Small coastal town mobilizes, gets Oregon governor to retreat from veto threat

SALEM — Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer was driving back from a conference of mayors in Medford when he got the call.

Rep. David Gomberg, D-Central Coast, had bad news.

The governor wanted to veto $4 million in state money to help replace two critical dams in Newport, a coastal city of about 10,000.

It was Sunday night, but Sawyer and other city officials acted.

“We all kind of contacted everybody that we thought might have some input with the governor or her staff,” Sawyer said, “And encouraged everybody to send letters or emails.”

Encouraged by local legislators, city officials rallied key supporters, more at

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