The seat that then-Canby City Councilor Tracie Heidt successfully campaigned to keep in November 2018 was, at that time, uncontested. There were three openings on the council in that election and three candidates to fill them.
Pretty much ever since then, though, the position has been widely coveted.
Seven candidates filed to replace her (though only six went through with the in-person interviews), while six more fiercely campaigned for the four open seats in the November 2020 election — a race decided by a mere 106 votes — or 0.39%.
As the fourth-most vote recipient last November, Jordan Tibbals won the right to finish Heidt’s still-unexpired term from 2018.
When he abruptly announced his resignation earlier this month due to moving out of state, it appears to have set off another frenzy of folks seeking the appointment.
The first two comers were familiar names: James Hieb and Jason Padden (who wasted no time in throwing his hat into the ring, filing his paperwork the day after Tibbals’ resignation) rounded out the field of the candidates in last year’s local election.
Four more have filed since then — all conparative newcomers: Daniel Owczarzak, Mark D. Johnson, David Bajorin and Bryan H. Peterson.
Owczarzak, an account manager for Microsoft, said he has an interest in community events, parks and recreation, and commercial and residential planning with a focus on supporting businesses and family-friendly activities.
He was born and raised in rural Oregon and has twin girls and two dogs.
“As a growing community, I am interested in the equitable growth of Canby while maintaining our local identity,” he wrote in his application to the city. “I want to be invested in the community where I am raising my family.”
Johnson, a merchandising director for C&S Wholesale Grocers, also said he enjoys attending community events and neighborhood activities, as well as volunteering at The Canby Center and supporting local businesses.
His main interests are managing growth, maintaining city-owned property and assets, fostering a healthy tax base and community involvement, and eliminating needless bureaucracy.
In the past, he has served on several community boards and committees, including Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital. He said he frequently attends council meetings virtually and believes he can contribute.
“I intend to live in Canby for a long time,” Johnson wrote. “I love this city and want to ensure that it remains healthy, both in beauty and financially.”
Bajorin is an HVAC technician for Roth Heating & Cooling, as well as a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and current Reserve member. He said his highest
priorities are public safety, youth development and engagement and community unity.
“The city needs more open and honest communication and public feedback on progress,” he wrote. “That starts with more visibility and promotion of city initiatives. We can always find smarter, better and more efficient ways of doing everything, and that kind of constant reach for ‘good, better, best’ wins hearts and minds, and convinces people that the City Council has their backs.”
He said he “believe(s) in the good of Canby,” and he believes Canby can be even better.
“We should be focusing on making Canby such a welcoming city that people are lining up waiting to move here,” he wrote. “When the rough times happen, people have to believe their City Council stands for all the people of Canby and will rally everyone together to stand strong in the face of the unknown.”
Finally, Peterson is a corrections corporal for the Oregon Department of Corrections and a volunteer for Canby’s Boy Scouts of America Troop 882 for the past seven years.
He said he is concerned about the long-term well-being of the Canby community. He said he wishes to give back to the community and learn more about Canby and the needs of its citizens.
“I would like to help develop a mutual understanding as well as common goals between citizens and the business community that leads to growth throughout our multicultural city,” Peterson wrote. “I believe that good people need to step up. We need to bring new as well as fresh ideas to the table.”
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Sept. 30. Qualified applicants must have resided within Canby city limits for at least 12 months and be a current registered Oregon voter.
Applications are available on the city’s website or can be picked up at City Hall, 222 NE 2nd Ave. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Applications may be returned to the City of Canby, Attn: City Recorder, P.O. Box 930, Canby, OR 97013. For further information, contact City Recorder Melissa Bisset at 503-266-0733.
All qualified applications will be forward to the mayor and council Oct. 1 and interviews will be held in open session on Oct. 6. The new city councilor will be sworn in at the following meeting Oct. 20 and will serve through the end of December 2022.
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