Newport citizens will choose between two candidates for this years' mayoral race. Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux has been at the job for two years. She's being challenged by Dean Sawyer, who is currently the Emergency Management Planner for the Siletz Tribe.
Sawyer previously worked for more than 30 years as a Sergeant in the Newport Police Department. He is a current city councilor. Saywer wants to increase citizen participation in government by holding more open town hall meetings where people can ask questions.
Sawyer: "I want to connect more with people; I want more people to be involved in the city process. One thing that I would like to do is involve people with social media and twitter, to start that up, so that people can get information from the city, and also the city can give information backwards."
Sawyer wants the City partner with the Chamber of Commerce and hire an Economic Development Director to manage growth. He is not seeking any
endorsements or donations from special interest groups during the campaign.
Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux works as an artist and instructor when she's not performing her mayoral duties. She says a big issue facing Newport is housing. The market is in the medium range, but most homes for sale are higher priced and sit unused.
Roumagoux: "So we are looking at that as a city and working with other organizations, working with realtors, working with the Chamber of Commerce, just all sorts of ideas, and trying to get it so it comes together so we don't have this influx of people and then no place to put them."
Roumagoux is proud of her involvement in hiring Newport's current City Manager, Spencer Nebel. If re-elected, she would continue work on Oregon State University's expansion and the building of the Oregon Museum of Science.
Both candidates expressed disappointment in the Coast Guard's Decision to close the Newport Air Facility. Voters have until November 4th to submit their ballots.
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