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Election 2022: Freilinger elected mayor; Traeger, Newton, Hammond lead for council

By James Day

Ten-year Silverton City Council member Jason Freilinger appears to be on his way to being elected the town’s mayor.  Freilinger, a financial services officer and this term’s council president, was leading corporate executive Morry Jones by nearly 450 votes, according to unofficial results released Tuesday night by Marion County. Freilinger had 1,896 votes (56.66%), with Jones at 1,450 (43.34%).
County officials are continuing to count late-arriving ballots and official certification of the result will not take place for a couple of weeks.
Freilinger replaces Kyle Palmer, who has been serving in elected positions since 2004, when he was first elected to the City Council. Palmer lost in 2010 and 2012 mayoral bids before returning to the council in 2014. He was appointed mayor in 2017 when Rick Lewis moved to the Legislature. Palmer was re-elected in 2018 and 2020.
The mayor serves a two-year term. Freilinger will be sworn in Jan. 9, along with the new and returning council members. One of the first actions of the new council will be to appoint someone to take Freilinger’s council seat.

City Council
Marie Traeger, April Newton and Eric Hammond were in the lead, according to early returns, in the crowded seven-person ballot to replace retiring incumbents Dana Smith, Crystal Neideigh and Jim Sears.
Councilors serve 4-year terms, with sitting councilors Jess Miller, Elvi Cuellar Sutton and Freilinger not scheduled to face the voters until 2024.
Marie Traeger, a corrections counselor with the state who spent 30 years as Silver Falls teacher, had 24.29% of the vote, with Newton, a retired rural mail carrier and SACA, school district volunteer, at 21.03%. Hammond, a horticulturist and member of Sustainable Silverton, was at 17.02%.
Trailing the top 3 were Chuck Hawley, engineer and children’s book author, with 11.44%; Gregg Harris, owner of Silver Falls Terrariums and vice president of the Silverton Mural Society with 11.36%; Makai Brusa, juvenile corrections employee, at 7.62%; and Jenny Ohren, who works in hospitality, public health and social services, with 7.26%.

Pool levy
Also on the Silverton ballot was Measure 24-473, which easily passed with nearly 67% of the vote. Passage of 24-473 renews the city’s local option property tax levy that pays for pool maintenance and operations. This is the third renewal of the levy, which raises $1.375 million for 5 years. The rate of 28.45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value is not changing. That means a property owner with an assessment of $300,000 would pay $85.35 per year for the pool. Passage of the levy does not represent a tax increase. The levy pays for about $275,000 of the approximately $1 million pool budget.

Got a news tip? Email me at [email protected]. Follow me on Twitter @jameshday and Our Town on Facebook.

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