Molalla City Council Candidates
All of the candidates for Molalla City Council were asked the same four questions. All responded. Here are the four questions, followed by their unedited answers.
1) If elected, what would be your top three priorities that you would support during your term in office? (Please begin the list with most important.)
2) What skills, abilities, knowledge and experience would you bring to bear as a Molalla city councilor?
3) If anything, what do you think the city can do to help its residents who are suffering because of the national and regional economic downturn?
4) Molalla has been seen as a bedroom community for the nearby Portland Metropolitan Area and also has been perceived as having the potential to become a place where people can work, live, shop and dine without often having to leave town to have their needs met. What is your current impression of Molalla and what would you like it to become?
1) If elected, my top priority would be to work diligently over the course of the next year to ensure that we are being as efficient and prudent as possible with our city budget. With the economic outlook looking grim, it is of utmost importance that the city be responsible with the taxpayer’s money. This means trimming excess from the budget wherever it can be found, much the same way as many of our citizens are doing with their own budgets right now. With over ten years of experience working in the non-profit world, I am well accustomed to stretching dollars and finding efficiencies. My second priority will focus on ensuring that fundamental city services are funded first and at an adequate level. The current situation with the backlog of road maintenance must be confronted. A functioning road system is essential to the vitality of our city. My third priority will be to ensure that the City of Molalla grows carefully and wisely to prevent the errors of the past. We must be sure that we never again site industrial sites along side residential homes and that our infrastructure, including parks, expands in tandem with our growth.
2) I have worked in the non-profit world for over ten years throughout rural Clackamas County with much of that time spent in Molalla. Since 1997, I have steadily been working to make Molalla a better place to live. I have coached athletics for our high school as well as facilitated, created and administered a variety of youth based programs in our community. I am currently administrating over twenty prevention and intervention programs in Molalla for youth ranging from elementary school through high school. All of these efforts revolve around identifying problems or needs within our community and working to solve them. Solving problems with limited resources is one of my strongest attributes. I find that in working in Clackamas County, I have established many strong working relationships that benefit the greater Molalla area. My ability to work cooperatively with others to bridge differences for the common good is yet another strength that I will bring to the Molalla City Council. I would also like to add, that my passion for making Molalla the best community possible is at the core of why I decided to run for city council. I will work relentlessly for the citizens of Molalla to ensure that they are receiving quality services, enhanced livability and transparency in their city government.
3) I believe that it is the city’s duty to act responsibly with the citizen’s tax dollars. This equates to being as fiscally conservative as possible. We must prioritize our spending while also trimming excess from the budget. Fundamental services, such as sewer, water, roads and public safety must be efficiently run and prioritized. It is my belief that we must do all that we can to ensure that during these difficult economic times that our citizens not be faced with any tax increases. Indeed, it would be my hope that we can find creative ways to reduce the tax burden our citizens face. As a city council, we must work to encourage economic development within our community.
4) Molalla has gone through a transition towards a bedroom community. The growth that we have experienced over the past fifteen to twenty years has heavily leaned towards residential development. Unfortunately, this was poorly planned growth and things are out of balance. Our transportation network is in disrepair and inadequate. Our parks are sited on the opposite side of town from the majority of our new housing. However, we now find ourselves in an economic slow down. This is the time to plan for the next wave of growth so that Molalla becomes the community that we want it to be. This means that we must work to not only ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated, but that we grow carefully and wisely. My vision for Molalla is to not just make it a place to live, but a place to work, dine, shop and recreate.
1) My first priority is to get some form of New Comprehensive Plan and SDC fee structure established so we can get more businesses or at least keep the ones we have in town, and will also provide as a basis for all future growth. I don’t want the “Plan” to be the cities plan. I want it to be the citizen’s plan for Molalla’s future. Keeping our current stores in town open and successful is very important. My Second priority is to fix our broken city government. There are many strong qualities with our city government, but there are some areas that just need help. I am the “new guy” on council, and if elected I will continue to try and change the way councilor’s interact. I will continue to push for accountability of our city government for the people it serves to make this city as productive, healthy and vibrant as it can be.
Last and not least, would be to increase community involvement within the city government, at council meetings, meetings that provide interaction with the businesses and schools so that we are all on the same page of making Molalla all it can be. This will ensure a proper representation of everyone and facilitate better communication.
2) I have been on the city budget committee and school budget committees. I know the budgets that effect our local community. I also meet with TEAM Molalla and hear the troubles of our business community. With growth comes change and the need for new ideas, new rules, because the “good old boy” way of doing things may not work the way they used too. This CHANGE is what I bring to council. I bring different perspectives and a common sense approach to city leadership. I believe in community involvement, have a desire to listen to the concerns of the citizens and to keep the city transparent.
