Election 2010: City Council candidates talk issues

Editor’s note: Our coverage of the most competitive races that Sweet Home-area residents will be voting on begins today with the candidates for the three open City Council seats. Next week we will cover Congressman Peter DeFazio and Assemblywoman Sherrie Sprenger and the County Commission Position 1 race. We will provide analysis of the propositions and some of the above races our opinion pages next week and on Oct. 27. Nov. 2 is the final day to turn in or mail ballots.

Marybeth Angulo

Age: 43

Spouse: Pedro Angulo

Children: Stepsons, Mauro Angulo, Pedro Angulo Jr. and Migel Angulo and grandchildren, Selena Angulo and Uriah Quinn Angulo

Occupation: Third-grade teacher at Oak Heights Elementary School

Education: South Salem High School, 1985; Western Oregon University, bachelor of science in education, 1989; Portland State university, master of curriculum and instruction in education, 2010

Current Civic involvement: I have always been civically and politically active in my personal life. Of course, I tend to support activities that are supportive to the education community. Years ago, I worked closely as a board member with Sunshine Industries, which assists the less-abled in acquiring learning skills and finding jobs. I also served as the young representative to the School of Missions with the United Methodist Church of Sweet Home and headed the junior choir there for one year. I was the director of the Suttle Lake United Methodist Youth Camp for three years. I volunteered in my church, Sweet Home First Baptist, Vacation Bible School committees for the past three years. Currently, I am serving on the Data Team at Oak Heights.

1. Reason: I decided to run because I wanted to be more active in my community and to make a difference. Our community continues to change and grow, and I want to be an active part of that growth. Sweet Home needs some fresh new faces with new ideas and opinions, and I feel that I can make that happen.

2. Improvements: Very much like the Beautification Committee’s implementation of flowers on Main Street, I would like to see more things that improve the look of downtown. That would mean more funding for keeping the downtown area welcoming.

I would like to see planning to bring another grocery store more east, toward the Foster Lake area. The area is growing and yet residents still have to travel into town either to shop at Safeway and Thriftway.

The area that used to be the airport needs to become “something,” most notably a kids’ or family park to focus on improving the area rather than just looking at mounds of dirt.

Sweet Home murals are famous. It would be nice to improve them, add to them and offer tours of them that are in conjunction with other events throughout the year. And here’s a thought: Perhaps we could make them earn money for the upkeep of not only the murals themselves but also the look of downtown.

In conjunction with the medical sciences university in Lebanon, we need to offer apartment housing, book shops and more meeting spaces, like coffee shops. Those students will need to be living, studying and relaxing somewhere. Why not this area instead of letting the growth move toward Albany?

Maybe some of these ideas could be implemented in the Foster Lake area near the marina.

Sweet Home would make an excellent place for an outlet mall, which also could house more interesting things for the students of the health sciences university in Lebanon.

City government needs to be more responsive. People want the area to grow and thrive and feel in some respects that things are stymied. A city suggestion box would be a great idea inasmuch as everyone in the community could give their input.

3. What to accomplish: I would like to be a catalyst for change and growth. Lots of small communities in Oregon are more open to growth than we have been in the past. I want Sweet Home to have the legacy of being positive and welcoming.

4. Property rights: I feel that there needs to be standards from which business owners and the community could form a list of several ideas as to how they want to represent their businesses. Whether we brand the city with a theme of general feeling there needs to be choices from which to pick. Uniformity is positive but hopefully not squelching individual creativity.

Also when an ordinance is passed there needs to be some lenience used for already-existing businesses to adopt the policies.

People start new small businesses in order to make a living and provide for their families. They do not need to feel pressured to conform immediately. Depending on the ordinance they should have six months to a year to comply.

If the town is not welcoming, friendly and attractive it will not draw visitors, future residents and more businesses.

Land-use ordinances are highly personal between promoting future growth and not offending current residents.

5. Economic development: The economic situation cannot change without investment in advertising, tourism and “selling Sweet Home.” The powers that be need to see these expenses as investment in promoting our area.

