From the holidays to politics: oh joy

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With the end of the holiday season comes a starkly different time of year.

The political season.

Don't think it's just the Obama-Clinton show. Soon enough we'll have our own races to opine and debate and conjecture over.

And in some ways, it's already started.

Mark Buser, no stranger to these pages as the former West Linn Chamber of Commerce president and Willamette Meteorite advocate, has already declared his intentions to run for one of the two upcoming city council vacancies.

He's a formidable opponent with successes in the business world, both personally as a financial advisor and in promoting local business through the chamber.

With his help, the chamber is now bursting at the seams with the town's influx of small businesses - both in commerce centers such as Central Village and in areas such as home-based businesses.

And as expected, present councilor Michelle Eberle was set to announce her desire for a second term at city hall on the popular Willamette Falls Community Television cooking show 'The Community Cook' hosted by Patti Galle. Eberle confirmed to me Wednesday morning her intentions to announce on the Wednesday evening show, past the Tidings press time. But her return candidacy comes as little surprise.

The question now remains; who will make this a race?

Mike Gates, council president, is the big question. He's silent so far about his future political aspirations. But his attempt at the Metro Council District 2 appointment to replace Brian Newman displayed a fairly clear picture of his readiness to move onto something different.

A campaign to replace Carlotta Collette, the former Milwaukie city councilor who was appointed to serve out the remainder of Newman's term, in the May primary election seems more likely for Gates.

The rest of the picture remains blurry.

The same is true for Mayor Norm King's office, which is the only other elected post up for grabs in the October election. King, a popular authority figure who, by all accounts, has helped to lead the city's return to the light after a brief dark period marred by embezzlement and budget overruns, would likely be the front runner.

The rest of it?

Annexations set for the May ballot will seemingly be a hot topic judging by the comments on the Tidings Web site.

The Clackamas County Commission also will add a seat.

And several politicians have announced candidacy but none so far from West Linn.

A bond measure to help repair city streets could also pop up on the ballot, and that could get interesting.

But before we become immersed in the upcoming reservoir of political controversy, let me point our loyal readers to a holiday season-like, feel-good story in today's issue.

It documents the miraculous and hopefully inspiring story of Rand Getlin.

He's a young man who was adopted by the West Linn couple of Jaye Taylor and Lon Getlin, rescuing him from a horrendous upbringing and then foster care in North Portland.

Rand Getlin is now a second-year student at University of Southern California Law School and one of the founding members of a libertarian think tank.

He's an example for all of us in how taking full advantage of our opportunities can translate into greatness.

And Jaye Taylor and Lon Getlin, along with their biological son Mike Getlin, who are so willing to give so much back without asking for anything in return are extraordinary examples to those who are similarly blessed.

Not quite the behavior of the upcoming season. But maybe it should be.

Dan Itel is the editor of the West Linn Tidings.