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October 10, 2012     The New Era Paper
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11 ,, ra - October 10, 2012 VOUR COMMUNITY Page 5 Election 201.2: City Council candidates offer views (Editor's note: Here are short profiles of some of the views and the backgrounds of the nine candidates for four seats on the Sweet Home City Council in this year's election. They are listed alphabetically. Be- cause Andrew Allen has not lived in Sweet Home for at least the last year, he is unable to qualify for the ballot under city rules that require candi- dates to live in the city for at least a consecutive year before running. However, he is continuing his cam- paign for City Council as a write-in candidate, which is allowed.) Andrew Allen, 30 Education: Sweet Home High Class of 2001, Boise State Univer- sity - BS Finance 2008 Occupation: Entrepreneur (Two Dam Bagel and Bread Co.) Previous civic and volunteer experience: Sweet Home: Chamber of Commerce Board member, City of Sweet Home Parks and Budget Committees, High School Track and Cross Country Assistant Coach (Coach Keebler), Sweet Home Trails Group Board Member/Marketing; Sweet Home Running and Track Club coach. Past experience in La Grande: Main Street Economic Re- structuring Committee Chair, Urban Renewal Advisory Commission. What do you hope to accom- plish? I want us to create better sys- tems and networks between the var- ious groups within the greater Sweet Home area. We have resources, we just need to create better means for citizens and groups to access and utilize them. The citizens of Sweet Home have many ideas for how to improve our town (economically, socially, recreationally) and our city should be a resource for ideas to de- velop within. The difference with me is I'm already working on projects with the city along with networking be- tween various groups (Sweet Home Chamber Board, City Budget and Parks Committees, Sweet Home Trails Group and I coach track and cross country at Sweet Home High). I'm not waiting for someone to elect me. In fact I jumped in with both feet in January and haven't stopped since and don't intend to slow down any time soon. Role: Our goal should be to cre- ate better means for ideas (events, businesses, community activities) to become reality. One way is to sort out our community's resource spi- derweb and to present information based on goal (creating a new event, group or business start-up, business expansion), so that citizens have a clearer path to follow. This requires networking and relationship building between city council and our community resourc- es (SHEDG, Chamber, SHARE, Linn County, US Forest Service, etc.). Economic Revitalization: Economic growth happens by new ideas and means for existing ideas, products and services to reach a marketplace. The city needs to serve in main- taining infrastructure and develop- ing economic "paths" so ideas have both a base to develop upon along with assisting businesses (existing and future) in utilizing local resourc- es and infrastructure. But the city cannot be expected to create some- " one else's idea or dream. We're here as support, not to hold someone's hand, and we must be concerned with upholding rules that pro- tect the general population. Chicken Ordinance: I understand people's con- corns on both sides since many people Allen living in a city don't want the sounds and smells of a country farm around their house, but I also believe that individuals should be allowed to grow/raise their own food. I believe the com- promise should be a limit based on backyard size to limit the issue. Blighted and Vacant Struc- tures: In short, ifa property becomes detrimental to the general well be- ing or health of the community, it needs to be addressed. We do live in a community, and I firmly believe in the theory of "broken windows" in which the context of one prop- erty spills Over into the image of the neighborhood, community feel and eventually economic vitality (going back to economic growth and yes there's evidence that context drives the economy). Admittedly, we need to work with landowners; but if pressure is needed to force a change, then the city should be able to apply it. Ask- ing someone nicely to clean up their act only goes so far but it should be our first approach and no, we're not paying someone to do what they al- ready should be doing as a citizen. Sign Code: Did not respond. Charitable Budgeting: As a member of the 2012-13 budget committee, I thought that was a little ridiculous, considering the city's fi- nancial situation and would like to note, those recommendations did not come from the city and were not presented in this year's budget cycle (for good reason). For future reference, I don't have a problem with charity; but I have to ask, were these groups pro- viding a service on behalf of the city before they get funding .(for ex- ample a humane society serving as the stray animal catcher)? Until we have surpluses, I don't see the city doing this again. Raises for Non-Represented Employees: Two things, if a pro- gram or service was on the chopping block, no raise would have been given. But the budget had made all of the cuts without losing any more employees or cuts in services. With this case, I believe the raises (which were merited) should be given. Second, we're lucky in hav- ing a veteran group, and making a statement because of the economy and relative pay in the region would have been a gamble. The employees in question are in demand by other higher paying cities with fewer bud- getary issues (makes managing a real pain) and replacing them would have cost the city much more (train- ing, the learning curve of our city's situation, etc). In short, we should not trip over dollars to save a few nickels. Private Property Rights: When personal property becomes a hazard or detrimental to the health and well-being of the community (documented and shown), then the interests of the community out- weighs that of the individual. But a due process must be in place to qual- ify a property as a community issue. These should not be related directly to economic gain (such as a devel- oper wanting to eminent domain a property through the city). Police and community health should be the primary reasons to impose fines or restrictions. Poliee and Library Levies: We need to stabilize our city's fund- ing. Last year our revenues dropped about 15 percent, and we're expect- ing a small drop this year while ex- penses increase (we can't control fuel and insurance prices). Adding to this, if we continue running on a shoestring budget, the city will con- tinue to have trouble maintaining our current infrastructure not to mention making investments in economic and community infrastructure. The League of Oregon Cities looked at multiple ways of mending our budgetary problems (for which Sweet Home is the poster child showing how" Measure Five and subsequent ballot measures have hurt rural towns), and I'm going to trust them on this issue. Anti-tax people, get over it, we have a city to run that you benefit from. Lighting Ordinance: I'm against the darkening of city streets simply because I'm