Sherwood candidates address issues
Council candidates will speak at a forum Oct. 12 at Rebekah Hall
Voters in Sherwood might be forgiven if they mistake the 2006 voters' guide for a catalogue.
There are 11 ballot initiatives, a gubernatorial race, state house and senate races and five local bond measures (see page eight) that cover such crucial items as schools, open space and public safety.
There are also three contested council seats, and the winners will likely be key players in crafting legislation and making decisions that will shape Sherwood for decades to come. Within the next few years, critical decisions will be made on infrastructure, with the I-5 connector; the future of Old Town, with the redevelopment of the cannery; and the pattern of growth, as the city expands into outlying areas south and east.
The council races pit incumbents Dennis Durrell and Dave Heironimus for Seat One, Irene Baker against incumbent Dave Grant for Seat Two, and Michele Howard and Lee Weislogel for Seat Three. The seats do not represent geographic regions.
The Sherwood Heritage Center is inviting candidates to a Q and A session October 12 at Rebekah Hall. Candidates already introduced themselves during a September Sherwood Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
Following are the answers to a brief questionnaire that each candidate supplied to the Gazette. Candidates were allowed 150 words to answer the two issue questions. The first question is: During township interviews, local businesses revealed two key problems with doing business in Sherwood: traffic and the lack of a skilled laborers. If elected, how would you approach those issues? The second questions is: Aside from the above issues, name one or two other topics you consider to be of vital importance to the town, and how you plan to address those issues if elected.
Dennis M. Durrell
Date of Birth: July 15, 1971
Education: BS - Finance, PSU 1994; Gresham High School, 1989
Occupation/Qualifications: Project Manager, Kinetic Systems Inc, 1995-2006; Commercial Pilot, 1992-1995; City Councilor, Sherwood, 2000-2004; Council President, Sherwood, 2005-2006; Council Liaison to Budget, Library, and SURPAC Committees (various dates).
Who/What is your favorite band/singer? Jeremy Camp (Christian Rock Artist)
Question 1: Over the last six years I have demonstrated my commitment to improving our transportation infrastructure. In addition to new and improved roads, we now have a transportation system plan in place that will both guide our priorities and serve as a basis for determining funding sources. While good for connectivity inside Sherwood, this alone will not elevate the business climate. What we need is a regional solution - such as the Hwy 99 / I-5 connector - that will allow commerce to efficiently flow to and from Sherwood. To facilitate that solution, I will continue my support of the cooperation between Sherwood staff and our partners at ODOT and the State Legislature. We really must get this road built!
Improving the base of skilled workers is a tough project for a city the size of Sherwood. We know from our business survey the specific skill sets needed; we now will work with nearby schools and colleges to incorporate these needs into their curriculum.
Question 2: I have been part of six budget cycles and with the passing of each year we find a greater divide between General Fund revenue and the cost of operations. I certainly support the 3% appreciation cap the voter's asked for in 1997 with the passing of Measure 50. This, however, puts cities into a squeeze when the rate of cost increases - primarily driven by PERS and health insurance increases - outpace revenue increases 2:1. In the coming years we will either need to (a) find a secondary funding source or (b) look at ways of trimming service levels. I will continue to work toward increasing efficiencies; however, it will require experience and creative thinking to find a win-win solution.
Other top priorities include the redevelopment of the Cannery property and lessening the impact of growth into the expanded UGB. In addition, I plan to focus on improvements to our parks, active recreation fields, bike paths, and trail systems.
Date of Birth: September 1967
Education: B.S. Finance from University of Oregon
Occupation: Small Business owner (insurance agency) - old town Sherwood
Qualifications: Sherwood City Councilor Jan 2001 - present; Past President - Sherwood Chamber of Commerce; Original Chairperson - Sherwood YMCA Board of Managers; Married - father of two (one in Sherwood schools)
Who/What is your favorite band/singer? U2
Question 1: Lobby Washington County (Tualatin Sherwood Rd) and ODOT (Hwy 99w) that control our regional traffic problem harder and demand some solutions to these areas. It is imperative that the council seek greater community input on the proposed I-5 / 99w connector road to advise the other agencies involved on what solution is best for Sherwood, instead of sitting back and letting other jurisdictions decide our fate.
