First and foremost, I’ll use a few of my allotted words to thank The Chronicle for its coverage of our candidates. The hard work, time, and money that goes into compiling this valuable information for our voters has not gone unappreciated!
It is with a sense of irony that this column is called a “viewpoint.” Because it is of views that I wish to speak of (literal and figurative). In this mayoral race, you have two extremely talented and qualified candidates to choose from. We share many of the same values, and we both want what is best for our community. Regardless of the outcome in November, the winners will be the people of Creswell – because either way you will have a mayor that cares for the well-being of our residents, workers, and visitors. And that’s a big win.
Experience and leadership style then become focal for those making their voting decision. While I can’t speak for my challenger, I can share mine. My journey into local activism began in 2010 when Beltline Rd. in Eugene was to be renamed for a recently passed transportation commissioner. The name would also change to Beltway, ignoring the historical importance. At that time, the economy was in the tank and the state seemed fine spending half a million dollars on replacing 57 signs along the stretch. A vanity renaming of a highway seemed like the worst use of funds at that time. Along with a few friends, we started a movement opposing the renaming and built a following of 10,000 on Facebook.
The compromise we reached kept Beltline in the name, and only two small signs at each end of the highway would be installed. The rest of the signs would only be replaced after reaching their normal replacement cycle. That was a big win for taxpayers, but we had to fight tenaciously for it. From that, we spawned several efforts to promote responsible government in Lane County and an online hyper-local, unbiased newspaper that was later to become the now ever-popular “Lane County Mugshots,” the largest Facebook group in Lane County. We began working with local law enforcement to help solve crime, find wanted suspects and criminals, and to help find missing people, pets, and property. Recently during the fires, we became a go-to source for current and reliable information for thousands in Lane County.
During working hours, I manage the portfolio of Information Technology projects and service requests for two city departments in Eugene while supervising five employees in a department of 50. During my 18-plus years of public service, I’ve helped create public and staff-only websites, and an online payment system that collected millions in revenue. I’ve gained a strong understanding of how cities work to deliver services to citizens and what things can apply to our smaller town, which seeks to maintain its uniqueness from the larger cities. Before that, I worked for what was then one of the top-five software companies in the world, Symantec Corporation (for five years). It is within these frameworks that I learned to value the customer above all else and the important soft skills necessary to facilitate conversations and work with difficult people.
In addition to local activism and my council role, I serve or have served on the Water Rate Advisory, Budget, Public Safety, and Transportation & Public Works committees (chair). I also began attending monthly Coffee with a Cop meetings and helped form our newly rebooted neighborhood watch program (now at 900-plus qualified Facebook members, plus many others).
Through all of this, I have established and built relationships throughout the county including law enforcement, elected leadership, and other public workers from all walks of life. I reach out to them when I need to fill knowledge gaps that help me make important decisions. I also work hard to engage with members of the community where they are at (in person, on the phone, text, email … whatever it takes. I will make the time.
All of this has given me what I like to call the “60,000-foot view” of things. That’s way up there, but that’s the kind of view that only comes with training and experience like mine.
Leaders can ill-afford to make decisions or demand council actions based on initial reactions. They must consider all evidence and points of view to make informed decisions. This often requires patience, time, asking the right questions, and seeking out the opinions of others. It requires a thoughtful and measured approach. Whether it is an equity resolution or determining the fate of a public servant for conduct, it is important to have that 60,000-foot view.
With this, I hope to have earned your vote in November. Thank you.
Creswell mayor race – click here
Creswell City Council race – click here
Cottage Grove mayor race – click here
Cottage Grove City Council race – click here
Springfield City Council race – click here
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