By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Proebstel challenges Oriet for Carlton mayor


CARLTON - Carlton resident Darin Proebstel hasn’t been active in politics before, but is challenging longtime Mayor Kathie Oriet this year, in a bid to return his town to the friendly small-town atmosphere he said is beginning to go missing.

He said, “It was expressed to me by multiple citizens that they feel it’s time for a new pair of eyes to step in,” because they are concerned that the city is catering excessively to the “wine industry.”

“As a 100 percent disabled veteran,” Proebstel said, “I have time on my hands.” Given that, he said, “family and friends decided I should run.”

He said he has worked in management, and spent three years in the Navy, “so I feel I have the skills” needed.

Still, he said, he expects a learning curve.

He admitted, “I don’t know what a mayor can or can’t do. I plan to do as much as I can to achieve an overall good feeling about the way city politics is involved with the community.”

He said his priority would be giving residents a sense of ownership in their town.

“I would really like Carlton to become more of a town that residents can be happier or have more pride in ... they can feel more involved in the way the town is running, and feel like Carlton is more of a tight-knit community,” he said.

Proebstel, who graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School in 1994, said he holds two associates’ degrees from Portland Community College. One is in business administration, which he thinks would be useful in tackling the job of mayor.

He and his wife, who also grew up in the area, moved to Carlton in 2005. At the time, he said, the town seemed friendlier, and more involved, he said.

“If I was outside mowing my lawn or washing my car and an officer drove by, he would pull in and stop and talk, and get to know people,” he said.

Proebstel said it seems as if that type of interaction doesn’t happen much anymore. And he said that he would “like to see the council focusing more on what the basic wants and needs are” of town residents.

He promised that if he is elected, his door will always be open to residents.

“Really, I want them to know that if they have a concern and don’t feel its being address, or want to talk to me, I’m generally available,” he said. “I plan to have an open-door policy. I will sit there and listen to your concerns and investigate, and do what I can to help you out.”