MAYOR ELECT RICHARD ZETTERVALL Photo file
Creswell’s got a new mayor and a couple new councilors to boot.
Unofficial results from Lane County saw a little over 69.44 percent voter turnout at last week’s Nov. 6 general election. Results indicate that there were a total of 181,621 ballots received of the 261,533 registered voters in the county, according to results from the Oregon Secretary of State. All results are unofficial until Monday, Nov. 26.
The 2014 Lane County general election yielded a 72.2 percent voter turnout, with 150,235 ballots cast out of the 208,073 registered voters, which was the most recent like-election. Numbers from 2016 is not a like-comparison, though it was Presidential. In 2016, Lane County yielded a 78.99 percent voter turnout, with 195,019 ballots cast out of the 246,876 registered voters.
In Creswell, voter turnout is unknown, but City Recorder Roberta Tharp said that information will be forthcoming in upcoming weeks. Those numbers will be compared in an upcoming edition.
After six years under the leadership of Mayor Dave Stram, a new mayor will rise to the helm come January: Richard Zettervall.
Zettervall, 66, won the Creswell mayor race, bringing in 67.45 percent, or 1,299 votes.
Zettervall served as a citizen representative to the Public Safety Committee in 2014; served on the Budget Committee since 2015; and has been a city council representative to the Transportation Plan Advisory Committee and to the Lane Council of Governments Board of Directors, or LCOG. Zettervall currently serves as city council president, and has been serving on the council since January 2016.
Mayor-elect Zettervall was at home on election night, watching the national election results and waiting for the Lane County election results to file in.
”Going into the night, I was uncertain what to expect,” Zettervall said. ”When seeing the early numbers, I felt honored that the Creswell voters were putting their votes of confidence and support behind me.”
He says now that the election is over, Zettervall feels ”humbled.”
”I don’t know another word that is more apropos,” he said. ”When I was holding a lawn sign and waving at motorists with my wife and others the last two mornings of the campaign, it was overwhelming to see so many people smiling, waving and giving me thumbs up. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life.”
He said Mayor Stram has left some very large shoes to fill, but ”I will work hard for Creswell and be the mayor that Creswell can be proud of.”
Runner up was councilor Gary Mounce, bringing in 31.20 percent, or 601 votes total. There were 26 write-in votes.
Zettervall said Mounce is, ”a good man, a man of honor and also would have been a good mayor.”
He said shortly after the final results were announced, Mounce called to congratulate Zettervall on his victory.
”He expressed similar feelings and his confidence in me as the next mayor of Creswell,” Zettervall said. ”I can only imagine how difficult that phone call was for him. I greatly respect Mr. Mounce. He will be missed on Creswell City Council.”
A total of 1,926 votes were cast for mayor this year, which is up 166 votes from the 2016 general election, according to archived election results. In 2016, out of 2531 ballots, 1,760 votes were cast for the Creswell mayor position.
Zettervall said the transition plan is already underway.
”Shortly after the election, I met with Mayor Stram and City Manager Amberg to talk about the transition plan,” Zettervall said. ”We discussed several topics including new city councilor orientations, new council committee members and charges, new commission appointment(s), and councilor budget partners. I will be reviewing the new councilor orientation process and will be including a new booklet produced by the League of Oregon Cities.”
Zettervall plans to contacted newly-elected State Representative Marty Wilde, and newly-elected East Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch to build on relationships that have already been established.
”Both Mr. Wilde and Ms. Buch have expressed enthusiasm in working with me for Creswell,” Zettervall said. ”I look forward to working with them and will continue to actively advocate for Creswell.”
One of his highlighted campaign priorities is public safety. He said there will be city council work session topic of safety in Creswell, entitled, ”Do you feel safe?” that will be introduced this month. It will be discussed with the newly elected councilors, and the discussion is planned to continued through 2019 until a plan is established.
”I will be working diligently with the new city council to build a strong team with an outstanding city manager and city staff,” he said. ”Our goal will be to work toward a strong and successful 2019.”
CITY COUNCIL, E. LANE COMMISSIONER
Kevin Prociw and Alonzo Costilla will fill two of the three open positions on Creswell City Council. Prociw, 49, brought in 48.71 percent, or 1,225 votes. He is currently employed as a project manager for the City of Eugene and also owner of Prismatic Media Group.
Costilla, 51, brought in 43.38 percent, or 1,091 votes. He is currently employed at the University of Oregon as a printing trades specialist.
A total of 2,515 votes were cast for city council. There were 199 write-in votes for this position.
It is not known who the write-in candidates are, City Recorder Roberta Tharp said, but once that information is released within the next few weeks, the City will begin the process of filling that third council seat.
The person with the most votes would be elected into that third council position, subject to meeting the qualification process, Tharp explained. That process includes having the city recorder determine whether the person selected meets the city’s requirements for the position.
If deemed qualified by the city recorder, the write-in candidate will fill out a form to accept, or not accept, the position. If they decline the position, the seat will remain vacant. The vacant position would then be filed by the city council using the process set out in the Creswell City Charter. More on that in the upcoming weeks.
Heather Buch won the number five east Lane County commissioner spot, bringing in 55.91 percent, or 16,452 votes. Incumbent Gary Williams raked in 12,844 votes, but lost the majority at 43.65 percent. A total of 29,427 votes were cast for this position.