For skilled labor, the city needs to solicit a diverse mix of companies to move here to increase the skilled labor base. We need to protect commercial/industrial lands for family wage employers and not give it away to developers that want to put in more high density housing. My opponent, Mr. Durrell, voted for the Woodhaven Crossing condos, which 'gave away' jobs producing land (office commercial zoning) for high density residential condos, which added dozens of unexpected kids to our already overcrowded classrooms.
Question 2: Water: While the city rushed to the Willamette for drinking water, the other surrounding jurisdictions all signed 10 year extensions with Portland for Bull Run water with nominal rate increases. My opponent (Durrell) voted for one of the largest water rate increases in Sherwood history with NO plan in place ( I voted no). We need to approach others and/or Portland to see if we can obtain a 10 year extension as well to give us time to plan for Sherwood's long term water supply without burdening the citizens with significant rate increases in the coming few years.
• Expand/improve the parks and recreation opportunities in Sherwood for kids/families, including finishing Woodhaven Park. Create more open space/trails and add a dog park.
• Fully fund the Sherwood Senior Center and Library; expand the Cultural Arts.
• Continue to partner with the schools
• For more info, visit www.dave4council.com
Irene A. Baker
Date of Birth: April 24, 1944
Education: Soda Springs High School - Extension Classes - Marylhurst College
Occupation/Qualifications: Retired - Tektronix-Xerox - 26 years; Community Volunteer;
Member of: Historical Society, YMCA, Tualatin River National Refuge, and Oasis through which I have tutored at Archer Glen Schools for the last three years.
Who/What is your favorite band/singer? Willie Nelson
Question 1: As far as the traffic is concerned, we have to deal with the hand that we have been dealt. The changes to Ash Street will alleviate some of the problems but it is not going to be the fix-all we are looking for. Nor is the I-5 connector. I believe relief from it will not be seen for 5-10 years minimum. In the meantime, we have new streets in Old Town which are a disaster and that are heavily traveled. We need to get a traffic plan in place that slows people down. Part of the solution may be one way streets. We also need to consider parking on only one side of some of the streets.
The second issue regarding the lack of skilled labor, I don't understand. I see the problem being the lack of jobs for the skilled labor that we do have. I see residents commuting to surrounding towns to go to work every day. If the jobs were here, I believe we have the skilled labor to fill those jobs.
Question 2: How we develop the cannery property is very important. We need to pay close attention to the ratio between commercial and residential business. We need more businesses and service oriented business that will add to the charm of Old Town. The winery train would be a very positive addition to our city.
Secondly, future development has got to have the infrastructure to support it and we must pay attention to the long-term affect. We need to bring in more low-impact industry and businesses that support the citizens so we do not become a "bedroom community" and it does not become to expensive to live here.
Date of Birth: 1/6/1960
Education: BS, Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University
Occupation/Qualifications: Small Business Owner: Industrial Sales Company (Sales agency for food and chemical processing equipment), Sherwood Dance Academy. Both in Sherwood. Sherwood Chamber of Commerce Member.
Who/What is your favorite band/singer? U2
Question 1: Relieving traffic is a big concern to everyone in Sherwood. First, we need to put the Adams Street connection on a fast track forming a direct link from Oregon Street near the Fire Station to Tualatin Sherwood Road near Target. Next we need to work with regional partners to keep the 99 Connector project going and make sure a location is found for it that minimizes the impact on existing home owners.
Making Sherwood a home for skilled workers starts with creating affordable housing options for those who are working their way up. We have shown that it can be done without just throwing up a sea of apartments. Recently, town home and small lot developments have been added on property that, with current zoning, would have otherwise been apartments. We should continue that trend which provides home ownership and the density that Metro requires.
