Sunday's Astoria town hall meeting included topics ranging from soup to nuts.
? State Rep. Deborah Boone, D-Cannon Beach, said her top priority was an ocean seafloor mapping project that would help mariners update charts and provide valuable information for fisheries.
? Lylla Gaebel, a former Warrenton and county commissioner, suggested raising the wine and beer tax and using the revenue to pay for law enforcement. She said Warrenton was in danger of not being able to provide 24-hour police patrol coverage because of funding shortfalls. Tax money from alcohol sales would help.
? Ben Bartlett from Knappa School Board and Seaside third-grade teacher Chuck Albright spoke up for education. Both said that Oregon public schools have already seen considerable cutbacks over time.
? Kathy Sanders, a member of the Astoria Port Commission, suggested that because of the recent funding woes, the Oregon Legislature needs to meet annually instead of every two years. She described what was happening in the budget committees as akin to the movie "Flight of the Phoenix," in which crash survivors build a small plane out of the wreckage of a big one. "We are going to have some opportunities to strip off the non-essentials and make sure it flies," she said.
? Arline LaMear, the newest member of Astoria City Council, complained that one big problem facing governments was unfunded mandates. State Rep. Brad Witt said he hoped some of the federal stimulus cash would help address this.
? Pat Burness, executive director of the Women's Resource Center, which helps victims of domestic violence, warned that with more people out of work, alcohol abuse would increase. "When things get tough, it's the thing that people turn to," she said.
? George Sabol, executive director of Clatsop Community Action, had the last word. He said increasing the recording fee for documents had greatly assisted nonprofit groups throughout Oregon.
He led attendees in a round of applause for Boone, Witt and state Sen. Betsy Johnson as the meeting broke up.