By News-Register staff • 

Nov. 8 election: Candidates in McMinnville

Geary
Geary
Humlie
Humlie

Ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election go out Oct. 19, and those for Yamhill County voters will contain city-specific mayoral and city council races, in addition to county commission, state legislature, and federal offices.

The News-Register emailed questionnaires to local candidates in contested races to respond in time for publication beginning with this edition. McMinnville and Carlton candidates are first up, with the rest of the cities scheduled for the issues of Oct. 18 and 21.

The candidates were asked these questions, plus one specific to their jurisdiction:

n What are your reasons for running?

n Briefly, but specifically, cite any personal background and involvement you have that would help you serve if elected.

n What are the top three issues facing your jurisdiction, and briefly state your approach or solution.

n Listening and connecting with constituents are commonly stated goals. How would you go about listening and connecting?

n How have you prepared for the possibility you will be elected, and how will you make a difference once you take office?

n How has public service changed in the last three years?

Note that some in some cases candidates declined to answer or consolidated their answers. Responses are published verbatim. Candidates not appearing either did not respond to the invitation or declined to participate.

News-Register coverage will also include articles on the county commission and clerk races, as well as city mayoral contests, starting Oct. 18.

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Here are the two candidates for an open seat on the McMinnville City Council:

 

Zack Geary

Occupation: General contractor

Education: BS Political Science, University of Oregon

Town of residence: McMinnville

Length of time living in the jurisdiction to be served: Ward 2 specifically, 12 years, in McMinnville more than 30 years

 

Describe your reasons for running.

I have a proven and demonstrated track record of serving the City and want to build on the work I’ve done shaping the future of the McMinnville I want to see come to fruition. From the creation and launch of the new fire district, stabilizing the city’s budget, creating a new parks and open spaces master plan, and erecting a new aquatic/community center there are myriad long range important issues to continue that move us there. I feel not only as an experienced Councilor but as a native McMinnvillian, small business owner, father, and city services user I represent an important voice at the table.

Briefly, but specifically, cite any personal background and involvement you have that would help you serve if elected.

I’ve served one full term (four years) on the City Council already, three years on the McMinnville Planning Commission, the McMinnville Downtown Association Board of Directors, the Yamhill County Parks Board, Yamhill enrichment Society Board, and co-ran the Walnut City Music Festival.

Aside from those entirely volunteer endeavors, I am a small business owner of a general contracting firm in McMinnville.

 

What are the top three issues facing your jurisdiction, and briefly state your approach or solution.

1: Sustainable City Funding.

With the revenue growth limits placed on city budgets from property tax it has handcuffed and stunted our ability to rise to meet the growing demand for service that the community requires. Simply put, the costs to deliver the services we need to exceed the rate at which we can keep up. We need to balance the equation by adequately funding the services we do have and put in place the service levels needed to meet the demands of the city we are becoming.

2: Growth planning and management.

Currently, and in the recent past, the city has had to deal with the pressures of growth. I believe we need to lead the conversation and steer the growth and development to not detract from that indefinable charm that makes McMinnville special, but to enhance it.

3: Housing and Childcare as crucial workforce development needs

Workforce development is currently a key issue to a businesses’ success in McMinnville. Two key components to that are housing availability and childcare — both at all types and levels. Through zoning code review, cost deferral programs, or other means the City should get creative to help spur development of these crucial pieces of the puzzle.

 

Listening and connecting with constituents is a commonly stated goal, but how would you go about it?

I am always open and available to conversations with and receiving input from my constituents. My one and only phone number is and has been listed on the Council website and I often field calls about a wide range of issues. I always make a point to listen and respond. Further, when items come up for council consideration, I make sure to reach out into the community and engage with people germane to the subject at hand.

 

How have you prepared for the possibility you will be elected, and make a difference once you’d take office?

As your current City Councilor, I will continue to put in the long hours to do the job, which means, often times, hundreds of pages of staff reports and details before each meeting, research and reflection on each issue, listening and responding to community, and continuously pushing long-range tasks along. Meeting with staff and department heads on key issues, connecting and maintaining relationships with community organizations, and keeping abreast of the community conversation are all elements that are always ongoing.

