ILWACO - Ilwaco Mayor Ed Leonard announced during last Monday's City Council meeting that "two valued members of our community had died."

Calling Shirley Graham "an icon in these chambers who over the years had contributed greatly to the well-being of this community, the children's fishing derby and especially the park near her home of so many years," Leonard said the lifelong Ilwaco resident had died last weekend.

Leonard also announced that Norm Poulshock had died July 5. "Norm was extremely active in the musical life of our community," he said, adding that Poulshock was a member of the Ilwaco Planning Commission at the time of his death..

The mayor said the Fourth of July weekend "went very well. All the comments I heard were most favorable. Our congratulations to the merchants association for reintroducing fireworks to Ilwaco after a 40-year hiatus."

The homecoming for the rail car Nahcotta July 11-13 at the Ilwaco Heritage Museum "was a resounding success," Leonard said. "The museum staff, board of directors, volunteers and especially (museum executive director) Hobe Kytr can be justly proud of this fine achievement. It took years of work by many dedicated people. The entire community is proud of your accomplishment."

Leonard also praised the new bollard lights installed along Waterfront Way at the Port of Ilwaco.

"These light posts have a nautical design that fits in well with the boats and docks. In fact, they look great! Harbormaster Jamie Sowers and her crew have done an excellent job. Now if we can just get our street lights in before Labor Day."

Other items discussed during Monday's City Council meeting included a request by Port of Ilwaco gallery owner Bruce Peterson for help from the city in promoting the port and the city through press releases and articles to newspapers and magazines outside the area. Peterson, who owns Wade Gallery, said port merchants had joined the Seaside, Astoria and Cannon Beach Chambers of Commerce in order to distribute tourism material beyond the Peninsula.

The public relations material should be aimed at professional people, yachters, sports fishermen and others who "will help increase the commercial base of the city," Peterson said. "If we have more retail outlets and a longer tourism season, it will increase property taxes," he said. "People will come here, fall in love with the area and come back and buy property."

The merchants association is proposing hiring a public relations specialist to promote the area.

"The Ilwaco harbor has the most exciting growth on the Peninsula," Peterson said, "but more than 70 percent of the people who come to my gallery say they had no idea what was at the port."

Port Manager Mack Funk, who is also president of the merchants association, said the port and the city need to come together.

"This could be a good way to focus on the whole area."

Planning Commission member Fred Marshall noted that the city's comprehensive plan contains a section on economic development. "That would be a good place to start," he said. "We underspend our tourism budget by $10,000 every year."

Council Member Shirley Burt suggested holding a town meeting in the near future to discuss the promotion of the area.

Leonard announced a budget workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 4 in the council chambers.

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