Three seats open: Four candidates vie for Mount Angel city councilor

October 2012 Posted in Other
Mount Angel Forum
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m.
Sponsored by the Mount Angel
Chamber of Commerce. Free.

There are three open seats on the Nov. 6 ballot for the Mount Angel City Council and four candidates. Councilor Andrew Otte is running unopposed to be mayor.

The city councilor candidates were given the same questions and asked to reply in writing.

Darren Beyer

Darren Beyer says he wants to be re-elected to the council because he’s would like to continue making improvements to Mount Angel. “I want to make Mount Angel one of the best places to live,” he said, adding during his four years on council he has helped to improve streets, sidewalks, parks and city communication.

If the money were there, he said, he would have voted in favor of the school resource officer. “I voted against it because the school district had to cut band, add furlough days and cut other school programs,” he said. “When there is so much money, you have to prioritize where it is spent and I would rather see the money spent on school programs.”

His goals if re-elected would be to pave more streets and sidewalks, try to bring more businesses to town, communicate with residents and “continue to make Mount Angel a good place to live and work…. The council has made a lot of progress and I would like to continue with that,” he said.

Janet Donohue

A budget committee member for two years, Janet Donohue said she was asked by the current mayor and some city councilors to run.

Since her children have graduated from high school, she said she has the time it takes to dedicate to the city council.

Because of the economy, Donohue said she personally doesn’t feel it’s the right time to fund a school resource officer.

“We have a police officer and police chief on duty during school hours,” she said. “If criminal activity were to occur during this time, they could be called. With a school resource officer that would mean three police officers on duty at the same.”

Donohue said the school district and city would save at least $75,000 by eliminating the resource officer.

“There are other areas where we can spend the money more effectively to benefit the students,” she said. “The school could hire another school counselor who is professionally trained to deal with children, contribute to middle school sports or fund a full time principal at the middle school. I believe there is no need to have an armed police officer in our schools. My four children have been in the Mount Angel school system from preschool through high school. During this time I have volunteered many times in each of the schools and have not once seen or heard of an incident where an armed police officer was needed in our schools.”

Donohue said her goals are to continue repairing streets and sidewalks, improving parks and ensuring financial stability.

“I would like us to maintain a conservative approach with our revenues and expenses,” she said. “I do not want to see us raise our water and sewer rates to subsidize the general fund, I would rather we cut back on spending.”

If elected, Donohue said she would listen to the taxpayers and make decisions based on what is best for Mount Angel.

“I am a very financially conservative person.  I believe in saving money,” she said. “I have lived in Mount Angel for 48 years. My children were born and raised in this community.  Mount Angel is in my heart.  I care what happens to our city and want to see it continue on the right path.”

Kelly Grassman

Kelly Grassman is running for re-election because she feels like there is more to do  for the city of Mount Angel and it is her way of  “serving/giving back to my community.”

Grassman said her goal’s would be to maintain a balanced budget and plan for future expenses.

If she were meeting a voter, she would say she was honored to be elected the last term.

“I look forward to continue making our parks more appealing, repairing our aging streets and sidewalks, and keeping us moving forward,” she said.

Pete Wall

Pete Wall said he is pleased with the overall direction the city of Mount Angel is headed. He’s running to be a city councilor because he loves his community and wants to help it be “the best it can be.”

“I have developed excellent working relationships with other key organizations in Mount Angel by my active participation with the Chamber of Commerce, Oktoberfest, the Mount Angel Community Foundation, the Mount Angel Fire District and city government,” Wall said. “All of us are committed through our own separate missions to improving the quality of life in Mount Angel and I believe my associations with all of them will be an asset to the city council.”

Wall said he supports funding the school resource officer program because it prevents juvenile criminal activity and helps develop a partnership with the schools to guide students towards good citizenship.

“One of the trends in law enforcement is towards “community policing,” he said. “Having a school resource officer program is one of, if not the best example of how to implement community policing.”

If elected, Wall said his goals are to continue the city’s annual goal setting program because it provides citizens an opportunity to share their opinions and ideas. Wall’s second goal is providing a level of public services that improves the quality of life.

“These services include infrastructure (water, sewer, streets, storm drainage) public safety, parks, the library, etc.,” Wall said. “We don’t have the financial resources to do everything we would like but we need to strike a balance and try our best to provide the funding necessary to make each of these areas as strong as we can.”

A third goal, Wall said, is to work cooperatively with other organizations and the business. “We are blessed to have great organizations who work primarily through volunteers to promote and make Mount Angel a unique community,” he said. “We need to work together and support each other so we can continue the good things we do.”

A fourth goal is to work well with city council members and staff.  “A few years ago, Mount Angel was involved in a political turmoil. I was asked to come in as the interim city administrator and ended up doing that for 14 months. Those were difficult times and regardless of where people stood individually on the issues, the city needed to move forward,” Wall said. “I think I played an important role in making that happen. We recruited an extremely talented city administrator who is working well with the community and staff. I want that to continue.”

Wall said his main goal is helping the community be successful.

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