City Councilor Races

By Maggie Nelson

For the City Council races, we sent the same set of questions to all the candidates.  The candidates from Wards 1 (Penny York), 2 (Roen Hogg), 3 (Zachariah Baker), and 4 (Barbara Bull) graciously responded to our questions.  They are running unopposed and their answers can be viewed online. The candidates for Wards 5-8 answered the same set of questions to give you an idea of their platforms. Ward 9 candidate, Hal Brauner, is running unopposed and did not respond to e-mail and phone requests for a statement.

City Council Ward 1: Penny York (running opposed)

pennyyork
Penny York

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

There are no particular challenges in the race since I am running unopposed.

2.  What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Addressing the growth of OSU through a change in the current collaboration and the revision of the campus master plan. 

3. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

I’m looking forward to the next term and helping to develop a new vision statement and strategic plan.

4.  What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

One is utilizing the fresh ideas that will come to the council with new members. 

5.  What do you hope to achieve in this election?

A better understanding of the needs and wishes of our community member.

City Council Ward 2: Roen Hogg (running unopposed)

RoenHogg
Roen Hogg

1. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Increasing OSU enrollment has intensified parking demand, both on and off-campus.  With students and staff parking all day on residential streets near the university, both homeowners and renters in the neighborhoods regularly are unable to find parking spots within blocks of their homes, either for themselves or visitors.

2. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

A Parking and Traffic team of community volunteers from neighborhoods, OSU students and staff, and others worked with professional experts to gather, review and analyze data.  They also studied other university communities, took many hours of public testimony on all aspects of potential solutions, and recommended actions to both OSU and city government.  Expanding parking districts was one of those actions.

3. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

Measure 02-88, Parking Districts, is about a City Council action to expand parking districts in neighborhoods within five blocks of OSU. Measure 02-88 is about local people who are your neighbors.  Your neighbors asked the city for help.  The city responded.  Now your neighbors are asking you for your help.  Please join your neighbors and vote “YES” on 02-88 for Parking Districts.

City Council Ward 3: Zachariah Baker (running unopposed)

ZachariahBaker
Zachariah Baker

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

Even though I’m running unopposed, I set out to knock on every door in my ward to introduce myself and learn about the issues on people’s minds. I’m not going to get to every door before Election Day, but I’ll continue knocking after the election until I do.

2. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

This election offers me the opportunity to talk more with folks in my ward about issues important to me/them and the chance for us to get to know each other better. The lines of communication and relationships established during this election will help me be a better city councilor.

3. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

As a candidate, I’ve worked to set the tone for the type of city councilor I hope to be: open- minded, accessible, informed, engaged, and enthusiastic. I also set out to inspire a sense of excitement about politics, our city government, and the possibilities we have for a more sustainable future.

4. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Some recent actions/decisions by city government have raised questions in the minds of community members about the city’s commitment to transparency and public participation. Restoring the public’s trust in city government is critical to addressing any of the other challenges the city faces.

5. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

Corvallis has the opportunity to lead the way to a more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable future, not only for Corvallis, but for other communities. Corvallis has made some significant strides in this regard, but there is more that can and should be done.

City Council Ward 4: Barbara Bull (running unopposed)

BarbaraBull
Barbara Bull

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

Remembering names.  After living in Corvallis for so long I feel like I know a lot of people from various activities but I am terrible at remembering names.  Learning about everything the city does and how is a big job.  Listening carefully to different opinions.

2. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Reconciling the cost of services with the revenue we collect.  We don’t have a long-term solution for this problem.  I am hopeful that our community, the new city manager, and the new council are interested in engaging in the work of finding a long-term solution to this challenge.

3. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

The election itself provides opportunities to ask questions about how the city is currently working and to hear ideas from community members including other candidates about what we could be doing differently.  It’s an exciting time.  It is reassuring to see so many people interested in engaging in the process.

4. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

With a new city manager we have an opportunity to build new relationships with citizens, staff, and community partners.  I am hopeful that a new leader will help guide highly visible, informed, transparent discussions about what we would like to accomplish as a city and how, including how we expect to pay for it.

5. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

My hope is that the new council will respond to citizen concerns, and help citizens understand what the city government is doing and why, and how to participate in decisions about what it/we will do in the future.

City Council Ward 5 Candidates: Judson McClure and Mike Beilstein

Judson McClure
Judson McClure

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

McClure:  Challenging an incumbent. Incumbency advantage is a huge factor, even in a municipal election. He’s been here before and definitely has an established network of support.

Beilstein: I expect to be elected.  My biggest challenge is finding time to canvas the Ward.  Each election I walk the entire Ward, leave a flier on each door and talk to people if I find them home.   This year has been very busy and I haven’t started yet.

2. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

Beilstein: The election every two years allows me to reflect on what I hope to accomplish with the Council, and discuss it through written campaign statements, public campaign forums and meeting constituents.

McClure: Running for office is a great opportunity to get involved in Corvallis. I’m still somewhat new to Corvallis and Oregon, so win or lose I’ve met some wonderful community leaders. I have a feeling this will not be my last race in Corvallis.

MikeBeilstein
Mike Beilstein

3. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

McClure: OSU-Corvallis Cooperation. Oregon State is an asset for Corvallis and I want the city to continue to be supportive of OSU. However, unchecked growth threatens the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Future collaboration between Corvallis and OSU must reflect the perseveration of our neighborhoods.

Beilstein: The City, and the world, face a future of rapid climate change.  We need to establish a local plan to mitigate our greenhouse gas contribution and develop resilience to ensure human needs are met. Energy efficiency in housing and transportation are areas the City must work on.

4. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

Beilstein: An educated and involved population, and a major institution of higher education, allow Corvallis to be a world leader in finding solutions for living in a world of diminishing resources.  We can find satisfying ways of living with lower consumption and smaller impact on life sustaining environmental processes.

McClure: Long-term growth for Corvallis. In order to increase the tax base, we must foster an environment that is conducive to job growth. I would not pursue policies that encourage employers or residents to leave Corvallis.

They are caring and articulate individuals with a sincere interest in our community. The greatest difference is the breadth and depth of my experience. If I am fortunate enough to win, I sincerely hope they will continue to participate as board or commission members to prepare for future public office.

McClure: Victory, of course. However, running for city council has been tremendously rewarding. I have enjoyed meeting residents when I go on my stumps through our neighborhoods. I’m an outsider to politics and I was surprised how engaged our community is. I hope to be involved for a long time.

Beilstein: I hope to be elected.

5. Finally, what are your thoughts on your opponents?

Beilstein: My opponent, Judson McClure, is young, intelligent and enthusiastic.  He won’t be elected this time, but I hope he continues his interest in public service.  In the future he can make a valuable contribution to local government.

McClure: Recite the Pledge of Allegiance! That aside, we agree on a few issues and disagree on a bunch more, but that’s why we have elections. This race has been completely civil and I wish Mike the best of luck in his Congressional race.

 

City Council Ward 6: Stephen Redman and Joel Hirsch

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

SteveRedman
Stephen Redman

Redman: The fact that my opponent is a three-time incumbent means that I have to work three-times as hard to win. I have been walking the streets of Ward 6 for several months now and have received a tremendous amount of support — most citizens say they are ready for a change.

Hirsch: Next Council term will see a new City Manager, new Mayor, 4 new City Councilors (5 if I lose), and the Community needs to understand how important it is having some continuity, and some continuation of things in process like the Transportation Maintenance Fee, and the Property Maintenance Code – both still in the Administrative Services Committee on which I have sat for 3 terms.

2. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

Hirsch: I keep saying: “We are volunteers” and we do it because we love Corvallis. Change is going to happen whether we want it or not. We run for office to try and make things better. Though people fear change, not all change is for the worse. I try and facilitate imminent change for the better.

Redman: One opportunity is getting to understand, first-hand, how the citizens of Ward 6 feel about the way the city is being operated and what their priorities are. The other is meeting with many of the city department heads and learning how the city really works.

JoelHirsch
Joel Hirsch

3. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

Redman:  I hope to win the election and become a councilor that will be able to help the community achieve a sustainable budget by establishing community priorities and funding them accordingly while continuing to remain an innovative and progressive community.

Hirsch: Beyond the OSU Campus Master Plan update which must be approved by Council, the creation of a new Property Maintenance Code, the reconfiguration of the Transportation Maintenance Fee, hiring a new City Manager, and as always finding new ways to generate revenue preferably without taxation.

There is the Corvallis Arts & Culture comission that I have been engaged in since I have been on Council which not only promotes real economic activity with concrete financial benefits, and also have real documented positive outcomes in health and education.

4. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Hirsch: 1) Hiring the City Manager is huge. How everything else gets done will be affected by this decision. 2) The OSU Campus Master Plan already in process will project and plan the University’s growth going forward.

