Six candidates hopeful for Madras City Council
- Holly M. Gill
- Madras Pioneer - News
Six candidates, including two incumbents, are looking to fill three open seats on the seven-member Madras City Council in the Nov. 7 election.
Mick Goss, 35, and Jerome Beesley, 55, hope to retain their seats, while Jose Adame, 31, Walt Chamberlain, 56, Ben Keeton, 26, and Gerald "Butch" Parker, 65, will also compete for positions on the council. The top three vote-getters will win four-year terms on the council. Councilor Marc Heckathorn is not seeking re-election.
A councilor since February of 2001, Goss enjoys public service. "I'm committed to this community," he said. "I've never lived anywhere longer than I've lived here -- eight years. This is my home."
"The dream, six years ago (when he joined the council), was to build a community that would attract professionals with families," he said. "We're seeing that now."
Goss, the branch manager for Sterling Savings Bank in Redmond, serves as the chairman of the Madras Airport Committee, and is a member of the Jefferson County Rotary and Relay for Life.
He and his wife Deena have two children, Sierra, 13, and Colton, 7.
A member of the council since March, Beesley was appointed to the position vacated by Frank Morton, after Morton replaced Rick Allen as mayor.
Beesley, production controller and technical writer for KEITH Manufacturing, moved to Madras in March of 2005 from St. George, Utah, when his wife Sally became the Jefferson County Library director. They have four adult children.
The ability to bring sound judgment and common sense together to reach agreement is one of his strengths, according to Beesley. "I like the `win-win or no deal' philosophy -- seeking mutual agreement and seeing differing views as hidden opportunities for innovative improvement."
"Realizing that Madras may be on the cusp of its most rapid and dramatic growth ever, wise management of that growth is key," he said.
A certified medical assistant and Spanish interpreter at Mount Jefferson Community Clinic, Jose Adame moved to Madras about two years ago from Orange County, Calif.
He would like to provide a new voice on the council. "Thirty-four percent of the population is Hispanic, and I didn't see anybody representing the Hispanic community," he said.
Public safety, education, and health care are issues that concern Adame, who said he would need to discover what the community's needs are.
He and his wife Nora have two sons, Alexis, 10, and Onasis, 8.
A native Oregonian, Walt Chamberlain has lived in Madras for the past three and one-half years, serving as the minister of the Madras Christian Church.
"I've had a number of people ask me to run," he explained. "There are a lot of people who have run who are trying to protect their interests. As a minister, I have no way to personally enrich myself monetarily."
He sees himself as "a fair voice for the little guy," and believes the city needs to concentrate on strengthening the police department, which often has only one officer on duty. "I'm concerned about quality of life -- making sure citizens are protected," he said.
Chamberlain and his wife Susan have two adult sons, Michael and Keefe.
The youngest candidate for City Council, Ben Keeton, is a Madras High School graduate who spent eight years in the U.S. Navy on the Navy SEAL support team, before returning to Madras in July of 2005, to work in the family business, Madras Auto Parts, owned by his uncle Cory Dejarnatt.
Keeton wants to make sure that there is a voice for small business owners on the council. "I believe small town business owners, the past few months, weren't looked after very well," he said.
"These businesses built this community," Keeton continued, "and it's important that we do not dismiss them for the sake of growth."
Keeton, who is working on an automotive business management degree, is single.
Parker, the former director of the County Community Development Department, considers himself retired, although he is a land-use and development consultant for local builders.
He would like to see better representation of all Madras citizens, especially, "fair treatment of all developers and builders."
Efficient use of taxpayer money is another issue of interest to Parker, who is concerned about the Madras Redevelopment Commission's purchase of several properties for the removal of blight. The "city should not be in (the) landowner business," he noted.
Parker and his wife Carol, formerly the city's Community Development Department director, have four daughters and 12 grandchildren.