Canby City Councilor Trygve “Trig” Berge has announced he is stepping down from the position he has held since his appointment in July 2019.
He tendered his surprise resignation during Wednesday’s regular council meeting due to closing on a new home — a 10-acre farm located about a mile outside city limits — rendering him ineligible for local elective office.
“I had no intentions of resigning from this position,” he told his colleagues Wednesday night. “I had every intention of continuing to run for re-election, and I’ve been enjoying my time on the council, working with each one of you.”
Berge described the purchase of the property outside of town as a “spur of the moment deal.” The property never actually went on the market, and his current home in Canby sold in only 18 days.
He did not say when he closed on the new property, only that it happened “recently.”
“With as fast as it happened, and not being certain my place was going to sell, I had not said anything to anyone until this place closed,” he said.
In terms of his role on the council, he said he wasn’t sure if there might be a grace period whereby he could continue to serve, but he felt it was cleanest to step aside immediately.
Berge was appointed from among a field of six candidates to replace former Councilor Tracie Heidt, who had stepped down earlier that month due to work commitments and her desire to spend more time with family.
Berge is vice president of Inline Commercial Construction, a large, Aloha-based general contracting firm, operating throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, and given the continued growth in Canby’s Pioneer Industrial Park, his commercial construction experience proved valuable even in his short time on the council.
“I’ve had a great time, and we’ve built some friendships,” Berge told the other council members Wednesday. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Council President Tim Dale echoed the sentiment, as did others.
“Trig’s expertise and his brilliance and his character have been invaluable to us,” Dale said. “But that’s the type of stuff that’s really obvious and everybody gets to see. What I wanted to share is that politics come and go. We all just fill these seats for an amount of time, but what I’m really thankful for is that I’ve made a friend for life.”
Councilor Traci Hensley became emotional as she thanked Berge for his service and friendship.
“I have to say, as disappointed as I am that you’re going to be off the council, I am so happy for you and your family and the opportunities you have ahead of you,” she said.
Councilor Shawn Varwig expressed his appreciation, while also joking that he only just learned how to say his name. (For the record, it’s “Trig-vee Berg-gee”).
Berge’s previous civic experience included membership on a public policy committee in Hillsboro as well as an investment roundtable for the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.
He’s also an assistant coach of the Canby High School trapshooting team and is a sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo, having practiced since he was 9 years old.
Heidt was elected to a four-year term in November 2018 but, pursuant to the Canby city charter, Berge was appointed to fill her seat only until the next election — which is this November.
Though he had expressed to the Canby Now Podcast in May that he planned to file for the election — as of this week, he had not done so.
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