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20-year council veteran will continue serving Troutdale as he is running unopposed

Incumbent David Ripma, 69, is running unopposed for Troutdale City Council position 1, a position he's held for more than 20 years. He has been a Troutdale resident for 29 years.

In July, Ripma was injured while riding his motorcycle in Troutdale. He was hit by a U.S. Postal Service mail truck when it pulled out from a side street. The collision broke his foot and femur.

The Outlook sat down with Ripma, while he was recovering at a long-term care rehab facility in Gresham, and asked about his priorities before the upcoming November election.

OUTLOOK: Why are you running for reelection?CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - DAVID RIPMA

DAVE RIPMA: I think the city needs me. With my experience, my knowledge of Troutdale, and its history, and all the issues we've had before, I think I can contribute the benefit of my experience. . . . We're still facing important decisions in how to continue to develop the city to attract business to the industrial area that Troutdale has. We have important decisions to make in the Urban Renewal Area. For all of that I wanted to have my voice in there.

OUTLOOK: What is your focus on council?

RIPMA: I would say representing the citizens of Troutdale. That is always my focus. (During) that last council meeting where I was against the zone change property (see editor's note), many citizens came to several meetings who were against it. We voted 4-3 to go ahead with the zone change anyway. When the citizens come out in force like that on something, I think we ought to listen because the Troutdale council is their voice, and I want to be part of that.

OUTLOOK: What sets you apart as a candidate?

RIPMA: I volunteered for Troutdale since I moved here in '89. Practically from the beginning I was serving on various committees. I was on the planning commission. I was on the downtown committee, when downtown was only a one-sided downtown. What sets me apart is I am the longest-serving councilor. I love Troutdale. I'm not saying the other candidates don't, but I love Troutdale and I have volunteered continuously. What sets me apart is the amount of time I have devoted to Troutdale.

OUTLOOK: What are the three biggest issues facing Troutdale?

RIPMA: First of all, my number-one priority is public safety. I'm always supportive. We are now served by the (Multnomah County) Sheriff's department. They are doing a great job, but I would like to see more traffic enforcement. I think Troutdale is a safe city, and let's keep it that way. (Another issue) is finances. There's always more things to spend money on than there is money. That's going to continue, and that's difficult. Where do you prioritize things? (The third issue is) I would still like us to go back to (the) old city hall. We improvidently left old city hall. We didn't need to leave it. It's not going to fall down. It's still there. We left it because I think we had a couple of mayors who wanted a new one. We moved out, and we're renting space. We ought to refurbish the old city hall and move back in there.

OUTLOOK: Anything else you would like to say?

RIPMA: I would like to thank my supporters and friends during my recovery. I have greatly appreciated the kind words and prayers from people in Troutdale and elsewhere.

Editor's note: On Tuesday, Aug. 28, Troutdale City councilors voted 4-3 to approve two variances that would allow multi-family housing at two pieces of ground near a busy Troutdale intersection that is zoned for single-family residential. Any proposed development at that intersection still needs approval from City Council.

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