Robert Doering tossed his hat in the ring for OS City Council Position 5, going up against Lisa Scott, Edgar Schroll, Lorraine Hardin and Patrick Daugherty in the Aug. 3 primary; top two move on to the Nov. 2 general election. Doering’s answers in bold:
-What, if any, do you assess to be major areas of concern in OS — and what if any are your plans to fix them?
The reason I even ran is the spending of Ocean shores (OS) tax dollars. Moreover, first thing that caught my eye was the $216,000.00 crosswalk. Then the city bidding on a local theater to remodel for city use. And now the tsunami tower that seats 800 people for the great flood event. The city needs infrastructure, but not by bankrupting the local citizens in the process. We need responsible spending “Now” not when we are on the verge of collapse and can’t pay for the basic operation cost. Fiscal responsibility is needed.
-OS looks to be on pace for record revenues — what should the money be spent on?
The extra money should not be spent! Not one dang penny for any new dream projects. The city needs to reference to the bureaucracy that it was set up on. The city needs to create accounts like we have for emergences for the needs of the city. Moreover, some folks want sidewalks for downtown great! Put the money in the bank until we have enough for the match to get it done. Want a tsunami tower? Great put enough matching money for the real cost of 10 or 11 so the whole city has a place on one. Not build one and let the citizens fight over who gets on the dang thing. No more spending without money in the bank all of it for a project or at least say around 75 percent.
The city brings in enough tax money for our city to function just fine let’s keep it that way and anything extra should be saved.
-What are your thoughts on the firing and subsequent lawsuit of former OS Fire Chief David Bathke?
The real question should why are you still working for the city! I do not see any investigation on who failed their obligations, but there should be one Now! Not next week or never. That hurt the city badly financially; moreover, that was a down payment on a wind power tower that would pay the city money month after month. Any respectable representative that had a stake in this should immediately step down. I really feel that criminal charges might be applicable to the ones involved.
-What “fresh” ideas do you have to tackle the weed/algae problem on the city’s fresh water system?
When I was child, we played a game of kick the can. I did not every think it was a training method for politician.
The weed/algae problem should have been sought after decades ago, but again, in the chartered bureaucracy someone changed it to were the city ignored it to the point of not spending any money. I would say let’s get to this now but the city just paid out for the lawsuit & they are getting ready for the tower and now we are going to be teetering financially.
I have seen the next silly spending project on trying to fix the waterways with the multimillion dollars project with a trail and bathrooms, and a parking lot. But that is not going to fix the problem like the aerator project that cost too much to operate and now is sitting on a city lot doing nothing. Get the citizens that have been out there working on it as volunteers’ valuable input they know exactly what we need.
-What is your track record as far as listening to and responding to complaints from citizens (and/or customers)?
Working retail is a good training ground for” listening to and responding to complaints” here in OS we turn off the hot microphone, and glare at the citizen until the move aside.
Another good source for the non-politician like myself is read through the complaint. Just like an Amazon review of peer-to-peer (P2P), or like when JD Powers says your car sucks and you go on to read the reviews, and see a P2P review that says, “when I roll down the windows it is too windy” (that was a real complaint I found about a car I owned). Moreover, sometimes you must excuse yourself until you understand the issue instead of responding with no real knowledge.
-What are your thoughts on the golf course? They use a lot of water for the grass, and people like chasing, and hitting balls.
The golf course is a legacy of OS, and it is a primary place for citizens, and tourist to unwind or exercise. I don’t play golf, but I understand that folks really like it, just like I like scuba diving. Our golf course is probably never going to be a profit center for the city. But if offers a nice green space for the city, and employs people.
The only thing I can say for the current arrangement is the city needs to open an account and put money away for repairs and upkeep. Moreover, not making the lessee scramble for money to repair a bridge. That money should have been in a budget in the city’s bank account already.
-With a strong field of candidates — why should someone vote for you? Because I will bring sexy back to the city council? Just seeing if anyone is really reading this.
If I wanted to be a politician, I would have done it a long time ago. I’m doing this in hopes of reorganizing the city’s bureaucracy, or restoring it back to what was intended when it was incorporated. I know I keep saying bureaucracy this and bureaucracy that. But this is how the government runs efficiently. Then we don’t spend 700 thousand on a civil suit that should have never happened.
I have worked for some fantastic corporations, and understand bureaucracies. Also, I have a degree in social sciences that has many valuable lessons that I can share with the council and local government. Furthermore, the degree is not some degree that I received right when the solar calculator came out. My current degree is from February of 2019. And I’m currently enrolled at the Grand Canyon University working in the Master’s program in Sociology with the pedigree to teach at the college level.