Question 2: Expanding and improving our parks has been and will continue to be important to families in Sherwood. We need to start with restrooms particularly at Stella Olsen Park, home of Music on the Green. Walking trails and other passive use type features are also needed and people are telling us that they will use them. And of course anyone with kids will tell you that kids are asking for a skate park. These do not have to be big budget items. We can work within our means to satisfy the many needs that we have. It is nothing less than our obligation.
Date of Birth: January 22, 1973
Occupation/Qualifications: Co-President Moms Club Sherwood East, member since 2002; Cub Scout Den Leader, 2004 - 2006; parent volunteer Middleton Elementary since 2003
Who/What is your favorite band/singer? Bon Jovi
Question 1: We should follow thru with the Wayfinding project and pursue the possibility of making Adams street a through street to ease up congestion and help flow. Additionally, there may be opportunities to partner with the county regarding the traffic light system between Tualatin Sherwood Road and Hwy 99. For example, lengthening the light time in certain directions could help with traffic flow.
I believe that we already have skilled laborers in our community. Unfortunately, they currently travel outside of the Sherwood for work to reach larger employers. We need to complete and implement the economic development strategy currently under review and then work hard to attract larger companies to our community. Part of our growth plan must include land devoted for commercial development with respect to the maintenance of the lifestyle we enjoy here.
Question 2: First, with so many families in Sherwood, we need more opportunities for not only sports, but cultural arts and activities. Establishing a Parks and Recreation Department would help Sherwood address these needs in an organized fashion and allow for future, well planned investments in our community.
Second, careful and purposeful planning should be devoted to the development of the Cannery sight in Old Town. Ensuring a good balance of residential and commercial space will bring additional revenue to existing downtown business owners without adding additional stress on traffic flow. This site has potential to add additional foot traffic to the area and provide unique / destination shopping for visitors and those of us living in Sherwood.
Lee D. Weislogel
Date of Birth: 10/2/37
Education: BS Iowa State University, MS University of Washington
Vice President, PacifiCorp/Pacific Power and Light; Sherwood - Planning Commission, City Council, Present Chair of Sherwood Urban Renewal Planning Advisory Committee (SURPAC), Public Works Director, Interim City Manager; Tualatin Basin Policy Steering Committee; Parks Advisory Board Administration; Cooperative Public Agencies of Washington County (CPAWC); Regional Water Providers (RWP) Consortium; Raindrops to Refuge (R2R); Chamber of Commerce; Tualatin Valley Water District - Special Projects Coordinator; U.S. Naval Officer.
Youth leader for 20 years, Little League coach, YMCA coach, volunteer counselor and Board Chair of an international non-profit organization, and present Charter School Board Chair, and present Chair of Church Elders.
Who/What is your favorite band/singer: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
a. Traffic - Complete the Adams Avenue gateway to Old Town and advance the I-5 Connector. Implement the city Transportation System Plan. Be more creative in solving the basic transportation problem: additional jobs in Sherwood, flexible work hours, workday off, job sharing, public transportation, car pooling, telecommuting, and video conferencing.
b. Lack of skilled laborers - Talk further with Sherwood employers, meet with community colleges, and review existing technical and apprenticeship programs. Obtain proposals and work jointly with the employers. Coordinate efforts with the Industry Associations, the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, the Portland Regional Partners for Business, the Oregon Economic Community Development Department, surrounding communities, and agencies. Establish classes to be offered locally. Explore a possible technical school for Sherwood in the future.
Question 2: Important topics
a. Parks -The Park Master Plan needs to be implemented, Complete Woodhaven Park with bathrooms (same for Stella Olsen). Park maintenance staff needs support and ongoing recognition. Equipment needs should be evaluated to explore further efficiencies. Since Park System Development Charges (SDC's) are only for capital projects, regular maintenance must be funded elsewhere. Economic Development can help as discussed in the following paragraph.
b. Economic Development and City Services - Economic Development is not just 'bringing in new businesses and helping existing ones.' SURPAC, in the Economic Development Plan, is laying the foundation for future family wage jobs in Sherwood --- so people can live and work here. The extra benefit is that healthy businesses pay taxes to the city. This pays for park maintenance and for the growing city services that residents expect. It's hard to fly the plane without fuel in the tank.