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Fairview mayor, council candidates run unopposed

Larry Cooper

Age: 64.

Family: Wife, Loretta; four children ages 32 to 38; and four grandchildren.

Career: Owns Quality Diesel Parts, a small business that sells diesel engines and tractor parts. He previously worked for Cooper Tractor and Equipment.

Hobbies, interests: Traveling and fishing.

Years in Fairview: Seven years, 35 in East County.

Activities and committees: Fairview City Council, appointed Jan. 2004 and served until Dec. 2004, reappointed in Oct. 2005; Fairview Budget Committee; Fairview Economic Development Committee; Multnomah County Drainage District No. 1 Board of Supervisors, 1991 to present, also served as president; Special districts representative for Multnomah County to Metro's Policy Advisory Committee; and Metro Councilor, 1984-88.

FAIRVIEW - Councilor Larry Cooper, who was appointed to his current seat, position 6, in Oct. 2005, is up for election in November. He is running unopposed.

'I think there are some interesting things coming up that I want to be part of,' Cooper said.

Cooper is concerned about the casino and entertainment center that are proposed for the former Multnomah Greyhound Park site.

Although he is not personally against gambling, Cooper said he is concerned about the effect the proposed development would have on Fairview, which he believes will take the brunt of the impact.

Cooper also dislikes the way the proceeds from the casino will be distributed, as one plan calls for a greater share to be paid to the city of Portland, even though the casino's impact to Portland residents will be minimal, he said.

'They're just trying to buy votes,' he said, adding that he has heard from a number of Fairview citizens who dislike the idea of having a casino in the area.

Cooper is also concerned about the Portland Housing Authority's decision to change the income requirements on several housing units, forcing a number of people to move farther east in search of shelter.

'I think the city of Portland has done an injustice to East County,' he said.

The idea that the cities of Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village, which contract with Gresham for fire and emergency services, start their own fire department is also disturbing to Cooper.

'The three cities have no business being in the fire business,' Cooper said. 'To me it does not make any sense when you start talking about the millions and millions of dollars it would take.'

Cooper believes it is important to get input from the citizens on this and other important issues.

'I would like to see if we can do a lot better job getting our citizens more involved in government,' Cooper said.

Although he is not quite sure how to go about that, Cooper said that in the past it has been quite informative and successful to have members of the council talk with various neighborhood groups at their meetings.

The city's funding also needs to be a priority, Cooper said, adding that he would like to pursue a public safety bond.

Another way to perhaps decrease costs is to consolidate some of the services the three small cities - Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village - offer.

'Personally, I think consolidation makes a lot of sense,' Cooper said.

Although there may be some conflicts over who is in charge, he believes that perhaps combining the three city's police or public works departments could be easily combined with an intergovernmental agreement.

'It could mean a substantial cost savings,' Cooper said. 'Government is getting too expensive for the three small cities to try to do it all separately.'

Cooper would also like to see continued economic development growth in the Townsend Business Park.

Lisa Barton Mullins

Age: 49.

Family: Husband, Bruce; four daughters, ages 28, 26, 20 and 18; and two grandchildren.

Career: Retired. She has a background in general business accounting and owned Barton and Mullins Coffee Company, which she operated at the Gresham and Beaverton Farmer's Markets.

Years in Fairview: Five years.

Hobbies, interests: Walking the trails in Fairview.

Activities and committees: Fairview Budget Committee, 2006-07 fiscal year; Fairview Council/Citizen Alliance Committee; and Gresham City Council, two years. As part of the Gresham City Council, she was also appointed to the Metro Future Vision Commission, Bi-State Policy Advisory Council; Gresham Sister City Committee; and Gresham 20/20 Future Vision Committee. She also has served on the board of the Fairview Windstorm Park Homeowners Association; helped start the Gresham Farmers' Market and served as president shortly after its inception; volunteered with Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre; and led Gresham sister city visits to Japan and South Korea.

FAIRVIEW - Lisa Barton Mullins, a member of the city's budget committee is running unopposed for position 5 in the Nov. 7 election.

'I have been trying to get back into politics ever since I left Gresham, and there are several issues I am interested in right now,' Barton Mullins said.

Specifically, she is concerned about the railroad underpass in need of repair, the proposed Wood Village casino and the city's finances.

Barton Mullins believes it is important to get the 223rd Avenue underpass-widening project back on track. The project, which has been in the works for a number of years to help improve the safety of the road and make it more accessible for large vehicles, was stalled earlier this year over concerns about disruptions to the Union Pacific Railroad's service.

The proposed entertainment center and casino that two Lake Oswego businessmen hope to build at the former Multnomah Greyhound Park site is also a big concern for Barton Mullins.

'I want to be part of the group that thwarts the casino across the street,' Barton Mullins said. 'I want to do as much as I can to make sure that casino doesn't happen.

As is the case in most local jurisdictions, the city's finances are also of concern.

'I am very impressed with (Finance Director) Laura Zentner and her ability to save us money, and how much money she has saved in the last couple of years.

