Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rep. Gomberg responds to questions concerning hospitality industry

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Publisher’s note: Due to a high-volume of emails received, multiple stories and investigations underway and minimal staff, we missed this email from a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. Sorry about that David Gomberg.

Lincoln City Homepage sent an email to Oregon Rep. David Gomberg Friday asking what could be done about hotels and vacation rentals remaining open in Lincoln City.

The email was sent Friday at 6:13 p.m.

David,
I have received so many emails concerning Lincoln City’s hotels and VRDs remaining open in contradiction to social distancing.

Where do you stand on this issue? Can you do anything about it?

Lincoln City hospitality industry remains open amid wave of closures

Gomberg responded an hour later with the following:

Thanks for your note, Justin. 

We are facing a serious situation and the state is taking serious steps to address it. Closing schools, closing restaurants and bars, prohibiting gatherings over 25 people are all measures that will affect our local economy and the people who live and work here. We have gone from zero to 20% unemployment overnight.

Fortunately, we have no confirmed positive cases here in Lincoln County. Yet. I believe we will. And when we do, our medical facilities and staff will be sorely strained.

There is no vaccination and no cure. We can only try to manage the problem and help people with the most serious infections if we slow the spread of this virus. That’s why “social distancing”, hand washing, and other precautions are so important.

I know businesses are hurting. I know people are hurting and worried about paying bills. But having more people here only increases the potential for even more harm very soon. I just don’t understand during this evolving crisis, why anyone would encourage and advertise for more visitors.

I am grateful to those who are taking constructive steps to protect their families, neighbors, or employers at significant personal cost. I will do all I can to help them recover through policies and payments. We will get through this. But we do so by helping each other.

Phone your neighbors who may need help getting groceries. Give blood. Buy a gift card to celebrate with later. Purchase only what you need. Because the next person in line needs toilet paper too!

I’ve spoken with the Governor’s office. All coastal representatives have. I believe that if people do not behave responsibly, that the State may be forced to take broad action. That could be worse for us here at the Coast.

Tom McCall once famously said, “Please visit Oregon but for heaven’s sake please don’t move here”. I’m saying, please visit Oregon but for heaven’s sake not right now. Stay home. Stay safe. Come and see us when this is over and we can celebrate together!

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Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. The beach, parking lots and resorts in Neskowin were packed with visitors today while residents are sheltering in place. With the limited health capacity of Tillamook and Lincoln Counties, it seems irresponsible for visitors to inundate the public spaces and possibly bring the Coronavirus as they are certainly not utilizing physical distancing. 3/21/20

  2. Thank you Representative Gomberg,
    The beaches and parking lots for the beaches were filled to maximum today. Visitors are taking over our spaces, but also our grocery stores that are already struggling to feed our community and keep stocked. Our critical access hospital cannot take an inundation of patients, but when people ignore the recommendations to keep distance it makes are entire community at risk. We are a generally a community with a large retired population, the exact population that is at serious risk of death if infected with the virus. When does the safety and the health become the priority vs lining the pockets of the hotel and vacation home rental owners who don’t even reside in the community. If our community gets seriously ill there will be no one to operate the tourism industry anyway. It’s time to take things seriously, flatten the curve, end the party on the Coast, send people home, and protect our already vulnerable communities!

  3. My wife and I visit every year for the kite festival. I don’t understand why anyone would be traveling now, given the state of emergency. As beautiful places as Tillamook and Lincoln counties are, tourist trips/vacations can wait. Be responsible and hunker down until this bug burns itself out.

  4. Bravo, David! We are all frightened & scared but everyone reacts differently to situations of this type. Most, I believe, stay home & follow orders & suggestions to the best of their ability. They help neighbors & friends as best they can. The rest are frightened into to running & doing everything they can to leave the fear behind & have a last hurrah before it catches them. They are thinking about nothing but getting away from the fear. Cool heads will prevail & here in Lincoln City we will continue to pull together & we will overcome this scourge.

  5. No one in stores are distancing. I hate seeing Washington plates all over. What the hell response is this? You acknowledge it but then do nothing. Shut it down you irresponsible dip

  6. It is most certainly time to close the beach and or the state. The number of people in Lincoln City is truly appalling. I am not impressed with our city’s leadership. I’m not sure why anyone is allowing this to happen with the current crisis we are facing. From the looks of our streets and the number of people, you would know there was a deadly health crisis occurring. Kudos to Salishan and the casino for doing the right thing in closing. I’m not sure what hotel owners are thinking when they allow this to go on in their hometown. I believe they’re putting their workers at risk, the public at risk and their hometown at risk.
    Our medical situation here is fragile with limited beds in our local hospitals. Having talked with some people who work at the hospital they say people have come in from Maine, New York and other places to get away from the virus.
    Comments made by the mayor and Ron Chandler, make it clear that they support the businesses that are bringing strangers to our shores as opposed to the people who live here.
    People are not doing social distancing. I went down to North East 15th Street last night to take a walk. There were probably about 75 cars parked there. They work early beyond the boundaries that were marked for vehicles. there were people everywhere, standing close together, climbing up and down the stairs next to the street that leads to the beach. There was no social distancing on the steps at all. Cars were leaving the beach in droves. I chose to walk on the road to keep the distance. I don’t know what parents are teaching their children to be so disrespectful of others.
    KGW did a story on the mess on the coast on their 11 pm newscast last night. It appears we are not alone. The Seaside city council held an emergency meeting and is closing a lot of things. People have 24 hours to get out. I’m wondering why our city management isn’t doing something like this?

