COQUILLE — In one of the city’s most populated races in years, it appears Coquille City Hall will be getting three new city councilors as residents made their final selections Tuesday night.
According to the final unofficial election results, Mike Layton secured 17 percent of the vote, Matt Rowe received 16 percent of the vote and Ann Parker collected 13 percent of the vote.
All three will enter office next year replacing long-term incumbents Linda Short, Loran Wiese and Dennis Graham. The World reached out to Layton Tuesday morning who declined to comment. An attempt to reach Parker was also made, but was unsuccessful.
As for former Coquille Mayor Rowe, he said in an earlier interview with The World that after watching from afar since leaving office in January 2017 that he felt compelled to reenter local government after seeing the city was losing over 50 years of collective experience.
“When I left office we had a substantial reserve fund in place for the general funds and for streets,” Rowe said in a previous interview. “A lot of that money has been spent down and not replaced and now we’ve drifted back to near the same funding levels for street improvements that were there before I took office nearly six years ago.”
Rowe has said previously that he wanted to refocus the city’s efforts on improving its streets and making overdue road repairs. He also discussed opposing fee or rate increases for residents without first seeking their input and vote.
For the Coquille mayoral position, incumbent Kathryn Simonetti won with 50 percent of the vote, totaling 774 votes while challenger Clifford Wheeler received 49 percent of the vote, totaling 755 votes.
In the last couple of years, Simonetti has carved a name for herself throughout Coquille; the incumbent currently serves on the Library Board and the Public Safety Committee. She has been active in the city’s local tourism by actively working for the Coquille Chamber of Commerce and its well-known Gay 90s celebration.
A request for comment was not returned by Simonetti in time for publication.
Coquille voters also approved a tax on the recreational sale of marijuana items by a wide margin, with 1,284 voters approving (76 percent) and just 396 opposing.