Sweet Home should be promoted with the same enthusiasm as any of its events, including the Oregon Jamboree. We, as a town, host this event gladly and with open arms. That in and of itself makes us a great community. It would be wonderful if we were affiliated with organizations like NASCAR to make the Jamboree even more impressive. Also we could have quarterly events with an indirect affiliation with the Jamboree to promote it all year round, such as food fairs, book fairs, bazaars, craft fairs €“ each self-contained but still promoting that people need to come back in the summer for the Jamboree.

Having an outlet mall would provide year-round jobs and tourism to the area. Talking Sweet Home up as a Mecca for tourism would benefit everyone in the area. The nearest other malls of that caliber provide consistent economic resources for their communities.

6. Growth: You can like Sweet Home the way it is, enjoying its natural beauty while still wanting it to survive in the future. Survival takes a plan, growth and vision.

7. Property tax compression: Doesn’t Measure 50 address the gaps in Measure 5? As I understand Measure 50, compression is no longer an issue for our school districts’ revenues. I would be happy to research this further as related to a position on council.

8. Budget cuts: The most immediate needs for any community is the safety of its residents. This covers police and fire protection. Next would be garbage and sewer and then perhaps the library system. Cuts should not be seen in these areas.

Priorities are based on the basic needs of the community as a whole and using a list of pros and cons as to the priority level of the services in question. The challenge for us is that we do not need to be thinking about cuts but rather expansion and growth.

9. Archery practice at home: Archery? Interesting question. Perhaps archery should be as regulated as hunting and require a license. Stray arrows can impose upon others’ rights. It is difficult to establish policy on something that cannot be measured or regulated. Most other cities would not allow such a practice for the room for error is too large. There needs to be quite a bit more research on this as to not offend people who like archery.

10. Assisting the School District: Paying for the pool is important for many reasons and should be a community effort. For some students, the only time they receive swimming lessons is through the community. We live near a river and a lake, and all children should be taught to swim and basic water safety.

Having the presence of a school-safety resource officer visible to the students and the community helps kids form the property relationship with the police. Such a presence would also most likely reduce crime in the community.

11. Code enforcement: Various codes lend themselves more readily to reactive versus proactive code enforcement. It should be assessed yearly as to which codes should be enforced in which manner. Some studies in criminal justice realms feel that a proactive approach is best for thwarting criminal activity.

12. Marijuana parlors: I do not care for the overt use of marijuana in any situation. I feel that I could speak intelligently perhaps about medical marijuana use, but I am not comfortable with other debates on the subject. As a stepmother, aunt and teacher in this community, I do not feel that such a thing promotes a healthy example for the children of our town.

13. City building projects: There first has to be a surplus of resources before we can address needs of this nature. There are many other areas that need consideration and investment before improving things that already work.

14 Preparation: My leadership qualities come from over 20 years of teaching in the Sweet Home School District. I enjoy organizing, training, supervising and motivating those whom I lead. I have also been found to be honest, ethical and dependable in both personal and business dealings. Teaching has given me the ability to prioritize and follow through with project demands. I am an active listener who enjoys being a creative part of any team.

Craig Fentiman

Age: 54

Spouse: Penny

Children: Angela

Occupation: Owner, Farmers Insurance Agency.

Prior volunteer and civic activities: Before election to the City Council, served on the Traffic Safety Committee. Sweet Home City Council member since 1988. Mayor of Sweet Home from 1991 to 1995, 2001 to 2003 and finishing third consecutive two-year term as mayor. Currently serves on the SHARE Steering Committee, as Sweet Home representative on the Board of the Cascades West Council of Governments and member of the Oregon Mayors Association.

1. Reason: To continue the work the council started back in 1988. There is still more to do and always will be to make Sweet Home a proud, productive and viable community. We have accomplished many good things and I want to keep the momentum going.

2. Improvements: Continuing to find new ways to reach out and inform the public so they understand what we are doing and why it is important. The best way to improve the community is to have an active and informed citizenry

3. What to accomplish: Continuing to fix the sewer collection system; we have spent $12 million fixing the system and we have a lot more to do.

