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This falls King City City Council candidates profiled

Five are on the ballot with only four positions available
by: Bob Schoenberg, Ron Shay

This fall's ballot includes five residents of King City who are asking voters to elect them to serve on the King City City Council.

Two running for office are veterans of the election process, incumbents Ron Shay and Jim Gates, one, Brenda Wilkinson, was appointed to the Council just this year and is hoping to get the approval of the voters to serve a full term, and two, David Newham and Charles Greenough, are newcomers to the election process and to civic duty.

Probably the major issue for this next group of councilors elected this fall is to consider who will replace current city manager Jane Turner when she retires next year. It is a heavy responsibility to pick the manager, as the right one can see that the city moves smoothly through its day to day business and the wrong one can cause all sorts of problems that can take years to get straightened out.

The following is the result of conversations with the candidates.

Ron Shay

Shay began his service with King City government when he was on the budget committee in the 1990s. At that time the committee was looking at contracting with Washington County Sheriff's Office for police services. The committee concluded to keep and grow a home grown police force rather than contract it out.

'Some people thought (the Sheriff's contract) would be the best thing since sliced bread, but when the final figures came in it didn't pencil out,' said Shay.

Shay, before retiring for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department and served on the State Game Commission, considers his work there a good training ground for working on a city council.

'Some understood that it was a commission we were on. The council is like a commission, in that we should stick to policy decisions and not meddle with staff.'

He said his frustrations with council business was similar to what he experienced on the Game Commission, that people with a single agenda, 'people interested in only their own problem regardless,' were hardest to deal with, he said.

Shay finds that most of King City's controversial problems are misinformation, and that one of the jobs of the council is to get out the facts as best as possible to the citizens. Part of the job of the council, he said, is to help solve the controversy. Shay, the current president of the council and is replacing Chuck Faes who has resigned from the council, is said to be on the top of the list to become mayor in January.

The council's first order of business, after swearing in the new councilors, is to choose a mayor from among them.

'I'll be it if they want me too,' is all Shay would say the mayoral position.

David Newham

David Newham served on his job as a steamfitter for 30 years and was in charge of committees dealing with work related issues as well as organizing constructing projects and coordinating the different trades involved among other things.

'I've just spent two years now organizing our 40th high school reunion this summer. That was a huge job,' he said. 'I'm not afraid to take on that sort of responsibility.'

Newham is a neighbor with two current city councilors, Ray Robinson and Dick Winn, both of whom have talked to him about serving as a councilor.

'Talking with them I felt the civic responsibility to do something for the organization that governs, kind of like doing jury duty, it's your responsibility.'

Jim Gates

Jim Gates has been on the City Council for two years and served an appointment to the council for nine months previous, a common road to getting elected to office.

A friend of his was sitting on the Hillsboro City Council and would talk to him about the process of working on a council and what was expected. It was enough to drive him to seeking out service for the community.

'He gave me the inspiration to check into (being on a city council).'

He said that his idea of the job is to be an advocate for the people and to represent them, to be a good listener and to understand what they want for change but then to also determine what the council can do for the city.

'To take care of things that they might not be aware of, like take care of the roads.'

Looking at the job of being a city councilor he said that it entails looking at a lot of contracts and bids on projects that need to be reviewed before approval.

'That is where you have to look out for the city as far as assuring contracts are well written and clear and to see that there are no disparities on both sides, that it is done right.'

He said that after 25 years at Intel managing budgets and adhering to budgets, looking for opportunities for cost savings and potential revenues are skills he possesses.

'I would bring that to (King City) and hopefully offer value,' he said.

Brenda Wilkinson

Wilkinson was appointed to the City Council over the summer to serve out the term of Nancy Duthie who resigned in the spring. It is the first time she has served on a city council, although her husband Bud Wilkinson has been involved with the city's business and has served on the budget committee as well as mayor for one term.

Since retiring as a medical technician Wilkinson has worked on Lions Club activities and served on some of their committees as well as being the treasure of the local Lions Club. She foresees that there will be some important decisions to be made as King City grows.

'Change is going to happen, there is no doubt about it,' she said and is looking forward to the challenge.

'It is kind of a learning curve here. I don't think it is beyond my abilities to do it. King City is a small city but we have to careful with how we deal with things.'

Charles Greenough

Charles Greenough motivation for running for a city position on the council is that he has been listening to the concerns of his neighbors and heard some of the issues they have been talking about concerning King City and he thought he might be able to do something about it.

This is his first time running for a position and he has not served on any committees connected with running a city.

'I just thought that maybe a fresh face and fresh ideas might help.'

He did come to the realization while gathering signatures from registered voters to get his name on the ballot, that there are a lot of hot button issues in King City, that people want something done about them, but they just aren't sure what needs to be done.

'I was surprised when I was gathering the signatures how many people wanted to talk about the problems already. They didn't want to just sign the slip, they wanted to tell me what they were interested in and what they thought the problems were and it was surprising to me how much of an earful I got on that,' he said.

He said the ones he was talking to were concerned about road repairs and stop signs. 'A lot of road repair issues.'

However, he said, 'if you are going to complain about it then a person needs to get in there and do something,' like run for city council, which is just what he did.

'I hear a lot of people complaining but not doing anything about it. I think I can get in and see if there are some solutions.'