Craig Dirksen believes having people on the council who know the issues is crucial
TIGARD - Mayor Craig Dirksen is running for re-election because 'several projects or programs that have come up while I'm in office are ongoing, and I would like to see them through,' he said.
Dirksen, who is running unopposed, said that he would like under his watch to see the city's Comprehensive Plan updated and 'get the downtown plan off the ground.'
He added, 'I want to be around to keep them on track.'
Other big issues facing Tigard are transportation and preserving open space, Dirksen said.
'Transportation has always been an issue and how we deal with that,' he explained. 'We're also trying to preserve open space - I want to work hard on that. We're moving forward with working with ODOT, which I think shows real promise.'
Dirksen also feels that establishing an I-5/99W connector route is crucial to the livability of the area, and he plans to work on that issue as well.
'Our infrastructure needs to be upgraded too,' he added.
As for the current City Council, 'I think we have a great council,' Dirksen said. 'We have not been afraid to take on confrontational issues in the last five years. It has not been so much change in direction as identifying a direction.
'We have changed policies and need to keep moving. We have support for commuter rail, urban renewal and improving our infrastructure.'
As for the incorporation of Bull Mountain on the November ballot, Dirksen said, 'I have tried to be clear that I'm in favor of that passing. Working with another city and its officials rather than citizens who don't have the authority to have meaningful discussions will make a big difference.'
Dirksen believes that having people on the Tigard City Council who are up to speed on the issues is important.
'When you step in to a new position, there is a steep learning curve,' he said. 'It's not just the issues but the processes.
'I'm really excited about the next couple years. The skate park will be built, we will update the Comprehensive Plan, and the downtown projects are starting. It will be an exciting time to be on the council.'