To continue to focus on and support SHARE efforts and the economic revitalization and development of existing businesses and new business efforts using and supporting all the resources in the community, i.e., SHARE, Chamber of Commerce, SHEDG and all the various community groups that provide the volunteer base that is so vital to small communities.

4. Property rights: You have to strike a balance, and it needs to be in the middle. I do not support specific design standards for signs or buildings, but they need to be limited as to the size and the amount €“ enough signage so that the business can be properly promoted so when people from the outside see the town, it is attractive and nice.

5. Economic development: We need to continue to support SHEDG and our Economic Development Coordinator Brian Hoffman in his efforts. Council needs to continue to be progressive in getting the community ready to receive new business inquiries. We need to look at all options for funding. We are currently looking at an urban renewal district again for some funding.

6. Growth: Growth that is controlled and still maintains the small town image that Sweet Home offers.

7. Property tax compression: Yes I do support this as it takes away the voter choices at the local level where these choices need to be made. The compression is an arbitrary statewide restriction on choosing appropriate local service levels. The effort also includes provisions for a 10-year levy rather than a 5-year levy to allow for long term planning for the departments.

8. Budget cuts: I am not sure what I would cut. This is where an engaged and informed community comes into play. We represent the people, and if we have limited funds we need to know what services people want us to pay for and what services they would be willing to pay for on a user fee basis or outside revenue source.

9. Archery practice at home: As long as it can be done safely, I do not see a problem with it. There would have to be some restrictions along with penalties for the violations if it were to be done. Lot size could possibly be an example of a restriction.

10. Assisting the School District: These programs are very important to the community, and they needed to be funded. Out of this came some excellent and continuing dialogue with the school board.

11. Code enforcement: Code enforcement should be proactive. The ordinances should continue to exist and you strive to be proactive. Ordinances are written with the purpose to gain voluntary compliance.

12. Marijuana parlors: If it meets all the legal requirements of the zoning and state regulations, you would have no choice but to allow them,

13. City building projects: Construction of a new project would always be based on needs. You would take input from the staff as to the needs of the departments and see if we can utilize existing space and the usefulness of the space based on the age of the structure.

14. Preparation: Twenty-two years experience, leadership, willingness to listen to new ideas and community members’ concerns. Reading and keeping up on the latest in governing.

Anay Hausner

Age: 35

Spouse: Bruce Hausner

Daughter: Kascia Hausner

Occupation: Oregon Department of Revenue

Education: Umpqua Community College

Current Civic involvement: Budget Committee for Sweet Home School District #55 and Board of Directors for Oregon Virtual Academy

1. Reason: To provide an active, solid voice for the community in which I live.

2. Improvements: To reach full potential, a community must focus on what is broken, not what is working well. Refining systems and policies built over 20 years ago is of key importance. Sweet Home needs to take the first small steps to nurture enthusiasm for community involvement. It is crucial that the community and council join together to improve the infrastructure systems existing within Sweet Home today.

3. What to accomplish: I want to give back to the community of Sweet Home. I want to provide a common link between community members and the city of Sweet Home so we can successfully address the issues of our infrastructure systems and community interests to bring growth and economic improvement to our city.

4. Property rights: Balancing private property rights with the common good is not a quick and easy mission. If the council is going to balance property rights with what’s best for local businesses, it needs to do its part by carefully crafting reasonable ordinances then enforcing the ordinances in place. I do support design standards for buildings and do not believe appearance alone should determine those standards.

5. Economic development: Sweet Home City Council should take the lead in developing and providing a portfolio of area properties designed to immediately attract new businesses to Sweet Home. Producing developed areas within the community and improving our local civic environment would be an excellent draw for our city.

6. Growth: I think we can all agree, proper types of industry, employment and housing stability can help Sweet Home grow in positive ways while still maintaining its best attributes.

