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City Poised For New Mayor; More Gubernatorial Candidates Visit Florence; COVID-19 Update; Flu Report

City Poised For New Mayor

Over the weekend a small group of Florence residents learned that there would be a new mayor after the election cycle is completed.  Mayor Joe Henry told the crowd at an informational meeting for two candidates running for Governor.

“My term Expires in December of this year and I will not be running for reelection in November.”

Henry said he delayed the decision until he knew that there was someone who he felt could continue on with the conservative political approach that he supported.  He introduced appointed city councilor Rob Ward.

“Rob has come to us with a  wealth of experience both on the Dunes City Council as a councilor for several years and as a mayor of Dunes City also on the Florence City Council and Mayor of Florence for two years back in the 80’s.”

Ward spoke as well at the rally and shared a little of his political philosophy.

“We vote as a council, we are a democracy, I may be in the minority but if the council votes to do something even if I am in the minority I am going to do my very best to make whatever they voted for successful.”

Ward also said he believed diverse backgrounds are a plus when it comes to running a city.

More Gubernatorial Candidates Visit Florence

Two republican candidates for governor were in Florence over the weekend.  Mark Thielman and Bridget Barton are two of the 19 possible choices in the May 17th primary.  Barton spoke about her philosophy as a fist time candidate, who has never held office.  A fact that she says works to her advantage in that she is not beholden to any group or organization.  She also said that it was time for a change in Salem.

“But I’m also going to put an end to Salem as a sanctuary city for week-kneed politicians who are afraid to stand up to this progressive left agenda.”

Barton was speaking of members of her own party that she says have refused to fight for conservative views.  She said she has no desire for being a career politician, but is looking to make changes that she says will move Oregon forward.

COVID-19 Update

Florence’s number for COVID-19 cases is 1505.  That number is 3 more than Thursday’s report.  Cases for the county continue to drop with a new case rate per 100,000 people below 56.4%.  Day to day decreases have been steady, but not drastic as they were earlier in the month and during the month of February.  Statewide cases were below 300 in the last report at 289.  Hospitalizations are also down to 213 a slight decrease from the previous date.  Eleven deaths were also reported.

Flu Report

Flu rates are showing a modest climb in Oregon over the previous week’s report.  There were 110 cases reported for the period ending March 19th.  the brunt of those cases were in southern Oregon with 52 reported.  The Columbia Gorge reported 22 and there were 5 cases for the Willamette Valley.  Cases are still at their lowest to pre-pandemic levels.  During the spring of 2020 the last two weeks in March saw the greatest increase in cases.