City & Government

Q&A: Creswell mayor candidates share motivations, ambition

Editor’s note: In the upcoming weeks, The Chronicle will offer each candidate the opportunity to write a guest column in addition to answering a Q&A. Election coverage will be published throughout October and in early November.

Creswell mayor incumbent Dave Stram faces competition at the November polls, with former city councilor Jane Vincent also vying for the position. The Chronicle posed questions to both candidates.


With differing opinions on a council – especially in the face of today’s political climate – how do you build consensus and reach compromise among your council and its community?


DAVE STRAM: Different opinions are good! My role as mayor is to create a council setting where citizens are heard, questions are asked, answers are given, and respect is shown to every person in attendance. And then I encourage councilors to voice their opinions and vote their conscience. The end result is that good governance by the people and for the people takes place.  

JANE VINCENT: The best way to get the community involved with the council is to have each councilor take the time to have their own meetings with the people that voted for them. Find out their complaints and good things use this to think about how you want to vote as a councilor.

What motivated you to run for office?

STRAM: Creswell is my home and I care deeply for the people. I served previously as mayor for six years and realized that I have good leadership skills in working with a council, city manager, and responding to the expressed needs of our citizens. For our city to thrive, we need good leadership. So, I asked, “Why not me …  again?”  And here I am!

VINCENT: I believe the people that live in the city are the city and city hall works for them.  That’s why different things are taken to a vote, not just forgotten. I have seen things voted in by different councils after the people said “no.” You need to take the time to research and see if it will work for all of Creswell.

What was your biggest blunder during your time serving in your former role with the city, and what are the greatest lessons you’ve learned from it?

STRAM: As mayor, I have high expectations for city councilors.  During my first term as mayor I made a mistake in a meeting.  Afterwards the council president pulled me aside and called me on it. He was right – I had messed up. I reflected on what I had done, and apologized to the council. What did I learn? That I need to slow down and be very careful of my words and actions in the midst of tense council meetings.  

VINCENT: I lost a friend on the council because I should have voted with him; I knew he was right, and what he was trying to do was for the people. When you are a councilor, you must vote for what you personally feel is right. 

What steps would you take to put your city on a firmer financial footing?

STRAM: Each year 12 Creswell citizens form the city’s budget committee. They review the budget and then prepare and approve the next year’s budget. As a member of the city’s budget committee for the past 10 years, I’m proud to say that our city is in good financial shape.  The 12 citizens who serve as your budget representatives are very careful with your tax dollars.  

VINCENT: City hall sometimes looks at things the wrong way and the people end up paying. Sometimes one side of the bridge is favored over the other which is not fair.  All sides should work together. In order to make the city financially secure, all sections of the budget need to be researched from about 2002 to now. All areas need to be looked at. Find out how much land the city owns and what has been annexed. There are projects people have worked on as fundraisers that were never done.

What are your goals for positively impacting the city in the near term? How about in the long term?

STRAM: In the short term, my goal is to stay focused.  This year the City Council completed work on a new five-year strategic plan for Creswell. Our five-year priorities are: sustainable infrastructure, safety for all, community outreach, economic development and affordable housing. It’s easy to get side-tracked – we’ve seen that happen. My commitment is to stay focused! For the long term, my goals are Creswell roads and our wastewater system. Both are hugely important; both will cost money and take years to accomplish. We’ll get there if we are persistent and stay the course!  

VINCENT: I want to bring the truth to the people and work with them. If we work together even on projects some people don’t want us to. The people will feel they have a say. The people will be needed to keep Creswell going forward and do their part. I know a lot of the people here and I know they can do this.




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