7. Property tax compression: I support removing the compression created by Measure Five.

8. Budget cuts: I will definitely research and review all necessary facts before proposing any cuts. Working with my fellow council members, and seeking community input, I would begin with cuts that have the least impact on our citizens. By saving here, I would hope we can maintain programs of highest need

9. Archery practice at home: Archery is a sport many people in our community love, but no local practice facility exists. I believe people should have the right to practice archery on their own property, but only if safety is the first priority of users and the council creates a new ordinance for treatment of offenders.

10. Assisting the School District: When times are tough, we all need to work together. However, I do believe the pool should be set up on its own through different funding allocations. The school resource police officer should be financed by police funds. If school budget items can be reviewed and overhauled, the financial burden on the schools should decrease, removing the need for City Council to supplement educational services.

11. Code enforcement: I think reactive code enforcement is too lengthy of a process for compiling complaints from the community for certain issues and proactive code enforcement fits more easily with property maintenance issues. There should be no reason for a complaint to become a civil matter. That would overburden the court systems of Sweet Home. If the Council would like enforcement to be handled properly using reactive and proactive code enforcement, then it should provide the City with a way to handle both areas of code enforcement.

12. Marijuana parlors: I would respond by compiling reports and information gathered by the potential entrepreneur, review state and city laws and regulations, and poll the community and my fellow council members before deciding if a marijuana parlor is a good idea for Sweet Home.

13. City building projects: I would gather the necessary budget, planning specifications and community support information.

14. Preparation: I am level headed and always keep an open mind. My decision making is not haphazard, I take the necessary time to check facts and get answers before proceeding. I am cautious of my actions and always looking 10 steps ahead while keeping my focus on present matters. I think outside the box and can see around and within a circle allowing me to grasp multiple views and approaches. I am down to earth and take a hands-on approach to problem solving. Having been raised in the midst of a family business, I have extensive involvement in the financial, management, and legal worlds. My current civic involvement has enhanced my experience, giving me the necessary skills to help the community of Sweet Home. I am used to being involved, gathering knowledge, and taking an active role in all aspects of projects with which I’m involved. I have the right skills and the strong desire to get the job done.

Greg Mahler

Age: 47

Spouse: Teresa

Children: Ryan, 26, Lacey, 21 and Jill, 18

Occupation: General Manager, Hoy’s True Value Hardware

Education: Graduated from Sweet Home High School and attended Linn Benton Community College

Prior volunteer and civic activities: Previous involvement includes Chamber of Commerce, Senior Citizens Center, Elks Lodge and the Kiwanis. Current involvement includes Lions Club, volunteer firefighter for the past 24 years, and service as secretary/treasurer for the Sweet Home Volunteer Firefighters Association.

1. Reason: To finish the goals I’ve established when I joined the City Council. I would like to see Sweet Home become even more vibrant and productive, essentially being the caring community that promotes itself as a premier destination place to live, work and raise a family for generations to come.

2. Improvements: Be more proactive to the needs of the community and what’s in the best interest of the citizens of the community.

3. What to accomplish: Continue focusing on revitalizing our downtown businesses, continue replacing sewer lines/laterals and upgrade our existing wastewater treatment plant. I also would like to continue our community beautification process, capitalize on our recreation and find ways to bring more business and industry to our community. As a current member of the council, we’ve already set forth these goals and look forward to accomplishing them.

4. Private property: I’m in support of having a sign ordinance and the sunset clause. I do have concerns on size limits of signs, but I do believe we should have professional design standards for buildings and signs. I feel we need to be less restrictive with our land use ordinances and more consistent with our building codes. I hear too often from citizens that this is a huge concern and needs to be addressed.

5. Economic development: Less governmental restrictions, would allow a more business-friendly community. I would support tax incentives for new business and industry.

6. Growth: There will always be growth. The key is to make sure we balance the growth with improvements to our aging infrastructure system. In regards to what type of growth, I would like to see more new businesses come to Sweet Home.