 

How has public service changed in the past three years?

With the shift to hybrid meetings, we have seen much more interaction on a consistent basis with the public. The lower and fewer the barriers the better. Providing the opportunity to people to zoom in from home during a point in the meeting to provide feedback is huge.

 

The continuing growth of McMinnville is related to many decisions brought to the city council, such as the development of the Three Mile Lane area and renovations to the historic downtown district. How do you balance growth with maintaining the city’s existing sense of community?

Having a strong vision of where you want to go and putting the growth and development to work to achieve both the development’s goal and your vision for the city. We need growth and development to continue to allow our city to fund and keep providing services. The more we can have that new growth and development reflect and enhance the sense of community, the more we can keep what we like about the city and build on.

 

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George Humlie

Occupation: Recology; residential waste collection

Education: high school graduate

Town of Residence: McMinnville

Length of time living in the jurisdiction to be served: 25 years

 

Describe your reasons for running.

I am quite concerned of the direction of our nation, and like a large ship has a small rudder setting its direction, so local government, like a rudder, can correct course.

 

Briefly, but specifically, cite any personal background and involvement you have that would help you serve if elected.

I’ve been a business owner, educator, I’ve provided countless Community Services events. I have a reservoir of common sense, and ready to tap it.

 

What are the top three issues facing your jurisdiction, and briefly state your approach or solution.

Vagrancy, Crime, Unaffordable housing/childcare.

These are systemic problems, with no quick fix solutions. We got here because of a lack of common sense. I will insist that government becomes more transparent with the people, working together for the common good.

 

Listening and connecting with constituents is a commonly stated goal, but how would you go about it?

Listening and connecting with my constituents is a gift that I’ve been given and have practiced my whole adult life.

How have you prepared for the possibility you will be elected, and make a difference once you’d take office?

I’ve been listening on a regular basis to City Council meetings, and learning the great responsibility that goes with the job. Once my hand is on the plow, I will finish the field.

 

How has public service changed in the past three years?

There has been a lack of transparency, which inhibits good service to the public.

 

The continuing growth of McMinnville is related to many decisions brought to city council, such as the development of the Three Mile Lane area and renovations to the historic downtown district. How do you balance growth with maintaining the city’s existing sense of community?

Change and growth are inevitable. A wise man works through changes methodically and cautiously. He always includes the desires of not only the living, but also the numerous ones who have passed on. They cared about our community as much, if not more than we do. Therefore, it is important to conserve the good things that make McMinnville what it is… a great little town, for future generations.

Comments

MSM

Zack’s answers included much more depth and thought than George’s. Zack had concrete ideas and experience to back up his statements. George answered with trite phrases and good intentions. I think Zack is the candidate who clearly understands the job and has a record of getting things done.

Bleepbloop

Geez, I hope people don’t decide who they are voting for by the number is yard signs. After reading this, there is zero doubt that councilor Geary is more qualified and engaged. Unfortunately signs seem to matter more than qualifications sometimes.

MSM

I can’t believe more people have not commented on this interview! When I walk around town and see those lawn signs for George springing up, my heart sinks. People I have respected are supporting him, and that disappoints me because it tells me they are not paying attention. George is a nice guy. He is. But this is not about that. Anyone who reads this interview and thinks about it can see that, nice as he is, George is not prepared for this job. It’s an important job. Zack (who I don’t know, by the way) seems infinity more prepared. Zack has specific concrete ideas supported by action and experience. He has done it successfully. People should not just vote for a nice guy with a catchy sign! We need more substance! We need Zack!!!

M. Isaac

I am not seeing that Zack's answers give that much more detail. They are more polished answers, but Zack has also been on the city council that has overseen a budget over 1 million in the hole and their answer seems to be a fee(tax) on water/light. I think if you knew George you would know that there is a lot of substance. He is a straightforward, trustworthy individual with a lot of practical life and business experience.

Bill B

Speaking from experience; Zack is your guy.