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Field for Council election set at three

Bob Martin, Mike Selvaggio and Casey Stroupe will vie for fifth WL City Council spot

The field is set for West Linn’s November city council election.

With the Aug. 28 filing deadline now passed, three candidates have filed to run for the fifth and final council seat: Mike Selvaggio, Bob Martin and Casey Stroupe.

The candidates will run for the seat vacated by Russ Axelrod when he was sworn in as mayor in June. After Axelrod was sworn in, the Council decided against appointing an interim city councilor and opted instead to work as a four-person council until a November election.

Axelrod’s council term expires in 2018. Two other seats — those belonging to Jenni Tan and Council President Thomas Frank — are set to expire at the end of 2016.

Axelrod's mayoral term, which he is filling for departed Mayor John Kovash, also expires at the end of 2016.

Bob Martin

Martin served on the Planning Commission from 2007 to 2014 and was chair of the Planning Commission in 2010 and 2011.

He was the first to announce his candidacy, on July 30.

“The thing that really got me to run was what happened during the time I was on the Planning Commission,” Martin said. “I think it really started during the Cut the Red Tape Project (later re-named “Regulatory Code Streamlining"). What I saw was an effort, I felt, by the city to push the citizens out of the land use process.”

In a press release announcing his candidacy, Martin also focused on collaborative discourse as West Linn moves forward.

“"As new issues arise, we must put aside past differences and work together to make sure every idea is heard, every voice is respected and that our solutions reflect our best efforts," Martin said. "My experience has shown me that when we work together toward a common goal, trust and mutual respect follow naturally."

Martin has owned a software management consulting firm for 25 years. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and went on to earn a master’s degree in engineering management and Ph.D. in system science from Portland State University.

Mike Selvaggio

Selvaggio, for his part, did not make his final decision to run until this summer. "I had decided that if someone else got in who was able to bring the Council together, I would stay out," Selvaggio said. "(My fiancè) Christine and I went to one of the July Council meetings just to follow a particular issue and we found the meeting divisive and unproductive. We decided together that for me to run would be the right thing for our family and for the City."

Selvaggio has lived in West Linn since 2011 and served as president of the Willamette Neighborhood Association until stepping down to focus on his campaign shortly after announcing his candidacy.

"I did not want the Neighborhood Association to be perceived as part of a campaign," he said. "When the City hears from Willamette, I want them to know without a doubt that the organization is representing its residents — and not a political agenda."

In addition to his involvement with the Willamette Neighborhood Association, Selvaggio is also board member of the West Linn Historical Society and currently works as a lobbyist for the Audubon Society of Portland, the Working Families Party and the Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs.

Previously, Selvaggio also worked at several state senate offices and was a policy director for the last two state treasurers.

In 2010, he helped craft Measure 72, which was approved by voters and allowed for “lowest cost” borrowing for Oregon’s real and personal property projects. The bill was estimated to save millions in taxpayer dollars.

Casey Stroupe

Stroupe, currently the president and owner of S&H Landscape and Stroupe Family Farm, as well as the co-owner of Clackamas Compost Products, filed his official papers with the city Aug. 14.

A graduate of West Linn High School, Stroupe holds a business degree from the University of Oregon. He has no prior governmental experience; a profile on the S&H website states that “Casey’s expertise includes yard debris composting, landscape business management, insurance and capital financing."

Stroupe could not be reached for comment and as of Monday had yet to issue a press release announcing his candidacy.

Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or pmalee@westlinntidings.com.


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  • 29 Nov 2015

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