However, the city's costs will still continue to rise in some areas.

'We'll just have to get creative,' Barton Mullins said.

Barton Mullins is also concerned that Fairview officials make smart decisions about the types of developments that are approved, as there is a limited amount of land available within city limits.

In addition, Barton Mullins said she would like to eliminate what she sees as tension between some council members.

She would like to see the council move forward in the selection of a new city administrator.

'The council doesn't have a lot of day-to-day say on the management of the city, so they need to trust the managers that are there to do their job,' Barton Mullins said.

Although there has been some talk of consolidation of the three small cities - Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village - the idea has its critics.

Barton Mullins does not favor the merging of the cities or the combining of services, because there would be too many problems to work through.

'I think the three cities have developed their own identities, and those identities are really strong now,' she said.

Steve Owen

Age: 49.

Family: Wife, Tarrie; and sons, Matthew, 23, and Rylan 21.

Career: Senior director of media publications for ADP (Automatic Data Processing) Dealers Services. He has been with the company for almost 30 years.

Hobbies, interests: Water sports, riding motorcycles and skydiving.

Years in Fairview: 10.

Activities and committees: Fairview City Council, since 1997; council president, since 1999; and Fairview Budget Committee, since 1997. He formerly served on a solid waste advisory committee; a fire advisory committee representing Fairview; and the Portland Airport Citizen Noise Advisory Committee. In the past, he also was involved with Boy Scouts of America and was cubmaster of Pack 651 and assistant scoutmaster for Fairview Troop 588.

FAIRVIEW - Attracting and retaining quality candidates to fill the city's top positions and keeping the city on budget are among Council President Steve Owen's chief concerns as he runs unopposed for position 4.

One of the biggest challenges facing Fairview is filling the city administrator's seat with a solid candidate, Owen said. The city's former administrator, Jan Wellman, resigned in July because of communication and stylistic differences with the council and other city staff members.

For Owen, another major issue is the 223rd Avenue underpass-widening project that has been postponed numerous times. The project is vital to the development of the Townsend Business Park industrial area, he said.

The council also will need to keep a close eye on Fairview's budget, Owen said, adding that it was only through a lot of hard work by the City Council and staff that has kept the projected 'financial train wreck' at bay thus far.

Because of the rising costs all the East County cities are facing, Owen believes Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village should think about consolidating some services.

'Everyone is tight for money,' he said. 'I hope we could at least come to the table and have a discussion.'

Although he is neither for nor against the proposed Wood Village casino, Owen said he is concerned about possible impacts such a development would have on Fairview, and believes the city should weigh the possible effects.

Regardless of whether the proposed entertainment center is built, public safety is a priority for Owen.

'We need to continue to figure out ways to add additional officers as the budget will allow,' Owen said, adding that he would like to see the city's ratio of officers to residents increase.

Owen would also like to see the Fairview Community Center, which has been undergoing a remodel, up and running.

Rather than touting his accomplishments as a reason to vote for him in the Nov. 7, election, Owen said, 'the reality is nobody on the City Council can really do anything without acting like a team.'

Mike Weatherby

Age: 64.

Family: Wife, Jeanette; and sons, Brian, 32, and Erik, 26.

Career: Officially retired in 1999 but teaches one or two classes each quarter at Mt. Hood Community College. He worked in criminal justice for 34 years, most of which he spent as a corrections hearings officer for Multnomah County. Since 1974, he has taught psychology of human relations and criminal justice administration classes at Mt. Hood and Portland community colleges part time.

Hobbies, interests: Traveling and collecting Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorabilia.

Years in Fairview: 13. He has been in East County since 1972.

Activities and committees: Fairview mayor, four years; Fairview City Councilor, 2 years; Fairview Planning Commission, six months; Rockwood Water District Board; Reynolds School District Board, 3 terms; and Oregon State Parole Board.

FAIRVIEW - Mayor Mike Weatherby, who has been vocal in his opposition to a proposed Wood Village casino, is running unopposed for a second term as mayor.

Some of the biggest issues facing Fairview are the potential casino, which could have major impacts on the area, and the 223rd Avenue railroad underpass-widening project that has been postponed a number of times, Weatherby said.

'Those are the ones that are going to have a long-term, major impact,' Weatherby said.

The additional traffic the proposed casino could generate and the draw on Fairview's resources are of particular concern to Weatherby.

The widening of the 223rd Avenue underpass and the connected intersection improvements at 223rd and Sandy Boulevard need to move forward, he said.

'With the underpass, it's really a matter of perseverance,' Weatherby said, adding his biggest concern is that the cost will continue to increase if the project is continually stalled because of concerns about disrupting the railroad's service.

If he is re-elected, Weatherby said he also would like to address the proposal by some area leaders that Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village form their own fire department.

The three cities signed a 10-year service contract with Gresham Fire and Emergency Services in 2005.

'I think people are really happy with Gresham Fire,' Weatherby said, but not everyone agrees.

Reporter Erin Shea can be reached by calling 503-492-5118, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .