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Sherwood mayor's race gears up

Former Sherwood Police Chief Bill Middleton challenges incumbent Mayor Keith Mays


This year’s Nov. 6 mayoral election features incumbent Mayor Keith Mays and former Sherwood Police Chief Bill Middleton. The Times asked both candidates were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses appear below.

KEITH MAYS

Keith Mays

Age: 43

Current occupation:

Partner in two companies, Electronic Wood Systems and Forest Industry Supply

Past experience:

Sherwood YMCA Board of Managers (past 12 years), Columbia-Willamette YMCA Board of Trustees (past eight years), Sherwood Elks Lodge (past six years), Sherwood Rotary (past 12 years); Sherwood Chamber of Commerce (past 12 years); volunteer during annual Onion Festival, Rotary Tree sale and other regular school and community events (past 12 years).

Government Service:

Sherwood mayor, 2005 to present; Sherwood City Council president, 2001-2005; Budget Committee member, 2001 to present; Urban Renewal Board, 2001 to present; Sherwood Planning Commission, 1998-2001; Washington County Coordinating Committee(WCCC), 2003 to present, Vice Chair WCCC, 2009 to present; Metro Planning Advisory Committee representative for Washington County cities, 2009 to present; co-founder of Regional Mayors group; Greater Portland Inc. board member since 2011; Willamette River Water Coalition board chairman from 2003 to 2005, board member from 2001 to 2006; Local Officials Advisory Committee to Land Conservation and Development Commission, 2011 to present; 2012 president Oregon Mayors Association and association director or officer since 2008 (also representative on the League of Oregon Cities for association board, 2011 to present); Transportation Committee, 2007 to present; Community Development Committee, 2012 to present; active member of Westside Economic Alliance, 2006 to present.

How long have you lived in Sherwood?

16 years

Why are you running?

Sherwood is a great city and a destination community for families, and I want to continue working to keep it that way and do what I can to make it even better. During the recession, our community was hit hard, but families and businesses have worked to adapt to economic challenges and keep Sherwood great. The city proactively adapted to changing times while maintaining service levels (police, library), investing in our community assets (roads, parks, water, sidewalks, etc.), and improving how the city operates.

What do you like best about Sherwood?

Sherwood is a beautiful small city, very much on an island between a big metro area and wonderful rolling hills, farmland, rivers and mother nature. Sherwood is where families want to live, to raise their kids in great schools and in safe neighborhoods. It’s here that people know and look out for their neighbors and regularly volunteer with schools, arts, sports, scouts, church, etc. In Sherwood, we invest in ourselves and in our neighbors.

What do you see as the top two issues facing the city and how would you address them?

1) Economic Development: The city is finishing a multi-year effort to remove government red tape, remove barriers and provide more “certainty” to companies. Sherwood is “open for business.” I’ve supported the creation/expansion of local (Chamber of Commerce and Main Street) and regional (Greater Portland Inc.) economic development groups. In addition, the city has secured over $45 million in external funds for road improvements since 2010 to improve safety and reduce congestion.We’ve also attracted 150-plus, family-wage industrial jobs to town in 2012.

2) Sherwood’s Kids: Regularly expanded school partnership — which put more dollars in classrooms. We now have a highly trained, active, visible and accredited police force that has a functioning multi-agency emergency response plan. Repaired and built new sidewalks to improve safety and secured $5.1 million federal funds to expand city trails/sidewalks starting in 2013-14.

Are there attributes or skills you possess that you believe make you more qualified to serve than your opponent?

Patient, approachable, transparent and a good listener. I have an understanding of Oregon’s land-use laws and an understanding of local and regional water and wastewater systems. Also, I understand Sherwood’s and regional transportation system plans along with maintenance requirements. I’ve had a record success securing external funding for roads/trails/sidewalks to benefit Sherwood families and businesses. Also, I have strong, proven working relationships with regional cities, county and metro elected officials as well as the city’s community partners — the Sherwood School Board, Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, Sherwood Main Street, YMCA, Sherwood Rotary, community nonprofits, Greater Portland Inc., TVF&R, Washington County sheriff. In 2012, I was recognized as 2012 Citizen of the Year by the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce.

BILL MIDDLETON

Age: 62

Bill Middleton

Current occupation:

Retired police chief (Sherwood Police Department, 12 years); retired detachment commander, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Detachment. Law enforcement: 36 years with over 20 years as a chief of police. U.S. Army: 37 years reserve and active duty with last five years as detachment commander of protective services, major crimes and investigations, working in conjunction with CIA, FBI, NCIS and OSI. Commanded troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Past experience:

20-year Rotary member; past president Sherwood Rotary (Morning Club); member Sherwood Old Town Rotary; 25-year member Elks Club; 10 years American Legion (life member); 10 years Veterans of Foreign Wars (life member); 10 years YMCA Board police representative; 10 years past member Sherwood Chamber; Sherwood Masonic Lodge (life member); four-year member Veterans Motorcycle Club; former member Police Activities League; and 30-year member International Chiefs of Police Association (life member).

How long have you lived in Sherwood?

17 years

Why are you running?

I was encouraged to run by numerous residents and members of the business community who are concerned with spending and lack of transparency. I am running to improve our citizens’ involvement in such important tasks as setting water rates and reviewing expenditures. I also want to continue to have the best schools possible for our kids by continuing such programs as the Community Resource Officer. We must also encourage smart growth, not just growth for developer’s profits. Streamlining the process for new and expanding businesses to locate here along with reducing excessive fees or eliminating unnecessary ones are priorities.

What do you like best about Sherwood?

The people! I have met so many wonderful people over the years. Sherwood is so friendly and such a wonderful town to raise a family; I feel lucky to live here. I would like to do more though, so I am running for mayor. It is my goal to walk to every home and talk to as many residents as possible. I have been to over 1,400 homes so far and have heard what our residents feel is important and what they want to see changed. It’s a wonderful experience. If I miss them, I also invite them to call me at 503-822-5121.

What do you see as the top two issues facing the city and how would you address them?

Living within current resources and assuring a financially sound future. These two undertakings are exactly what every family must achieve, and it is no different for a city that must live within its means while planning for its future. Providing services and maintaining infrastructure are a city’s responsibility, and it must accomplish these by making sure that the burden is fairly distributed. Having development share the burden along with equitably distributing the costs of water, sewer, storm, transportation and parks is key to Sherwood’s fiscal future.

Are there attributes or skills you possess that you believe make you more qualified to serve than your opponent?

I have the desire, the skills and the public service ethic. I served our country abroad and at home for nearly four decades. As Sherwood police chief, and more recently walking the neighborhoods, I have heard what our residents and businesses want for Sherwood. With my master’s degrees in business management and law enforcement administration and my extensive municipal experience, I feel strongly that I can help Sherwood tackle some of its biggest issues, including infrastructure maintenance and financial security. I would also invite more public participation and help the city be more responsive, transparent and accountable. My wife and I are funding the entire campaign ourselves.