Redman: The city needs to increase its reserves to 6 million dollars (currently at 3.5 million) and expand its tax base. This is necessary to keep a good Moody’s investment rating. If we don’t do this and we get downgraded again, it will cost the community more to service debt.

5. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

Redman: Hiring the right city manager is job one for the next council. That person will need to have fiscal discipline, be a strong leader and work in a transparent manner. We also have the opportunity update our vision statement and reestablish a North Star for the community.

Hirsch: A nice hotel on the river would bring activity to our downtown, help local merchants, encourage downtown investment, and add to the TRT (TOT).Continuing to work with OSU, collaborating and partnering toward outcomes that benefit the Community as a whole. Outcomes beneficial to the University can also be beneficial to the citizens of Corvallis. Even the smallest compromise on the part of the University can have a huge financial impact on Corvallis. And someday, after continuing to work with them in a non-adversarial way, through collaboration and compromise, when they finally decide to be generous, maybe with a P.I.L.O.T. (payment in lieu of taxes), or support for some future revenue scenario, the City’s financial outlook could really change for the better. But it gets us nowhere to antagonize OSU – even if we are frustrated with them.

6. Finally, what are your thoughts on your opponents?

Hirsch: While it is likely I’m deserving of some amount of criticism, my opponent has actually both insulted me personally, and insulted the current and previous Councils – presumably with Councilors he would have to work with – and made wildly inaccurate claims demonstrating his misunderstanding of Corvallis’ values and our Council process. He definitely gives the impression that he thinks he knows better. Maybe he does? He’s basically a Republican.

Redman: Joel Hirsch has held the position for 6 years and it feels like he really doesn’t have time for the job anymore. He often misses important city meetings (and/or comes late or leaves early) which leaves him uninformed on many issues. This also seems disrespectful to the constituents.

City Council Ward 7: Paul Woods and Bill Glassmire

PaulWoods
Paul Woods

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

Woods: If you’re asking about the actual process of running: as an unaffiliated candidate, I have none of the advantages of a party machine behind me.  Everything I do is grass roots.

Glassmire:
I want not only to win votes but also to implement a campaign which, in its own right, brings together our community for serious discussion of Corvallis issues (and for some fun).

2. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

Glassmire: The campaign is an opportunity to hear what issues are most important to Corvallis citizens. It also forces me to think concretely about how the city can set and work toward sustainability objectives.

Woods: I am not looking at this election as something I will personally gain from.  I feel that there are critical issues facing Corvallis and I feel that I have ideas and talents to address them.  I’ve been doing this on the Planning Commission.  City Council would allow me to do more.

3. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

Woods: To be elected!

Glassmire: I would like to be elected to represent Ward 7 on the City Council. I also want, first, to create ongoing opportunities for citizens to voice their opinions; and second, to figure out how to act effectively on those opinions.

Bill Glassmire
Bill Glassmire

4. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

Glassmire: Hiring a new city manager is the most important issue facing the 2015-16 City Council. Deciding how city funds will be spent is a continuing challenge, especially because it would be prudent to spend money on restoring social services and on delayed maintenance.

Woods: 1. OSU growth and the impact on livability. 2. Budget shortfall: As HP has shrunk, taxable economic activity has declined leaving a growing gap between City expenditures and revenue. We need to boost revenue through economic development, but in a way that fits Corvallis, so we can keep the services we like having.

5. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

Woods: 1. The OSU District plan needs to be rewritten to put the City on even footing with OSU, then enforced, to address OSU’s impact on parking, housing, and traffic in Corvallis. 2. The City can work with OSU on economic development by encouraging start-ups based on OSU research.

Glassmire: Each challenge is also an opportunity. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

6. Finally, what are your thoughts on your opponents?

Glassmire: All the candidates for city offices are strengthening city politics considerably just by participating in the 2014 election.

Woods: He is a nice man.  But I heard him say in a meeting that because he didn’t really pay attention to local issues, he’d plan on spending a
year listening.  Problem is, there are time-critical matters (namely, OSU district plan and hiring a city manager) that must be addressed
well before then.

City Council Ward 8: Tracey Yee, Frank Hann and Carl Price

1. What are one or two major challenges you face in this race?

TraceyYee
Tracey Yee

Hann: I planned to run during the last cycle, however Biff’s experience and volunteerism convinced me to wait. It speaks well of the commitment of Ward 8 that three are vying for office. The problem of course is the dilution of the vote among the candidates.

Yee: One challenge is quickly coming up to speed so I can contribute to solutions to issues the current Council has been working on for the past few years in a meaningful way. Another will be keeping in touch with constituents in Ward 8 while working full time – it’s imperative.