The experience that led me to council was the frustration of dealing with the city and not being able to get my questions answered. This gives me insight and empathy to my fellow citizens and business people who are having similar issues. I’m not willing to give blind faith to city hall. Having over 14 years of commercial and industrial construction as a Supervising Electrician I am familiar with many of the state rules and regulations of construction, I have the desire to see our city thrive for the well being of my family as well as yours.
3) Restrain home building to protect current home prices, and let the rest of the city develop around the housing and the undeveloped land we already have. Fight to prevent additional taxes to the citizens and keep the city running within its “means” and not its desires. We must be good stewards of your money and make sure the city is spending wisely.
Increase awareness of services available: the food pantries, free transportation bus services, the clothing warehouses at the local churches, … We have many wonderful programs that people can benefit from. Ensuring we have funds to keep the adult center functioning, transportation rolling, and the library open.
4) I believe Molalla currently is a bedroom community for Portland and it will remain that way with the current economic downturn. Many of us choose to live in Molalla because we wanted to live in a small town with a small town atmosphere. We need to respect those citizen’s wishes as well, that moved here for that reason. I would love to see more commercial businesses and encourage, “Smart Growth”, so the potential is there for meeting the communities needs here at home. This would also provide a nice balance to all the residential development that has taken place the last few years. If Industrial development is interested in Molalla, I think it could be beneficial for the community if it brings living wage jobs for people that live here in Molalla. I would like more community events that draw others (much like Silverton does) and more events at our Rodeo grounds that feed our local businesses. Promotion of our new Molalla River Resource Center to encourage and increase the use of the Molalla River corridor - Increased access for hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking, trail riding, and camping in the area which I believe creates family friendly activities for all ages as well as feeding the local economy.
1) My top priority as a councilor would be to work with city staff and city council on a plan to bring in more business. The second priority would be to work on more community involvement with council. My third priority would be to work on the infrastructure of the city.
2) I was a small business owner for a short time. I know how to balance a budget and stretch a dollar. I am currently serving on the board of directors for the Canby rod and gun club. I am currently working as a service technician for a local heating company, I deal with customers and property managers everyday. I bring a willingness to listen and work with others.
3) Build consumer confidence here locally. This can be done by encouraging new business to come here, no matter how big or small. New business would mean more jobs, more jobs means more money here, more money here means consumer confidence and more business. This economic problem is not going to fix its self over night. It will take a long time to recover, and I believe it will recover. We need to start on a small level and watch it escalate.
4) We are a bedroom town and have been for quite awhile. I would like to see more business in and around Molalla. I am seeing alot of residents leave Molalla because of the commuting cost to work in Portland or Salem. If we could pull some bigger business to the area then we could get more people back to work, and have them live here and shop here. I want Molalla to stay Molalla and be our own unique little town.
Mary Jo Mackie
1) Growth management & Infrastructure; Council cohesiveness; Downtown Revitalization.
2) As current City Council President and 8 years on Council, my record speaks for itself.
3) Ensure taxpayer monies are more effectively and conservatively spent to prepare for any coming economic downturn. Establish a Park & Ride for people having to travel to jobs elsewhere.
4) There is a definite lack of establishments as proven by the empty storefronts and buildings.
I would love for Molalla to be the end-all and currently it is not. Also I want Molalla to remain the “small town” that most moved here to enjoy.
1) 1st Overcome divisiveness by doing everything possible to restore and enhance trust in City leadership. One of the 1st steps would be to identify areas of common interest and concern to city and surrounding area residents in an effort to engage all stakeholders in collaborative participation in the achievement of those goals. 2nd Promote the creation of family-wage jobs in Molalla by encouraging commercial development of green business consistent with Molalla’s small town character while collaborating with the Molalla River School District to enhance our excellent education system and make certain the largest employer in the area has the quality programs and facilities to continue their efforts to ensure our youth are prepared to enter society. 3rd Provide new sources of revenue through promotion and development of Molalla’s diverse recreational and cultural resources and encouraging participation in funding and development resources such as Brownfield developments, Clackamas County’s Geotourism program, and the State Main Street and historic preservation program.
2) I have been a member of the Molalla City Council since October of 2006 with two years experience as Budget Committee Chair, and presently serve as liaison for the City Council on the TEAM board of Directors. I’m a member of the Molalla Chamber of Commerce and serve on the Tourism & Development Committee. I am currently serving with Jim Gilbert and John Atkins as a member of the Molalla River Alliance Outreach and Public Relations Committee. I am the Chairperson for the Clackamas County Community Action Board and also serve as a member of the Clackamas County Advocacy Board. I have served a four year term as a member of the Molalla River School District Board of Education. I have been deeply engaged in discussions of the Metro URA/UGB dialogue and DLC hearings in this regard, TEAM (Team for Economic Action in Molalla) as well as local discussions concerning our Downtown Beautification plan and Molalla’s Urban Renewal District. I’ve also dedicated many hours to community service and volunteer activities & organizations such as Molalla Kiwanis, Mulino Lions, Molalla FFA Alumni, Molalla Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Molalla Christian Church.
