City & Government, Creswell

Knudsen, Prociw vie for Creswell mayor spot: Four contend in city council race

CRESWELL — Two Creswell city councilors are looking to level up as they vie for the mayor seat Nov. 3, and four community members are taking aim at the three city council seats about to expire.

Councilors Amy Knudsen and Kevin Prociw are running for mayor and Shelly Clark, Jeri Hutchinson, JoRell Medina and Normajean Osborn are running for city council. 

For both Prociw and Knudsen, their passion for public service has only increased during their time on council. 


Knudsen has been on city council four years and has spent the past year as council president, a title that authorizes a city councilor to preside as mayor when the mayor can’t perform their duties. 

“I am the voice of a working mother,” Knudsen said. “I know what it is like to spend years achieving an education, being in debt, working full-time, building a home, raising children, and wanting a better future for myself and my family. I want to be an example to my young daughters. I want to continue to show them how to work hard and the importance of civil service.”

She said for that reason, she wants to continue to be a part of the decisions that affect citizens and local businesses. 

“I want to continue to advocate for those who need a voice, from a stronger position of leadership. Creswell is a bedroom community; a lot of us live here but work in Eugene and Springfield,” Knudsen said. “We raise our families here, have our kids in the schools, and spend time in local parks and restaurants.”

Knudsen works at attorney office Arnold Gallagher P.C. and is formerly an employee of Elizabeth JC Baker. She received an associate of arts degree from Lane Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business from Linfield College. 


For Prociw, the historic and uncertain times we are living in requires a strong leader to navigate through future challenges. He lists social equity, community recovery from COVID-19, affordable and senior housing, and a balanced public safety program as some of the important work to come.

These challenges “will require demonstrated, compassionate leadership — a person with the ability to unite people on their common ground, and the capacity to engage the community on a shared vision that includes a roadmap for success,” he said.  

Prociw said he believes that carefully planned and measured growth preserves our small-town atmosphere and is of paramount importance. 

“Creswell will need an advocate,” Prociw said. “Someone who will champion the needs of the community to those that have influence. I plan to work directly with state and local leadership while teaming with our business community to ensure that we are well represented and that all possibilities and opportunities are explored to accomplish the goals of the city.” 

Prociw has spent nearly 20 years serving in and for local government — including relationships with regional law enforcement and other agency partners throughout Lane County, he said. He is a programmer for the City of Eugene and a systems analyst at Symantec Corporation. He graduated from Henry Sheldon High School and attended Lane Community College, where he studied electrical engineering. 

Prociw has two years left on his term as city councilor. If councilor Prociw should win the mayoral race, city recorder Roberta Tharp said his seat would not become vacant until the first part of January, at which time the council would declare a vacancy and they would begin the process of filling that seat.  


Three seats for councilors Amy Knudsen, Judy Drago and Martha McReynolds expire this year, and four candidates have filed. Councilors Alonzo Costilla, Misty Inman and Prociw’s seats expire in 2022. Shelly Clark, Jeri Hutchinson, JoRell Medina and Normajean Osborn are running for city council. 


Shelly Clark

Shelly Clark borrows a phrase often used by her father as inspiration to run for city council: “You can’t complain about what is happening in your community if you didn’t take the opportunity to get involved.” 

Clark works in education at Western Oregon University to develop and teach leadership via university housing, she said, and formerly worked at the University of Hawaiʻi and Oregon State University in university housing. She does not have relevant prior government experience.

She said she grew up in a civically minded house, where her parents instilled the value of being engaged in the betterment of your community from an early age.  

“Thanks to a program offered by the VFW, I got the chance to participate in Oregon Girls State in July of 1994 where I was able to learn more about how state and local politics operated,” Clark said. “I returned during the summers of 1995 and ‘96 to serve as a mentor within the program.”  

She said that, over the course of the past few years, she finds herself reaching out to elected officials more frequently to “voice my perspective on how I hope that the values of our city, county, and state are operationalized.” 

In Creswell in June, Clark said she was compelled to reach out to city council and the mayor to express urgent support for Black lives and to encourage civil discourse.  

“Through conversations, particularly with Mayor Zettervall, I was encouraged to put my past history and practice of civic engagement to work for the City of Creswell,” she said. 


Jeri Hutchinson

Jeri Hutchinson said her appreciation for the community inspired her to run for city council as a way to “do (her) part to keep Creswell great.”

Hutchinson is a Thurston High School alumna, attended Lane Community College for criminal justice, and is employed at International paper. She does not have relevant prior government experience.

She said that running for city council is “my way to give back to the community and make it even better. I want to be your voice and represent your views.” As a parent to three grown children, Hutchinson notes the importance of living in a safe community and wants to “help develop the future of our community and support the vision that you have for the future of your family,” Hutchinson said. 


JoRell Medina

JoRell “Joe” Medina said the sense of community that exists is Creswell is what led him to run for city council.

Medina said he and his family “love our small-town atmosphere and conversations with friendly strangers.” 

He is the owner of a pest control company, and attended Yolo High School. He does not have prior relevant government experience. 

“In these tumultuous times I want to help preserve our small-town values and to be a helping hand in the community,” Medina said. “This town has given so much to my family and I that I want to do my part to give back.”


Normajean Osborn

Normajean Osborn said her involvement in the Park and Tree Advisory Committee is what sparked her interest in running for city council. 

She said that when she moved to Creswell a few years ago, she sought an interest that would benefit both Creswell and herself. 

After speaking with councilor Martha McReynolds Jr. and city manager Michelle Amberg about how to get involved, she looked into the Park and Tree Advisory Committee. 

“I went to the next meeting and I realized that it was indeed a place I could get my feet wet and make a difference in my community. I joined it the very next meeting,” she said. 

“I enjoyed helping plan the Arbor Day celebrations at Cobalt Activity Center,” Hutchinson said. “I believe that I had a good part in how successful the event turned out to be because I went into talk to the fourth-grade classes about the coloring contest that I helped to plan after proposing it to the community.”

She said city council is her next step to “possibly do more for my community. I want to make sure that I can represent the interests and needs of our wonderful little town.”



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