Five candidates seeking four City Council seats

Sean C. Morgan

Five candidates are seeking election to four seats on the Sweet Home City Council.

They include Tim Theodoroff and four incumbents, Dick Hill, Jim Bean, Jessica Coward and Jim Gourley. Election deadline is Nov. 2.


Theodoroff serves on the city’s budget committee. He worked on his first city budget this year. He has worked as a contractor since 1976. He moved to Sweet Home from California in 1990 and became licensed in Oregon in 1993. He also is vice president of Resurrection, Inc.

“I want to make some changes,” Theodoroff said. “I’m just kind of figuring that some of the old ways of thinking are holding back the growth of town, and I think we need some new blood in there.”

He learned much serving on the budget committee about how the city works, and he expects to learn more.

“I’ve got background in construction, and that has a lot to do with planning, I think,” Theodoroff said. “I’m interested in the planning part of it.”

Theodoroff wants to see if there are things that can be changed to make a difference, he said. “If you don’t get in there and try, you’ll never know.”


Hill is pastor of Hillside Fellowship Church. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children and eight grandchildren. He served on the city budget committee and is the Kiwanis Club vice president. He is president of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries Board of Directors.

“My priorities on council have been to work on the infrastructure of the city, such as the sewer project, which is underway now; roads; and the water system,” Hill said. “For our youth, I have pushed forward on the skate and BMX park through the City Council and Kiwanis Club.”

The project is now ready for groundbreaking.

“I would like to continue on council and finish some of the projects underway, such as the Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Administration recently; the inflow and infiltration reduction project; the water treatment plant project; and our continuing work on the Transportation System Plan.

“I believe the council has done very well with the funds available, and we are continuing to look for grants, low-cost loans and other revenue sources.

“I believe my experience from the last two terms is a strength and asset to the city. I have learned how to work with city, state and federal agencies to get the best for Sweet Home. I believe Sweet Home is a great place to live, and my goal is to keep it that way. I would enjoy serving Sweet Home again on the City Council.”


Bean has served on the council for 12 years. He is married to Hiromi. He is in charge of the banding and packaging section at Triple T Studs in Cascadia.

“There’s a lot of good things happening,” Bean said. “This development (Santiam River Club) is one of them. I want to be around to see that go through.”

Bean wants to continue improving the quality of life in Sweet Home and “make sure citizens, like myself, get our money’s worth.”

The committees that councilmen serve on provide opportunities to work more directly on different issues, something he enjoys, Bean said.

“I’m excited for what our future’s looking like here in Sweet Home,” Bean said. Projects, including sewer and water improvements and replacement, are underway and part of the city’s successes.


Coward was appointed to the City Council one and a half years ago to fill Robert G. Danielson’s seat after he resigned and moved to Beaverton.

Coward is office manager and escrow officer at Amerititle in Lebanon. She previously served on the Planning Commission and budget committee. She has lived in Sweet Home for more than eight years.

“I just like being involved in the city, knowing what’s going on and keeping it moving forward in a positive direction,” Coward said.

The challenge in the job is funding, Coward said, specifically, finding funds for completing the city’s inflow and infiltration problem.


Gourley has served 12 years on the council. He is a shift mechanic with Pope and Talbot in Halsey. His volunteer activities have included Boy Scouts and his church. He works on the children’s Christmas party for the mills and has served as United Way chairman. He is married to Lisa.

“I think that there a lot of things that we’ve started over the last few years, and I’d like to see those things, water and sewer, get finished,” Gourley said. “I’d like to see us follow through with a lot of the services we provide to the community and hope we can make our community better within the next few years.”