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Miller wins seat on Aquatic District board


Firefighter wins race for board overseeing Tigard and Tualatins public swimming pools

Jeff MillerJump in, Jeff, the water’s fine.

Based on unofficial election returns from Tuesday’s special election, it looks like Jeff Miller, a firefighter with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, has won a two-way race for an open seat on the Jeff Miller.

With 55.6 percent of the vote, Miller secured more than 1,000 votes more in Washington and Clackamas counties than his challenger Timothy Esau, of Tigard.

Three seats were open on the recently formed district’s board after founding member Jan Larsen decided not to seek re-election.

Incumbents Kathy Stallkamp and Debbie Arizala both ran unopposed for seats on the board.

Miller said he was happy with the win, and said he plans to leave the district’s two swimming facilities --- at Tigard and Tualatin high schools --- in as good or better shape than they are in now.

“I want to make sure that both pools proceed as they have been,” Miller said, Tuesday night. “They are both pretty healthy now, based on numbers for swimming lesions, people signing up for swim teams and different groups that come in and do aerobics and that. Our community is using our pools and they want them maintained well.”

Miller has worked as a swim official for Tigard-Tualatin swim clubs, reffed for high school swim teams and went door-to-door to promote saving the pools in 2010.

He ran for the office to keep the pools on a steady footing after the district took over the pools at Tigard and Tualatin high schools in 2010, following a year-long public initiative to keep the pools open.

That year, the Tigard-Tualatin School District announced it would need to close the pools due to budget cuts.

Instead, voters rallied around the pools, forming the aquatic district, taxing up to 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to keep the pools open.

Both candidates were similar in their plans for the board.

Miller and Esau said they were happy with the pools’ current management and neither had concerns or issues they wanted to address. Both said they wanted to get more involved in the district as a way to give back to the community.

Miller said Tuesday that having a public pool is important to a community, not only as a place to relax and enjoy themselves, but also where children can learn how to be safe around the water.

“As a firefighter and a swimmer, its important to recognize that students should have someplace to be able to learn how to swim at reasonable cost,” he said.

Miller, Stallkamp and Arizala join current board members Jim Alexander and Thomas Macaulay.

Board members serve four-year terms.