Jake Marshall is Coquille’s newest city councilor.
Marshall was appointed by the city council May 3 to fill a vacant seat. His term will run through the end 2022.
“Really looking forward to serving on the council. I’ve been listening and watching a little bit and I think we’ve got something real special now going, just want to be a part of that,” Marshall said in brief comments to councilors.
Marshall told councilors he’d previously served on the Port Orford City Council and has lived in Coquille for 10 years and has been active in the community’s youth sports programs.
“I think the direction we’re going right now is going to put this city back on top where we need to be, and I’m excited and look forward to helping out with that and helping the people of this great city,” Marshall said.
Marshall was sworn in by Interim City Recorder Joline DeLosSantos and took his seat for the remainder of the meeting.
The seat opened after councilor Dave Chappelle resigned last month, citing health reasons. Marshall was the only applicant for the position.
City declines to fund A.J. Sherwood House repairs
Councilors last week also rejected a request to contribute Urban Renewal Agency funds to repairs at the A.J. Sherwood House.
Rick and Karen DePreist asked the city to contribute funds for painting the house, repairing the staircases and brick exterior of the home, which was constructed in the early 1900s by Andrew Jackson Sherwood, an early banker in the city.
The DePreists said they’ve already spent thousands making repairs to the historical home, which they purchased as their residence, and asked the city for support.
“The biggest thing we’re trying to do overall, not in detail, is we’re trying to give Coquille’s house another 100 years,” Rick DePreist said. “We’re just looking for a little help to keep the project going because, this proposal is just getting started.”
Councilors were split on their support for contributing the funds, which would’ve totaled around $8,000.
Councilor Matt Rowe said he didn’t think contributing to repairs on a private home — even a notable one — would be an appropriate use of Urban Renewal dollars.
“I think when we’re taking money from people on Social Security to give it to people who just bought a house that haven’t gone to a bank, I think it clearly violates the spirit of the law. And I can’t support it,” Rowe said.
Councilor Ann Parker was supportive of the project, saying it would be worth the city’s money to help improve a local landmark.
“I think it behooves us to keep our historic district intact, because I think the long-term effect of our historic district is something that’s not measureable,” Parker said. “We’re talking about developing the downtown into lots of things that would generate tourism and I think that’s a spot that people come to look at.”
Councilors briefly considered tabling the discussion for further research, but in the end Parker made a motion to contribute the funds, which Mayor Sam Flaherty seconded.
The motion failed 3-2, with Rowe, Councilor John Cooper and Councilor Julie Nighswonger voting no, and Marshall abstaining, saying he didn’t yet know enough about the process to make a decision.