Slow tally causes anxiety
Bill Tierney, chair of the Lake Oswego Development Review Commission, has won a seat on the city council after nearly two days of ballot tallying in Clackamas County.
Tierney has maintained a narrow lead over council hopeful Jeff Gudman since polls closed Tuesday. That lead became a win when county officials finished counting ballots received by election day Thursday afternoon.
Tierney joins Sally Moncrieff, chair of the Palisades Neighborhood Association and Mary Olson, a civic organizer and former corporate financial officer, as winners in the seven-candidate race.
Lake Oswego voters were asked to replace three of six city councilors in the election.
The positions are being vacated Dec. 31 by John Turchi, Frank Groznik and Ellie McPeak. Both McPeak and Turchi are ineligible to run again due to term limits. Groznik is not seeking re-election.
Seven candidates competed for the positions, including Devin Holz, Jeff Gudman, Russell Jones, Justin Luber and the three winners.
Tierney, Olson and Moncrieff earned the most votes of the seven candidates.
As ballots began trickling in Tuesday it was unclear whether Tierney would retain his slim early lead over Gudman, with only 209 votes separating the pair at 1 p.m. yesterday.
But that gap widened as county elections officials completed their tally of ballots this afternoon.
Tierney lead the tally of ballots by 354 votes at 3 p.m. Thursday. County officials say they must still count ballots that were erroneously sent to other counties.
Those remaining ballots are few in number, however, and not expected to shift Tierney's enduring lead in the race.
Reached this afternoon, Tierney said his enthusiasm for the win was tempered by disappointment for Gudman.
'It feels good, of course, to win but a lot of anxious moments because it took quite a while to get there,' he said.
He plans to spend the next two months preparing to take office.
Tierney said his first priority is to resolve the fate of the city's West End Building. He also mentioned tackling the Lake Grove Village Center Plan and the Lake Oswego Comprehensive Plan as goals.
He plans a meeting with mayor-elect Jack Hoffman to talk about plans for the council term.
That term begins January 1.