-How would you communicate with residents especially in times of crisis like the pandemic?
I would say milk cartons but there are too many food shortages. But I started early on in this campaign about the lack of infostructure in this city’s communication.
Here is a brief definition of infostructure “An organizational structure used for the collection and distribution of information” (I really don’t like new words that are used, but no one ever says what it means).
Heck I would be happy if the city just kept up with their web page on information, and I have seen improvements. But the city needs to focus on, what about that person that has fell off into the digital divide?
It could be mom, grandpa or your best friend that does not want anything to do with the internet of things (IoT) moreover, smart phones, computers, social media. I would like a program that would work with local business IGA, ACE, and other places that folks use daily that would put up a warning sign to check the library, city hall that can have it in print so they can read it. Make up a calling tree with the churches to get the word out also.
-What is your vision for the town? Another Seabrook? Add marina like Westport? What do you picture the future to be? Well, we done missed the Seabrook model of making lots (pun-intentioned) of tax revenue. Yes, we have that Oyhut area but it is never going to have the bang of Seabrook, but it is a very nice addition to the city portfolio along with a needed tourist tax revenue and OS destination.
I have been on this marina quest before I ever decided to run for office. It is needed yesterday, and while we are at it, a better one than Westport, because it will be newer.
Now let me ask this question where the hell was the city of OS when the current owners decide to bring their fishing fleet to Westport?
I have been told that marina is a lost cause, and my answer is it is not. The city needs to get off its lazy butt and go get that fleet back. The marina is a great investment, and if the city needs to give incentives to the current owners like huge tax breaks to get it going, then we do it!
Now, on to you marina naysayers! Think of it this way, a fleet of boats is a better investment than one tsunami tower; moreover, do you think they are going to leave their boats there? And a marina emergency water taxi to Aberdeen would cut down on the road trip the first responders are doing overland.
-How do you feel about dumpsters on the beach and affordable housing?
The beach needs to be handed back to the state even thought it was never OS anyway! Moreover, way too many citizens act like OS owns it. The beach is owned by 7,656,200 citizens state wide and is ran by the state not OS. The focus of the city of OS should be to get the state to take ownership and put dumpsters, more toilets, trails, and rangers. This will put our police on were on the beach looking for the bad guys.
I have been attacked on affordable housing because I define it differently. To me affordable housing is not these small triplexes popping up all over town, or those sketchy old hotels that rent rooms.
The triplexes are market driven to make as much money as they can and there is nothing wrong with it as a capitalist system. Moreover, they see a demand and they supply the community. However, they are doing it for a profit, and a profit is dictated by how much can I get for my services.
I would like to see things like these surplus city lots that are not in the business district be turned into projects “like habitat for humanity”, like is a key word not the definition. In this vison of affordable housing the current renters have the opportunity to be entered into a lotto of sorts to obtain one of these lots. This model allows affordable housing that is not profit driven.
What do you think about more crosswalks in the business area? Ahh! the cornerstone of my little campaign. Have we lost our little minds on this? I have been trolled, and harassed on this one. A 216,00.00 crosswalk? My thoughts are No! with a bonus, No! Does the current administration in this city think the citizens were born last week? Or, is it because they keep getting away with the cost overruns like the last city pole building?
I say Yes, to crosswalks, but realistic ones in cost. Frank Elduen, Council Member, Position #3 has found alternatives like lower cost ideas to different contractors, and the administration has ignored him or just tell him no! Me, I say all of those double turn spots up and down the street use one lane for the cross walk. There done! No $5,000.00 for mulching, and all of the other huge marked up cost that plague the current plan.
How do you feel about off-leash dog parks? Ruff ruff, but can we find a nice citizen that will donate a lot or two for this and have volunteers run it. If the city gets involved with this, we are also on the hook for lawsuits from bad behavior of the masters and the pets. All I hear right now about the beach off leash area is poop, and unruly pets and their owners. So, I ask the voters what would an inland one do differently?
Furthermore, you have to look at when the city gets involved. Then the cat people want one too. And don’t get me started on those cute pigmy goats the city won’t let us have let alone a park for them.
If the city does a park, it then let’s look at a multipurpose area like those Frisbee golf folks want, or a basketball court, volleyball, couple of those Tetherball post. Also, to the current city administration, please don’t hire a consultant to review or make suggestions on the dog park; moreover, quit wasting taxpayer’s money on overpriced firms. The dog plays with other dogs without a leash, and sometimes poops we citizens got it!
Lastly why do I not talk about a current park? That is because of poop and dogs just out to have a good time will more than likely mess with the original park design.