noise ordinance, a fence ordinance, a Christmas light ordinance, a vacation home ordinance and a proposed RV ordinance.

When I ran against her, none of these items were on the table. Mrs. Widdop did not bring up any of these concerns for debate before the election. She had no mandate.

We were told that the ordinances were necessary because of complaints, yet no information regarding complaints, nor amount of complaints was ever given. How do we know if the complaints came from neighbors, the city or the mayor herself?

A big issue has been the “barn.” In actions reminiscent of the monomaniacal Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick, Mrs. Widdop is obsessed with this issue. There is plenty of fault to go around, however; the mayor’s personal clashes and failure to settle this issue indicate her inabilities as a fair and balanced mayor. As Starbuck said, “Ahab’s quenchless feud seemed mine.”

At present, the city is on a Nantucket sleigh ride, hooked onto Moby Dick/the barn with LUBA (state Land Use Board of Appeals) appeals, potential lawsuits, ill will and increasing costs to the city.

Out-of-town vacation homeowners are looked upon as cash cows to be taxed and regulated, yet their voices are dismissed out of hand; another case of Mrs. Widdop alienating people of the city.

Furthermore, perhaps if Mrs. Widdop had put her time and efforts into seeking water rights with the same enthusiasm shown as harpooning Moby Dick, we would be better off, and our home values would have been protected.

Please vote to recall Dianne Widdop.

Bob Shortman


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