Communities, Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

Two Oakridge women file for city council position created by resignation of former mayor Holston

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By DEAN REA/Editor/The Herald — Two women who have served Oakridge in various roles are applicants to fill a City Council position for the remainder of the year.

Jan Hooker and Trudy Hammond are scheduled to be interviewed during the March 3 council meeting to fill the position created when Kathy Holston resigned Jan. 6 as mayor and was replaced by council president Christina Hollett.

The applicants were invited by the council to describe their vision for Oakridge.

Hooker wrote: “My vision is to help bring our city back into balance financially and community-wise. We have a chance to put Oakridge back in the news and on the map in a better way. It will take all of us to do it. I believe we need to live within our budget. It will put hardship on all of us. However, we must do it. I also understand it is not without challenges.”

Hammond wrote: “My vision for Oakridge is of unification between local leadership and community members. I can independently make decisions to provide the best outcome for Oakridge using my skills in communication, research and integrity.”

In describing strengths a candidate would bring to the council:

Hooker wrote: “I believe I can bring a calm demeanor with the understanding that everyone has a right to voice their opinion. It is HOW they voice it that is important. I am able to listen to both sides but come to my own opinion….

Hammond wrote: “The strength I can bring to the council is a new perspective, fresh ideas and a supportive role advocating for the citizens, all the while, supporting agendas in progress from past decisions.”

In describing a candidate’s public and civil service:

Hooker wrote: I volunteered for months at the PD (police department) prior to being hired in 2013 as dispatch clerk. (She no longer is employed by the department.) I also serve on the budget committee and now the Charter Review Committee.”

Hammond wrote: “My previous and current public service extends to Lane County as a participant advocate with the Rural Advisory Committee for the city of Oakridge citizens. I was a former Oakridge Public Safety Committee member, former Budget Committee member and currently am an Administration Committee member and volunteer for the Community Solutions warming center. I also operate an animal safety center in Oakridge and donate pet food to neighboring Lowell’s community food bank.”

In answering the question: Once a decision is made after careful and reasoned debate, describe your ability to support the majority opinion even though you may not agree?

Hooker wrote: “No one will ever agree with ALL decisions. However, I believe we are required to put our own agendas aside and work to make our city come together as a whole. If we have done our due diligence with weighting all options, compromising if possible and it’s the decision to best serve our community, we must support and answer citizen questions with confidence that will make them comfortable with that decision. With the proper and reasonable information and communication with our citizens, I believe we can achieve greatness again.”

Hammond wrote: “I can continue to support by taking action as needed to provide the team effort of achieving goals for our community asserted by our city council.”

Much of the information in this story was based on applications received by the city of Oakridge and released after a request was filed by the Highway 58 Herald under the state public records law.


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