Is Mr. Appicello Acting Without Authorization?

On April 29, 2015, Lincoln City City Attorney Richard Appicello, sent the following letter to an unknown number of vacation rental (VRD) owners:

April 29, 2015

RE: Lincoln City Vacation Rental:

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Lincoln City Municipal Code 5.14.070 and LCMC 17.80.050 B.2. please submit for inspection your complete unaltered VRD guest register for the calendar year 2014 to the City of Lincoln City on or before May 11, 2015.

Please deliver the register to David Twigg, Executive Assistant to the City Manager at City Hall or mail the register to P.O. Box 50, Lincoln City, Oregon 97367.

Register information shall be treated as confidential to the extent allowed or required by law.

There does not appear to be any evidence in the Agenda Packets, or the videos, of the City Council meetings that the City Council has instructed Mr. Appicello to send this letter out.

It is possible that the City Council instructed Mr. Appicello to send out this letter in executive session, or via confidential memoranda. This may be true, since at the June 22, 2015 City Council meeting, the following motion was made by Councilor Roger Sprague:

I move to authorize the city attorney [Richard Appicello] to disclose executive session discussion, confidential memoranda, and client confidences relating to the ongoing efforts to block, obstruct, or otherwise hinder VRD accessory use enforcement, including but not limited to, June 8th, 2015 allegations against the city attorney. (see 1310.wmv @ 1:49:40)

This motion indicates that the City Council may be discussing VRD accessory use enforcement in either executive session or via confidential memoranda, or both.

Based on this, it can’t be determined if the City Council instructed Mr. Appicello to send out the April 29, 2015 letter, or not.

For reference, the June 8, 2015 allegations against Mr. Appicello that Councilor Sprague is referring to are available here.

Another concern is that the letter referred to LCMC 5.14.070.A, the legality of which is now under question, given the recent US Supreme Court decision in City of Los Angeles v. Patel. Mr. Appicello was made aware of Patel on October 13, 2014.

3 thoughts on “Is Mr. Appicello Acting Without Authorization?”

  1. Lincoln City City Manager Ron Chandler has gone on the record with news media and said the authorization for Mr. Appicello to send out these notices was dictated as an administrative decision and did not require the City Council to authorize it via a vote. It comes from general authorization by the council, through Chandler and to Appicello. Nothing illegal or improper about it.

    1. Dear Mark,

      Thank you for your feedback. I haven’t seen anything from Chandler in the press that said he approved the demand letters being sent. In fact, according to the ethics complaint that was filed against Mayor Williams, the letters were originally drafted by Mr. Appicello for the City Manager’s signature on April 20th. When Mr. Chandler did not sign them, Mr. Appicello sent them under his own signature on April 27th, while Mr. Chandler was out on bereavement leave. When Mr. Chandler returned to the office, and discovered the letters went sent out without his signature, he discussed this with Mr. Appicello. Due to the intensity of this discussion, the police were summoned to City Hall.

  2. Wow !

    I would love to learn more about this “discussion” which required the police ! If Atty. Appicello sent out a letter under the guise of Chandler (city manager) while Chandler was on bereavement leave, it raises all manner of legal and ethical quandary. Not to mention human decency. Does the admin of this site have any info on Appicello prior to his employment here in Lincoln City ? (Ashland, Oregon… OSB complaints ?) …… Wow !

    Fascinating stuff here and also at https://tsole.org .

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