Lone run – Wall unopposed for Mount Angel mayor

September 2022 Posted in Business, Community

By Stephen Floyd

When late Mount Angel Mayor Don Fleck died suddenly in June, City Councilor Pete Wall was prepared to temporarily take up the mantle.

As president of the City Council, he became acting mayor, but told fellow officials he would not seek election if appointed to fill the remainder of Fleck’s term, and would instead return to his council seat.

But after considering the potential of other candidates, and his desire to see the city continue heading in a positive direction, Wall decided to throw his hat in the ring. As of the Aug. 30 filing deadline, he was running unopposed in the Nov. 8 election.

“I look at a mayor as a kind of a coach,” said Wall. “I want the council to continue to work well together and I want us to continue to work well as a team.”

Wall was first elected to the City Council in 2012 after a career as a city manager, including at Mount Angel in the ‘80s and again on an interim basis after he retired. He said he decided to run for the council to help protect the city’s school resource officer program, which had come under fire from some council members.

“I think that was very important, and I still do,” he said of the program, which partners a city police officer with the Mt. Angel School District.

During his time on the council, Wall has seen the city undertake significant infrastructure projects, such as road improvements and expansion of a large portion of the sewer main. Wall said, as mayor, these would continue to be high priorities, as well as other pending improvements on the city’s long-term infrastructure plan.

“We’ve put a lot of work and time into that plan, and it’s fairly complex and there’s a lot of projects on it,” he said, adding . “We’re not going to reach a point where we can rest on our laurels.”

Wall said he has also watched a strong working relationship develop between the council and city staff, including with current City Manager/Police Chief Mark Daniel. He said these open lines of communication with Daniel have eased his transition as acting mayor, saying “there really haven’t been any surprises.”

Wall was formally appointed to serve the rest of Fleck’s term on Sept. 6, though his duties will not differ from his time as acting mayor. Councilor Ray Eder is now council president,. The council is expected to discuss filling Wall’s council seat during an upcoming meeting.

With a new council appointment on the horizon, and three council seats on the Nov. 8 ballot, Wall said there is potential for a sea change in Mount Angel leadership. But whether or not the council is made of familiar or fresh faces in January, Wall said he is prepared to work with fellow officials to better the city.

“That’s the system,” he said of the potential for council turnover in an election, adding the city has access to many resources to train new officials.

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