3) Clackamas County has been actively engaged in providing food, energy assistance, housing, transportation, and many other services for the homeless, seniors, disabled and low income. There are programs available to provide funding for development and repair of low income housing, in addition to the Clackamas County 10-year homelessness plan which Molalla became a pioneer supporter of when the Council voted to contribute $1,000.00 per year in 2007 and 2008. I have supported these measures for the past two years and continue to be an advocate for programs such as Oregon Brownfields, the Urban Renewal District, Tourism development and any other measure which will produce family wage jobs and funding to maintain our transportation network and city services in Molalla. The more outside funding we can bring to the City of Molalla by promoting resources such as our Aquatic Center, possible new lodging facilities, and perhaps a Buckaroo Convention Center, the less will be required from the local tax base.
4) The greatest quality of Molalla, which originally attracted me to move here, is its small town character. I recognize the fact that growth is inevitable, but increasing population growth before schools, police and fire protection, water, sewage treatment, sanitary services, shopping, etc. are available is putting the cart before the horse. That is why it’s imperative to ensure that our growth is planned so that services and commerce drive growth rather than the other way around! I believe most residents of our city want to retain Molalla’s rural character but provide shopping and services at reasonable cost along with more local family wage jobs. I believe that if we develop and promote Molalla’s many resources, like the Buckaroo, Coleman Invitational, Elk Farm, Spring Fling, Apple Festival, Molalla River Recreational Area, Goat Mountain Gallop, to name but a few.
1) How can we move our city forward in a positive direction
with constant fighting and bickering amongst our elected officials? There are
rules governing these meetings called parliamentary procedure via Robert’s Rules
of Order. There is also a parliamentarian for interpretation of the rules and a
chairperson to enforce the rules. If the chair cannot or will not do their job,
there are also rules in place to relieve them of their duties. I am very versed
on Robert’s Rules of Order and will not stand for nonconformance to the rules.
If elected, I will work to slow the growth of residential dwellings and work to
catch our infrastructure up to our population growth. I will work to attract new
competitive business and work with our current business community to help insure
their continued growth and service in our community. We can no longer allow our
current government to put the proverbial cart before the horse, for example, the
city wants to let the state put in a new stop light the downtown intersection
and do away with street parking by installing turn lanes, and I believe their
statement was, “We’ll worry about the parking later.” How many blocks do you
want to walk in the winter to frequent a downtown business, and what kind of
message does that send to our downtown business community? They need to study
the advantages and the disadvantages before they act.
2) My skills, abilities and experience go hand in hand.
From my six years in the U.S. Army, to my corporate experience, to owning a
business, I have always been a leader through management. When I worked for the
largest road striping company in the northwest, I started in a five year
apprentice program and finished and became a foreman for three years.
3) I do not believe we are in an economic downturn, I
believe we are in an economic crisis.
4) Molalla is and always has been a quiet, friendly, safe
and cozy place to live and raise a family. But I also understand that some
growth is needed. I would like to see this community have the best of both
worlds, by continuing to be both a bedroom community and a place where people
that don’t want to commute can live and raise a family by having a livable wage
job here. If elected, I will work towards that goal by bringing in business that
will supply not only job growth, shopping, family dining and recreation, but
also beautify our community.
1) I would have to say my top three priorities would be to first endorse and approve the new updated Comp Plan so we have an acceptable plan in place to guide the city for the next twenty years. The library would have to be my next priority as even if the O&C Timber receipts are allocated to the County does not mean the County is going to continue to fund our libraries with these dollars so we are forced to look at other avenues to keep the library open. Then I guess my next issue would be to hopefully see a council that will work together and get things done for the good of the city instead of all the bickering and ill feelings that are going on in the current council. In all my years on council I have never seen such disrespect for fellow councilors as I see today.
2) I guess my greatest skill that I bring back to council is sixteen years service as a councilor and mayor. I have always voted to support the betterment of our community as I have seen it. I encourage constructive, controlled growth and certainly the expansion of the industrial park to encourage more family wage jobs in our community.
3) I think the city can support any action taken by the State or Federal government in the way of reduced or deferred taxes and possible reprieve from the lending institutions to curb housing foreclosures. The city could do a study to see if the user fee rates could be adjusted temporarily on water and sewer usage and perhaps make some changes there but I would think that they are pretty up to date to cover the operating expenses for these services.
4) I have watched the transition of our town from a sawmill\timber town to the nearly extinction of the timber industry in the course of around 20 years and I still have an optimistic out look for the future of Molalla being able to attract new business that can provide family wage jobs, support our local retail business’s and have a percentage of our population live, work and recreate right here in Molalla. I can still see us being a heavily populated area of commuters as the larger metropolitan areas are being built out rapidly and this is forcing more and more people to relocate our way.