Support our Mayor’s Fight for Transparency and Openness

It’s time we, the voters, take back our City from the people who want to run it with secret meetings, behind the scenes political appointments, and intimidation, while ignoring the serious problems facing our City. This is what we’d hoped to accomplish when we elected Mayor Williams, but he needs our help. He needs more City Councilors that can think and act for the betterment of our citizens rather than their own personal agendas.

We need affordable housing in Lincoln City. Everyone talks about it but not enough are doing anything. Joe Barnes, who built the last affordable housing project in the City, behind Bi-Mart, says he won’t build here anymore, until he has more support from our Planning Department, and the City Manager. He’s building in Warrington now, where permitting/connection costs are less than a quarter of what they are here. And that’s after our City Council recently lowered our connection fees!

According to Barnes, there are no developers willing to take the huge risks to invest in our town, as they’ve either experienced, or heard about, the difficulties of working with our Planning Department.

Speaking of Planning, by March, 2015, five citizens had applied to be Planning Commissioners:

1. builder Jim Hoover (35 years experience),
2. developer/designer Avette Gaiser (38 years experience),[1],[2]
3. entrepreneur Kent Seida (60 years experience),
4. retired Portland civil servant,[3] Diana Hinton, and
5. bilingual tutor, Riley Hoagland.[4]

While Hoover, Gaiser, and Seida were clearly more qualified, the March 9, 2015 City Council meeting agenda included only Hinton and Hoagland’s applications, and listed their appointments as a “done deal.” [5],[6]

Since our 1984 law (LCMC 2.08.030.B[7]) require all Planning Commission applicants to be publicly interviewed at a City Council meeting, our City Council not only broke our laws, but our trust. Let’s not reward their shenanigans by rubber-stamping their chosen successors to “their” City Council.

Instead, let’s support our Mayor’s efforts to stop these secret interviews, and putting an end to the 50+ illegal secret meetings our City Council held between 2011 and 2015.[8],[9],[10]

Furthermore, we allege that Nikki Hayes libeled us in the September 7th News Guard, by falsely claiming we:

1. “sent a letter asking out-of-town owners to change their voting address.” We never asked anyone to do this!
2. “brought lawsuits against the City because we didn’t like VRD regulations.” The lawsuits have nothing to do with VRD regulations.

The lawsuits were filed to protect our citizens from our City Council:

1. holding illegal secret meetings.[11]
2. holding illegal secret votes to appoint City Councilors, Planning Commissioners and others.[12]
3. wasting time, and taxpayer money, on secret investigations of our Mayor.[13]
4. discussing illegal topics in their private meetings.[14]
5. taking 7+ months to produce their meeting’s minutes.[15]

And against our Mayor’s strong objections, our City Council just voted to keep secret any details of the two failed secret investigations of our Mayor.[16] Doesn’t Council have an obligation to tell us why they spent over $30,000.00 of OUR money on three different attorneys[17] on these ridiculous witch-hunts?

In regards Hayes’s chosen candidates:

  1. When citizens respectfully voiced their opinions in a recent Council meeting, Ward 1 candidate Diana Hinton labelled the citizens as “vicious” and chided our Mayor for not bringing the “gavel … down [on them] many times, and loudly.”[18] How can Hinton represent us, if she demands we be silenced, when she disagrees with us?
  2. Ward 2 candidate Riley Hoagland admitted[19] he got his prior governmental experience wrong in our voter pamphlet.[20] Erring on your governmental experience in the pamphlet is a Class C felony,[21] which carries a 5-year prison term[22] and a $125,000 fine.[23]
  3. Ward 3 candidate Judy Casper claims “workforce housing should be integrated into the community.”[24] Yet, she proudly claimed she “stopped [a] low income housing development” near her, when she ran her neighborhood association in Nelscott.[25]

And Commissioners Hinton and Hoagland just approved a sweetheart deal for a City Hall employee to convert her property zoned for 20+ units of affordable housing, to be a bar.[26],[27] And the property is just steps from both a school and a church.

In sealing the deal, it appears Hinton and Hoagland violated our Public Meetings Laws,[28] by meeting in private during the April 5th, 2016 Planning Commission meeting ( @ 01:03:30).[29]

Are these the people we want representing us?

It’s time we take back our city by supporting our Mayor’s fight to bring transparency, honesty, and accountability to our government.

Ross Smith
John Skipper

[1]  Rick Beasley, “Committee interviews barred to residents”, Newport News Times, January 29, 2016, p. A4. See [subscription required]. See also
[2] Rick Beasley, “Planning commission applicant is snubbed”, Newport News Times, October 28, 2015, p. A3. See [subscription required].
[3] City Council Agenda Packet, March 9, 2015, pg. 19. See
[4] Lincoln County Voter Pamphlet for the November 8, 2016 election, p. 21-10 See
[5] City Council Agenda Packet, March 9, 2015, pg. 2. See
[6] City Council Meeting, March 9, 2015, See
[7] Lincoln City Municipal Code 2.08.030.B. See
[8] City Council Meetings Calendar, 2011 to 2015. See
[9] Email from City Recorder Cathy Steere to Ross Smith, September 2, 2015.
See, attachments:,,
[10] Email from City Recorder Cathy Steere to Ross Smith, July 6, 2016.
[11] Lincoln County Circuit Court case 15CV22131. See
[12] Lincoln County Circuit Court case 16CV21270. See
[13] Lincoln County Circuit Court case 15CV22131. See
[14] Lincoln County Circuit Court case 15CV22131 and 16CV21270. See and
[15] Lincoln County Circuit Court case 15CV22131. See
[16] City Council Meeting, October 20, 2016. See
[17] Richard Appicello, Russell Poppe, Ross Williamson.
[18] Email from Diana Hinton to City Council, June 10, 2015. See
[19] Vote for Riley Hoagland, Facebook posting, September 30, 2015, See edit history on
[20] Lincoln County Voter Pamphlet for the November 8, 2016 election, p. 21-10 See
[21] Oregon Election Law Summary Guide, p. 9. See
[22] ORS 161.605(3). See
[23] ORS 161.625(1)(d). See
[24], retrieved 10/19/16.
[25] Nelscott Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting Minutes, October 5, 2013. See
[26] Planning Commission meeting agenda packet, September 20, 2016. See
[27] Planning Commission meeting, September 20, 2016. See
[28] Rick Beasley, “City council to reexamine purchase of Elks property”, Newport News Times, June 24, 2016, p. A1. See [subscription required]
[29] Planning Commission meeting, April 5, 2016 @ 01:03:30. See

One thought on “Support our Mayor’s Fight for Transparency and Openness”

  1. Please vote Davis, Scrutton and Wheldon for city council. Let’s bring Lincoln City back to the people for transparency, integrity and honesty!

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