Price: Meeting and talking to as many people as I can about the city and what is important to them.  Even with the forums, and other forms of meeting and talking with people, I feel like I am missing hearing from people.  To this end, I encourage people to contact me at https://www.facebook.com/CarlWPriceWard8 and discuss what issues are a priority for them.

2. Please describe two major opportunities this election presents to you?

CarlPrice
Carl Price

Price: 1) The opportunity to volunteer and help steer the City.  This is an important time for the city, and the council has some critical work to do in the next term.  I see this as an opportunity to help ensure this goes well. 2) The ability to make city government more transparent so citizens are not left wondering what or why the Council and city staff make the decisions they do.  The Council can not work without the citizens of Corvallis seeing and knowing what is happening, and having a voice in that process.

Hann: To re establish a deeper understanding of the comprehensive planning and land use regulations on the City Council that has been absent for many years. I also feel that my background as a planning commissioner, health professional, business person, community volunteer & parent offers a broad perspective that is unique.

Yee: I’m good at listening and building collaborative relationships. These skills give me the opportunity to create city policy that is representative of the desires of our citizens, and do it in an open, transparent way. I would also continue to build on the positive results from the collaboration with OSU.

3. What do you hope to achieve in this election?

Yee: I want to be the best representative of my constituents in Ward 8, and help shape policy for the city as a whole that will be beneficial to all. I want to work towards keeping the character and livability of the city, while also allowing for the growth of OSU.

Price: I hope to be able to represent the City of Corvallis, and do that in a way that maintains my integrity, and treats everyone as an equal partner in making the city a wonderful place to live.

Hann: Working together as a community to identify the goals and objectives we value that reflect the integrity and unique character of our city. I value effective and efficient use of financial resources, transparency and inclusiveness in council actions and am committed to economic vitality that sustains all families.

4. What are one to two major challenges the city faces at this time?

frankhann
Frank Hann

Hann: A number of complex tasks are overdue. An update of the City’s Vision Statement, Buildable Lands Inventory, Transportation Plan, OSU Master Plan, & the OSU/Corvallis Collaboration Project. The second is selection of a City Manager who can manage multiple tasks, energize staff, promote a culture of customer service and advance economic vitality efforts.

Price: We have an unbalanced relationship with OSU.  Hopefully, with some work, that relationship can be balanced, and we can approach issues as partners instead of opponents.  As a city, we can make changes to this relationship to balance it in the next Council term.

Parking issues.  Regardless of how the ballot initiatives go in the general election, this will continue to be an issue the City and OSU need to address.

Yee: The primary challenge right now is to recruit and hire a great City Manager. The next CM will be instrumental in setting a collaborative, transparent tone within the city government. Balancing the budget, keeping expenses in line with revenue, and finding new ways to generate revenue will also be critical.

5. What are one to two opportunities available to the city?

Yee: Taking on the operation of the Majestic, within the Parks and Recreation department, is a wonderful opportunity for the city. With the support and existing infrastructure of Parks & Rec, there are opportunities to develop additional management models and revenue streams, and the Majestic can still be an arts venue.

Hann: The review of the OSU Master Plan provides a mechanism to “codify” avenues of collaboration and establish benchmarks for housing and parking. Significant changes are required by EPA to cool discharge into the Willamette. A strategy to use funding from multiple sources could result in beautiful improvements to parkland on the east bank.

Price: Economic growth.  We have lost a large tax base with the loss of HP jobs, both from the corporation and the individuals who have left Corvallis because of job cuts.  We have an opportunity to seek new business to replace the lost, and draw families back into Corvallis.  This can help revitalize schools, neighborhoods, and the City as a whole.

6. Finally, what are your thoughts on your opponents?

Price: Ward 8 is very lucky this year, my opponents are two good people that are running for reasons much like my own.  Having talked to them, I believe they are both committed to Corvallis, and are running because they truly want to make a difference.  We all do differ on some issues, and I believe those issues will be what the residents of Ward 8 will use to decide the race.  However the election turns out, I look forward to working with my opponents in the future.

Yee: Everyone running in the city council race, including my two opponents, are doing it because they care about the city and want to participate and contribute to the success and well-being of the city. I respect them both immensely, and anyone else running for a volunteer government position.

Hann: They are caring and articulate individuals with a sincere interest in our community. The greatest difference is the breadth and depth of my experience. If I am fortunate enough to win, I sincerely hope they will continue to participate as board or commission members to prepare for future public office.

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