7. Property tax compression: Yes.

8. Budget cuts: The police, fire and the basic city functions will always be my highest priority. I would evaluate all of the city expenditures during the budget process and prioritize by importance to the citizens of the community.

9. Archery practice at home: Based on how our current ordinance is written, I wasn’t in support of practicing archery within the city limits. With all the possible variables we have within our community besides the dangers, it would almost be impossible to re-write the ordinance for practicing archery within the community.

10. Assisting the School District: I’m 100 percent in support of the pool and the school resource police officer. However, with the tough economic times, we can’t continue year after year funding the pool, and we need to find another way to fund the school resource police officer. I know there are efforts underway to form an aquatics district, and I would be in total support. We are currently establishing work sessions with the school board to discuss these funding issues.

11. Code enforcement: I firmly believe we need to maintain all of our ordinances and be proactive in enforcing them based on prioritization.

12. Marijuana parlors: I’m not in support of opening up marijuana parlors, and we need to maintain strict regulations on medical marijuana use.

13. City building projects: Based on our current economic situation, I’m not in support of any major construction projects, such as a new City Hall. We need to watch our city budget closely and spend our finances wisely within our community.

14. Preparation: Over the years, I’ve worked for various Fortune 500 companies, and I’ve taken numerous leadership and management training courses. In turn, I believe my business management and business consulting background are very useful skills I bring to the City Council.

Scott McKee Jr.

Age: 27

Spouse: Brianne McKee

Children: Cora, 10, and Noah, 6

Occupation: Risk Management Consultant / Safety Inspector, Safeway Inc.

Education: Sweet Home High School, Linn-Benton Community College

Prior volunteer and civic activities: Budget Committee, Planning Commission, Parks Board, Tree Commission, City Councilor assignments (Property, Public Safety, Youth Advisory Council and Chair of Public Works), Sweet Home Rodeo Board of Directors, Oregon Jamboree, Sweet Home Community Trails, Kids Food Pak Board of Directors, SOLV projects, Youth Advisory projects, Strawberry Century (Lebanon), Cheadle Lake 5K (Lebanon), Easter Seals Tulip Festival, Safeway Classic LPGA and Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure

1. Reason: I enjoy politics, especially the history of American politics. It is an honor to serve as a city councilor of Sweet Home, and I appreciate being a part of the process of government for our city. I decided to run for City Council again to continue to gain experience and a better understanding of what it takes to operate the city of Sweet Home.

2. Improvements: The city government should continue to strive to connect city operations with the citizens of Sweet Home and find ways of engaging them in the process. I believe the city government could not be very effective without citizen participation. We have a very strong and supportive community with a lot of awesome activities that shows the heart of our citizens. We need to continue in that process and as a city government we need to continue to support these efforts.

3. What to accomplish: I would like to continue to work with my fellow councilors to make the most informed decisions that are in the best interest for the community of Sweet Home. I would like to continue to have and increase the amount of

conversations with fellow citizens about what their expectations are and how we, the city government, might be able to meet these expectations. I would do this by continuing to participate in as many volunteer and community activities as I am able and communicating what I hear from my fellow citizens to the council members in council reports or city manager evaluations.

4. Property rights: Land use is a very broad subject, and I think that decisions depend on the specific subject at hand.

Pertaining to the sign ordinance in particular, I do feel that it is due to be updated since it has been 20-plus years since any significant changes have been made. I believe since the current movement is citizen-driven, we should rely on their concerns and feedback but also keep in mind the direction the community seems to be headed. There should be some basic building and sign standards, but I do not agree in the idea of creating themes unless the business and property owners take it upon themselves to do so.

5. Economic development: The city council should continue to support current community activities, such as the SHARE efforts, the building improvement grants, the hiring of the economic development director and participating in regional and statewide programs. The council should give clear and direct guidance for the city staff to where they should focus their energy and efforts. City staff should strive to be very cooperative and positive to work with providing the highest level of customer service for our current citizenship and perspective business owners.

