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Five vie for Scappoose council seats

Mayor Scott Burge running unopposed


Five residents eager to have a voice in local government are vying for three Scappoose City Council seats this November.

Incumbents Donna Gedlich and Jeff Erickson will compete with Martin “Marty” Baldwin, Barbara Hayden and Jason David Meshell to sit on the council. Council President Jeff Bernhard decided against running for reelection.

Unlike cities with set council positions, such as St. Helens, candidates in Scappoose don’t run for a specific seat on the council. That means all hopefuls compete against one another for a 4-year term.

Gedlich, former city recorder, said in a candidate statement she has been highly involved in many aspects of the city during her 42 years here, including serving as director of the county Women’s Resource Center and volunteer with the Scappoose Community Club. She said her experience as former city recorder has made it so she has an in-depth knowledge of the city’s inner workings.

Erickson, running for his second term, is an educational assistant at Scappoose High School. With his company Poolside Skateboards, Erickson also produces a number of skateboard products, including custom graphics on hand-crafted boards.

Baldwin, recently retired after a 27-year professional career with the Boy Scouts of America, also served 10 years as a law enforcement officer. He states he will bring his budget experience, as well as character, ethics and honor to the council. According to his candidate bio, Baldwin was also development director for the Columbia County Child Abuse Assessment Center.

Hayden, president of the Scappoose Historical Society, sits on the city’s planning commission, a position she said she sought because it would be good experience for her ultimate goal of becoming a councilor. She is retired from a career as a commercial insurance broker. As the city faces future growth, Hayden believes she will be able to guide it in the right direction.

Meshell, who works for IBM as a liaison to the aviation and electronics industries, said in his candidate statement he is ready to serve the community he first moved to 34 years ago. He said Scappoose is ready to use common sense ideas, with a does of creativity, to move the city to the next level, where “innovation meets tradition, where community interaction and involvement thrives.” He has also served on the city’s budget and transportation committee.

Mayor Scott Burge is also running for reelection unopposed. In a statement declaring his candidacy he said he first ran for office in Scappoose because he envisioned it as a place where a family can live, work and play.

Under his leadership, Burge said the city has created many recreational opportunities, including new parks, and made efforts to promote job creation in the private sector.

“We are not there yet, but we are close,” he said.

Burge’s top priority will be to create an atmosphere for economic development in Scappoose.

This story has been edited from a previous version to include a candidate for city council not previously named. Incumbent Jeff Erickson is also running for reelection.