SEASIDE — With the annual Hood to Coast relay in Seaside this weekend, city officials are hoping for a positive partnership with organizers.
Flashback a year ago when a massive storm wreaked havoc on the event. In the aftermath City Council members sought greater accountability and communication with organizers.
City Councilor Randy Frank was among the most vocal council members in calling the organizers to task for bad behavior on the part of participants and poor communication by organizers.
“Most people are pretty good and follow the rules, but there’s always the 3 to 5 percent that are wild and crazy and don’t comply,” Frank said.
But Frank wants it made clear he doesn’t want to see Hood to Coast leave town. “I think the event has improved every year,” he said. “It’s another feather in the cap of Seaside, a national event that is held here.”
Frank is bidding for his second term on the City Council. “I’m concerned about our town,” he said. “I’ve lived here 51 years. I’d like to be able to impact what goes on.”
His first term was a little like going to school, Frank said. “There’s a learning curve, finding out how the city operates,” he said. “I was intrigued by that and willing to put my time and effort in to see what that entailed. I don’t claim to have arrived yet, but I’ve learned to see how the internal workings happen.”
A businessman in Cannon Beach for many years, he and his wife Darlene purchased Norma’s Seafood and Steak in 2001.
Frank served two years as president of the Seaside Downtown Development Association and on the Convention Center Commission for 10 years before running for City Council Wards 1 and 2, from the Cove to downtown.
Housing is a major issue in Seaside, he said, with a lack of rentals, affordable and otherwise. To meet the need, he said the council could propose expanding urban growth boundaries to allow more housing.
The city must also address water and sewer infrastructure needs.
Emergency preparedness is always on the city’s radar, Frank said. “We’re proactive about getting maps out and getting people aware of the danger and what to do in case of a tsunami,” he said.
Tsunamis in Japan and Thailand shed new light on what could happen here, he said.
But those who buy in Seaside should be prepared to assume the risks. If those people living on the beach were given the option to move up on the hill or stay by the beach, they would likely still choose to live by the beach, he said, even knowing the dangers of an earthquake or tsunami.
Replacing Avenue U Bridge for seismic safety is a priority, he said. “Part of the hold-up is the state is real funny about addressing that intersection, what they will and won’t do,” he said.
The bridge will also be integral in tying in to a trail loop and sidewalks throughout the city.
While he said the city does not have a direct role in the school bond, its timing impacted his decision to advocate a room tax hike rather than a bond to finance proposed convention center upgrades.
Frank said he wanted to see the schools moved, but hopes the bond will be “so people will vote it in. People have to feel (Superintendent) Doug (Dougherty) and the school district have done due diligence in controlling the costs.”
Frank said he enjoys communication with his constituents.
“Once people know you’re on the council they will talk to you and bring up issues,” he said. “It’s opened up a lot of topics and concerns that people have that I wouldn’t otherwise have known.”