personal interests community city of yachats city councilor and mayor

I am a strong advocate for individual freedom and responsibility and believe that a small, efficient and responsive government best serves the people.

I also believe that all community members should be encouraged to become involved in the running of their city and that this creates a sense of ownership and pride which can not be manufactured by politicians.

When I was elected to the City Council in 1986, the community was beginning to feel growth pains.
I observed that, since its incorporation, the city had been able to function relatively efficiently on a fairly informal basis.
Now, as the city infrastructure grew, there was a need for leadership towards a new clarity and openness in interaction with the community, writing and enforcing ordinances, record keeping, and planning for the future.
I felt that he could best help this be accomplished if I were mayor.

unless otherwise noted all images copyright d. holmes chamberlin jr architect llc


One of the first things I did as the new mayor did was to establish a new set of standards under which the city government would be expected to function with a new commitment
to a business-like atmosphere of equality, fairness and openness.
These concepts took the form of Administrative Policies adopted by the City Council on April 13, 1989.

administrative policies
adopted by the City Council on April 13, 1989.

1. Year Planning
Established yearly public planning sessions for the City Council and each City Commission/Board in conjunction with appropriate city department heads to review previous year’s goals, discuss short,
medium, and long-term goals, do preliminary groundwork for recommendations to balance goals with available funds, set realistic time tables, consider establishing a Reserve Fund for long-term projects,
produce a report for the City Council, and schedule a mid-year review for evaluations and adjustments.

2. Work Sessions
Established City Council and Planning Commission public Work Sessions to review the list of topics for the next meeting Agenda, establish if applications have been correctly filed,
if the commission/board has first jurisdiction, arrange to collect supportive information, arrange for co-ordination with other city entities, and finalize an agenda.
Prohibited the discussion of the merits of specific topics until a regularly scheduled, posted public meeting.

3. Agenda Deadlines
Established deadlines and requirements for submissions to the City Council and City Commissions. Set rules for late submissions.
Set standards for materials submitted.

4. Complaints
Established a specific system for handling public complaints. Required complaints to be submitted in writing, dated, and signed.
Required that all complaints to be addressed by city officials at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

5. Commissioners Duties
Established specific duties for City Councilors acting as Commissioners/liaisons to City Commissions including attendance at meetings, interpreting city policy to commission members, silence on agenda items
until brought before the Council, year planning, acting as a liaison, and making oral reports to the Council.

6. Use of City Staff
Established limits to the use of paid city staff to the Mayor, Commissioners and Commission Chairs and defines the type of work that may be requested to do.
Set that emergency needs must be approved by the Mayor or Council President.

7. Agenda Packets
Established timetable for availability of packets for Council, Commission, and Board members. Set standards for packet contents.
Stated that, to save money, hard to reproduce materials will only be made available in limited quantities at Work Sessions, scheduled meetings, and available for inspection at the City Hall during regular business hours.

8. Minutes of Meetings
Required that all official Minutes will be fashioned after minimum State requirements and that audio tape recordings of entire meetings shall be kept on file.
Set specific items to be covered including, time, dates, locations of meetings, attendance, motions, vote results, substance of topics discussed, document references, public participants, the nature of any emergency meetings required,
and referring to audio tapes for verbatim speeches and statements.

9. Commission Vacancies
Established the procedure for filling Commission and Committee vacancies. Instructed City Recorder to maintain a working list of all citizens filing an application for service and calls for the reading of such lists at public meetings.
Established a two minute period at public meetings to be available to anyone seeking an appointment up for consideration.
Selections shall not be limited to those who have filed applications.
Required that recommendations to the Council shall include a minimum of two names for a single vacancy or, if multiple vacancies exist, at least one more name than the number of vacancies open.
Commissions and Boards may choose not to make a recommendation.

10. City Newsletter
Established guidelines for a city newsletter to inform the public of current city business.

11. Grant Officer.
Established the volunteer position of a City Grant Officer to pursue the acquisition of “free” and “matching” monies for city projects.

12. Residential Building Permit Processing.
Established a uniform process and checklist to expedite outright residential use building permit applications to eliminate the potential for subjective treatment by city officials.

major administration achievements
Below are what I consider some of the major achievements of the hard-working individuals and elected officials that made up my administration.

Council Meeting Aids
The introduction of name plates, maps and other aids to City Council meetings to allow for more informed public participation.
I designed and constructed a large cedar bulletin/whiteboard to be used at Council Meetings for better communication.
This board is now in the atrium of City Hall.

Full Ordinance Review.
Initiation of a full City Ordinance review to update, consolidate, and index all city ordinances.

Comprehensive Plan Review
Mandated that all city agencies worked together to achieve approval of a long-neglected , state mandated, Comprehensive Plan Review.

Village Viewpoint
The introduction of a new quarterly newsletter named the “Village Viewpoint” designed to keep community members informed of city business and community activities.
One column in each issue was dedicated to honoring leading city volunteer workers for their endless contributions of time and skill to such entities as the Library and Little Log Church among others.
The Village Viewpoint made a point of listing all City officers and Committee members and providing business hours for city offices and contact information as well as schedules for public meetings in an attempt to inform and encourage public involvement.

Creation of the Yachats Commons
When rumors spread that the Lincoln County School District was going to sell the old Yachats School on the open market, the Mayor and the Council acted quickly to assure that the communities concerns would be addressed.
Extensive research was done including old deeds and historical documents that established that in 1927 the original land for the school had been donated to the community and was to be used for educational activities.
A committee made up of Mayor Chamberlin, Councilman Roberts, and Planning Commission member Dick Reynolds, then negotiated with the Lincoln County School District for a fair purchase price based, mainly, on the cost of building and site improvements alone.
The Council conducted public hearings and then submitted the purchase details to the public for an advisory vote.
Although certain elements of the community claimed the majority of the city opposed the purchase, the voters backed the Council with an unprecedented 67.6% vote of approval.

The old school house has seen a new life as the Yachats Commons which includes City Hall offices, community meeting rooms, classrooms, a small gymnasium and concert hall, children and adult playgrounds, a wetlands park, and a picnic shelter donated
by the Lions Club and designed by Brian Hanna and ex-mayor/architect Chamberlin on a pro bono basis. (click here for more info)

The Yachats Commons, besides housing city offices, is home to numerous learning and recreational groups, the Saturday Market, the annual Yachats Celtic Festival, and variety of concerts and community celebrations including a high school prom.

New Water System
Initiated public hearings and submitted to the public for an advisory vote the sale of bonds in support of a proposed $1.9 million dollar water project including infrastructure design and construction of a new reservoir to serve the growing community.
When presented to the city on the ballot, the public showed its vast support with a 70% approval vote.

copyright d. holmes chamberlin jr architect llc
page last revised march 2020