Councilor Tracie Heidt is stepping down in a couple weeks, and so far, four local residents have applied to replace her: Andrew Hale, Rachel Swanson, Jason Padden and Brian Imdieke.
We reached out and asked them all to tell us a little about themselves and why they’d like to serve on the City Council.
Andrew Hale is a quality engineer at Milwaukee Electronics in Canby. He’s worked at the company for 11 years in a variety of roles, from test tech to interim quality manager. He says that while he has taken some college courses and earned some certifications to help him at work, the bulk of his education he has gained through on-the-job experience.
“I’m interested in serving because I grew up in Canby,” he said. “My family has been part of the community for years. I went to school here and now my kids go to school here, too. I’ve seen Canby grow and change and that has been good and bad. Since I also work in town, you could say that I have an interest in the health of the community in general.
“Really, I want to do more for my family and community, and learn more about the local government. I saw this as an opportunity.”
He is a self-described “outdoors enthusiast,” who particularly enjoys biking, hiking and camping. Since 2017, he has served on the board of directors of the Canby Area Parks and Recreation District.
Rachel Swanson is an associate director for Cognizant, a multinational digital, technology and consulting firm, where she works from home, helping ensure the stability of healthcare providers’ IT platforms. She’s also married, with two school-age boys, and is a newer resident of Canby, having moved here from Portland.
“I thought a lot about how I wanted to answer the question on why I want to serve,” she said. “I could give the typical responses, however, like most Canbians, I am unique. I have always been passionate about small town life and I love Canby. I believe that we need to keep Canby unique, not an extension of Portland.
“I want to give back to the town that has been supportive of my family. I have always been interested in government and feel I could make a difference in a small town. I want to serve the people of Canby, support small business growth, keep the ‘small town’ feel while being inclusive to all.”
She holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Warner Pacific College and is considering going back to school to earn her master’s. She enjoys knitting, being outside and is a Clackamas County 4H leader.
Jason Padden is an Oregon broker rep for McHutchison Horticultural Distributors, and has a long history of service with the city. He served on the Canby City Council from 2009 to 2011, stepping down due to work commitments that, at that time, required frequent travel and made it difficult to fulfill his obligations to the city.
After earning a bachelor’s in applied science with a concentration in nursery management from State University of New York, he has worked in the horticulture industry on the West Coast for 15 years, the bulk of it as a soil sales rep for Sun Gro. He has lived in Canby since 2005.
“Ever since I was in high school I have been involved in serving my community,” he said. “Within a few moths of moving to Canby 15 years ago, I started to get involved by joining the urban renewal board. With my recent change in jobs, I feel I have the time needed to dedicate towards the position and serve the community. I have always planned to make a run for City Council when time permitted, and now that time has come.”
He has also been a longtime member of the budget committee, serving as chair during the most recent budget process. He previously applied to be reinstated on the council in 2016 following the resignation of Todd Rocha, but local attorney Tyler Smith was appointed to the seat instead.
Brian Imdieke is a Community Corrections manager for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience under his belt — almost all it with Clackamas County. In his current role, he oversees 53 staff members and an $11 million budget.
“I believe in helping all citizens of Canby and doing whatever I can to help our community,” he said. “Canby is an amazing city with tremendous values that I want to see prosper.”
He said his goals would be to preserve the city’s small town feel and downtown area while addressing traffic, budget and other infrastructure concerns as the city grows.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University, and has been active in local community activities, including coaching youth soccer and rugby and volunteering with the Boy Scouts.
Applications are still being accepted. The deadline to apply is July 5. Candidates will be interviewed by the remaining members of the City Council during a special session on Wednesday, July 24, at 7 p.m.
The new councilor will be sworn in Aug. 7, and will serve until just after the 2020 general election, at which time they — or a different candidate — would be elected for the remaining two years of the term.
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