  7. Very irresponsible of the city and the hotel owners to put profit before the citizens of Lincoln City. We did not have a known Coronovirus case in this county before spring break. You allowed all the Washingtonians spring breakers to leave the second most infected state in the US and bring the disease here.
    No doubt we will see the disease here within the next two weeks. As people get sick and die from the virus they can thank the city for its lack of leadership and the hotel owners for their greed.

  8. Lincoln City Beautiful Beach now has become the state’s largest TOILET, since Brown closed the toilets. Hmmmm I find that disgusting and no toilet paper in the stores.

  9. Thanks for nothing Rep Gomberg! I will use my vote this year and I will tell all of the locals here in Lincoln City how concerned you are about our community. You are telling people to visit our city but do not stay…….REALLY!!!!!!! Get a grip on this crisis!!!

  10. Again, Lincoln City & their representatives are thinking of nothing but money, money money. May we come stay with you when a lot of us become sick & there are no hospital beds or medical supplies to treat those of us that actually live here. Shame on Lincoln City admin-you close your offices, but not gathering places.
    Cascade Head was so full yesterday & full of Washington cars.
    For once think beyond the god almighty dollar & put a pair on & close this place down now, so those of us who actually live here, can survive.
    Shame on Lincoln City, Lincoln County & all the selfish people who don’t care about anyone but themselves.
    Election time is coming

  11. Any of the walkin businesses still open to foot traffic, on the coast, needs to bear some sort of responsibility. They are not doing the community any favors by allowing customers free reign of their stores. Not 100% the fault of government officials. Citizens, near and far, also need to take responsibility for their own actions. I give KUDOS to the coastal citizens who are calling these people out though. It is a proactive solution to an ever growing issue.

  12. Thank you for your letter to the coastal residents. As matters worsen exponentially, I believe you must insist that the governor close down the state with the exceptions of food and medical essentials. If you could have seen the party animals in Pacific City acting like there’s no crisis, the state would have issued the shut down two weeks ago. Hoards of people are coming to the coast like it’s a national, extended holiday rather than a health pandemic. Help!!!!

  13. actions now will have consequences during the next election. ALL
    Lincoln City incumbents can expect to be voted out of office. I will personally make sure no one forgets the way we are being thrown to the wolves.

  14. You never answered Justins question its like every body with any power went to the same school and learned to side step questions by telling us what they think we want to hear. Its sad that representatives and politicians can see the problems and issues but will not exact the power that was given them by the people. Instead they ask a society that is full of self serving people and say please follow the rules. The people who care and are concerned have to beg that the higher ups take charge and serve us in a way that helps. We all know how dangerous this moment is stop repeating it and aswer the questions and demand people listen as well as follow through.

  15. Too bad that he never answers the question. That apparently is political speach 101 and he has it down fairly well but forgot that when it is a written answer, the reader can go back and check his answer. People walking on the beach is not a serious problem because everyone can maintain their distance. The problem with the massive influx of tourists is that with the closure of many restaurant, tourists go to the grocery stores and come into close proximity to our local residents. Since many are coming from areas where the virus is spreading, it is only a matter of time until it starts spreading here.

  16. LINCOLN CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT- MEREDITH LODGING IS CASHING IN AND PUTTING ALL AT RISK BY RENTING TO GROUPS OF 10+ FROM MULTIPLE STATES AND THEN HAVING A HISPANIC CLEANING GIRL GO IN UNPROTECTED AFTERWARD TO CHEAPLY DO THEIR DIRTY WORK AND PREPARE FOR THE NEXT SUCKERS WHO THEY ARE MISLEADING AND DISOBEYING GROUPS OF 10 OR MORE ORDERS. PLEASE email [email protected] with your name and “citizen comment to be read out loud” in the subject line and per LC city manager it WILL be read out loud at tonight’s meeting- MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD!

  17. Thanks to Mary Garrett for her timely post. I just sent off an email to the Lincoln City Council. My father was the mayor of a town in South Dakota where I originally came from and would have approved the WARNING message I wrote to the city leaders. Either shut down the hospitality industry or face repercussions in next fall’s general election Jim

  18. I am bummed because after all motel closures,where I work is allowed to stay open because it’s a time share and privately owned.so tourists are still coming out of town And all employees at risk.this is in newport.i don’t get why this is happening.now all threats are still coming to town.why?

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