Six months into her second four-year term, Canby City Councilor Tracie Heidt has announced her resignation. Her last meeting will be July 17.
She made the announcement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, after informing her fellow councilors of the decision in a private email earlier this week. Her main reason for stepping down is the difficulty of juggling council duties with work, family and other responsibilities, saying she’s “just, basically, spread too thin.”
Between council meetings, liaison meetings, budget meetings, and the time and effort it takes to prepare for those meetings, she said she often lacks the time to do simple things like be with her kids and husband, and help with dinner, homework and all the other life stuff.
“Childhood is short, and I don’t want to miss it,” she said.
Councilor Heidt is a Canby native and graduate of Canby High School. She’s been a fixture in many community organizations and initiatives over the past 10 years, including Canby Community Preschool, Friends of the Canby Public Library, Auburn Farms Neighborhood Association, Canby School District’s Battle of the Books, Youth Running Club of Canby, Canby Kiwanis, the Canby Independence Day Celebration, Canby Cares event and Canby’s Big Night Out.
She was first elected to office in 2014, in a four-way run-off for three seats. Despite being the only newcomer in a field of incumbents, Heidt was the top vote-getter, with 3,646. She ran for a second term last year, and again garnered the most votes for City Council, 4,288.
Professionally, Heidt is a program coordinator for JLA Public Involvement, a consulting firm with offices in Portland, Eugene and Vancouver, Wash.
The last time the Canby City Council had a mid-term opening was when councilor Todd Rocha stepped down in September 2016, citing professional responsibilities that he felt conflicted with his duty to the city. The city charters holds that replacements for unexpired terms shall be appointed by a majority vote of the remaining councilors, but it does not prescribe a particular process or time frame.
Three years ago, the council accepted applications, interviewed the five candidates in open session and ultimately voted, 4-1, to appoint local attorney Tyler Smith to serve the remaining two years of Rocha’s term. Councilor Smith ultimately chose not to run for a full term and was replaced by Shawn Varwig in the general election last year.
Coincidentally, the lone vote against Smith’s appointment came from Councilor Heidt. She, along with citizens who spoke at the meeting, had expressed concern about wording in the charter saying the term of any appointee “shall continue until the beginning of the year following the general biennial election,” according to reports in the Canby Herald.
With the 2016 general election just around the corner, Heidt had moved to delay the appointment a couple weeks, and thereby avoid any potential conflict with the charter, but her motion failed to draw a second from her fellow city councilors.
According to the charter, and assuming a replacement is appointed sometime this year, the replacement would serve until the general election in 2020, at which time they — or a different candidate — would be elected for the remaining two years of the term.