for the safety of those who walk, run or bike (kids especially). Also, the costs imposed by this ordinance seem unnecessary, especially since other light sources can penetrate property lines. Marybeth Angulo, 45 Occupation: Third/Fourth grade teacher at Oak Heights El- ementary School, Sweet Home School District 55 Education: 1985 graduate of South Salem High School; 1989 Bachelor of Science in .Education at Western Oregon University; 2010 Masters of Curriculum and Instruc- tion in Education at Portland State University. Previous civic and volunteer experience: Previous board mem- ber, Sunshine Industries; young rep- resentative, School of Christian Mis- sions with the Methodist Church of Sweet Home; leader, Junior Choir, SHUMC, one year; third- and fourth-grade youth camp dean at Suttle Lake United Methodist Youth Camp, three years; nursery volun- teer, Vacation Bible School teacher, worship team member, First Baptist Church; and Site Council and PBIS team member, Oak Heights Elemen- tary School; City Council member, two years. What have you accomplished during your tenure? I have spent the last two years "learning the ropes" in city government. I was the newest member on the coun- cil for quite a while and spent that time learning the process of how ordinances were passed, goals set and budgets passed. I was thrilled to be a part of the budget process to see just how and where the money is spent. My accomplishment was helping to make sure that the city of Sweet Home had a balanced budget in which to operate and enacting ap- propriate legislation that would pro- tect the health, safety and welfare of the city. What do you hope to accom- plish? As an educator within the Sweet Home School District for the past 22 years, I have a heart for the youth of this community. My goal as a city councilor is to pursue, ex- pand, and promote continued posi- tive activities for the youth in our The Questions The answers from the candidates are in response to the following) Incumbents: What have.you accomplished during your tenure? Everyone: What do you hope to accomplish? Why should we vote for you in particular?. What sets you apart from the other candidates? What do you see as the role of the City Council? What do you see as the role of the city government? [] What role should the city play in revitalization of the Sweet Home downtown and economy? . :. IlWhat did you think about the chicken ordinance"? What do you think, of the current, proposal to increase regulation on "vacant" and =blighted" structures? How do you think the City Councit-did with the recent sign code revisions? How did you feel about the city budgeting funds last year (2011-12) for various charitable organizations, such as Sweet Home Emergency Ministries and the HOPE Center.9 What about the raises granted for employees not represented by the union, including supervisors and confidential employees, this fiscal year (2012-13)? Following a discussion about not granting the raises at the time due to budget concerns, the council agreed to grant the raises, which were already outlined.in a resolution the previous year. How should private property rights be balanced against the interests of the citizens' community as a whole? What do you think about League of Oregon Cities' proposal to place tax levies, such as the Police Department's, outside of the $10 per $1,000 property tax limitation for general government? What solution do you think would be appropriate to improve stability with Sweet Home's levy-funded police and library services? Coming up, the City Council will consider a Planning Commission recommendation to implement a new lighting ordinance, potentially limiting the output of lights and shielding light sources to keep light from crossing propertylines. What kind of regulations would you support regarding lighting, and what would you consider too restrictive? Do you st)ppo a "dark skies,' approach? Why or why not? community. We need more positive oppor- tunities for our youth to participate and become active in city govern- ment and other service learning projects. I would like to participate in creating and implementing even more successful and innovative pro- grams for the youth of Sweet Home through a possible partnership with the School District and other non- profit organizations. I would also like to see a more positive interaction and partner- ship between the city and the Sweet Home School District. Who better to help bridge the gap but a teacher who also serves on the council? I would like to be that person. My leadership qualities come from over 20 years of teaching in the Sweet Home School District. I enjoy organizing, training, super- vising and motivating those whom I lead. I have also been found to be honest, ethical, up front and depend- able in both personal and business dealings. I have proven that I am not afraid to vote on what 1 believe is the right thing to do, even if it means going against the majority vote. Teaching has given me the ability to priofitize and follow through with project demands. I am an active lis- tener who enjoys being a creative part of any team or solution. For these reasons, I should be re-elected to the city council. Role: The role of the City Council and city government is to make decisions that represent the people and the best interests of the city as a whole. The council should also establish general policies for the conduct of city government, adopt a balanced budget and consid- er and enact appropriate legislation that protects the welfare of the city as well as the health and safety of the residents. Economic Revitalization: The city should provide and create a welcoming and positive environ- ment where new business- es would want to relocate. We need to con- tinue with the positive pro- motion of the existing busi- nesses through the ongoing campaign of "shop in Sweet Home." We need to continue to make the downtown Sweet Home an appeal- ing area where consumers will want to shop. Chicken Ordinance: I did not have arty issues with the chicken ordinance. As long as the chickens did not infringe on the rights of sur- rounding property owners, then I felt it was fine. If property owners have a way that they can confine their chickens and any smell that might be associ- ated with it, then I fully support that concept. GuidelinEs were put into place to make it a fair and balanced way that allowed people who want- ed to have chickens on their prop- erty to have a.specified number of chickens without it becoming a nui- sance to the surrounding property owners who did not desire to have chickens Blighted and Vacant Struc- tures: I am for an ordinance that would ask property owners to board up their vacant houses so that squat- ters would not have easy access to them. If they are not boarded up and secured in some manner, that allows people to take up residence, and the waste that is left behind can cause other health hazards and problems. This then becomes an undesired problem for the existing property owners surrounding the residence. Sign Code: Did not respond. Charitable Budgeting: I stand behind those contributions one hundred percent! Each of these or- See Profiles, page 8