6. Growth: For a community to be considered a healthy and strong community, there has to be some level of consistent growth. This is a sign that our city is a positive place to live. Once here, people choose not to leave and our children decide to come back and raise their families here because it is a great and positive place to live. So I support responsible and controlled growth, but I am not a fan of huge developments or of changing the landscape of Sweet Home.

7. Property tax compression: I do support the current efforts by the League of Oregon Cities. Due to the current economic environment and the lack of responsible spending at state and federal levels, crucial city and county services are continually in jeopardy of being lost or limited. These services include the Public Library, city and county police services and the community pools. This forces citizenry to find current and creative ways of funding these critical services while still holding state and federal representation accountable for what they are put into office for. This compression creates an atmosphere where these community groups are fighting for the same limited amount of funding.

8. Budget cuts: I believe we should take a fair and widespread approach if we ever have to make cuts. The first thing we should do is take a hard look at what we can do now to cut expenses that we have normally taken for granted. We need to become more conservative and responsible as an organization before we ever run into an issue and pay attention to the warning signs.

9. Archery practice at home: I still agree with the council’s decision not to allow archery to be practiced in any backyard or make-shift practice range. I know there are many very responsible people (hobby and professionally) when it comes to the practice of archery and shooting guns. An arrow can be a dangerous projectile and can be just as fatal as a gun. Just because a person is considered trained or considered an expert does not exempt them from mistakes or unexpected choices of others. Whether it is right or wrong, it is too late to teach a lesson to an animal or a child that went somewhere they weren’t supposed to after it happens. An ordinance would be almost unenforceable due to privacy laws and not a cost-effective way of monitoring a registered program. This leaves the option that any inexperienced person can put up a target and start firing arrows.

10. Assisting the School District: I very strongly support the council’s decision to support both the high school pool and the school resource officer. I feel that both these programs offer immeasurable benefits to our children and our community. The children especially should not be punished or neglected due to lack of responsibility from state and federal levels.

11. Code enforcement: Although I do not agree with reactive code enforcement, I believe it is an acceptable way of handling complaints and perceived issues until we can fully fund a code enforcement officer for a proactive code enforcement.

12. Marijuana parlors: I understand that there are improvements that can be made to the current medical marijuana laws.

Under current Oregon state law, people with the approval to use it cannot use it anywhere other than in the privacy of their home leaving people in hospitals, nursing homes, and travelers with no safe place to use the medication that is prescribed to them. With that said, under current Oregon state law the only legal and acceptable use of marijuana is through the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program with the prescription from a doctor. Marijuana is a medication, and I don’t know of any other medicine that patients gather together for the specific purpose of medicating. If a prospective business owner chose to come to Sweet Home and followed all state and federal guidelines and abided by all local regulations and building codes, my response would be very limited if at all.

13. City building projects: Each major project concerning city construction would have to be looked at individually to decide the necessity of the project and to what extent. In the situation of the water treatment facility construction project, the biggest project in the history of the city of Sweet Home, it was a very necessary project to be able to provide safe and healthy drinking water for our community. With my experience on the council, serving on different committees and being actively involved with city staff, I know that the current City Hall building and modular building have outlived their useful purposes. The buildings themselves have begun to deteriorate and require extensive repairs on a continuous basis. I believe building a new City Hall would create a more cost-effective way to operate, cutting the continuous repair cost currently being wasted. The current building has had our court house, City Hall and police services, which have dealt with flooding, over-crowding and decay. A new facility would be more energy-efficient and possibly self-sustaining. It would create a more ergonomic, productive and safe work environment so our staff could be more effective in their duties to the city. There is the possibility of combining more than one project such as City Hall, courthouse, council chambers and maybe even the library.

14. Preparation: Through my employer I have continuously taken classes and advantage of opportunities to develop my communications and leadership skills, working my way up from a courtesy clerk at the local Safeway to a backstage position overseeing the safety program for 37 facilities in the state of Oregon. Also, I have sought leadership training through the Ford Family Foundation Leadership Development program. Participation in city committees and volunteer positions prior to and during my service on city council gives me a full understanding of what is going on within the community of Sweet Home.