By editorial board • 

Hill the best option for Mac during critical time

Scott Hill has amassed a rich résumé of public service in McMinnville. During a 37-year career as a KeyBank executive, he found time to serve 20 years on the city budget committee, 12 years on the city council and four years as mayor, all while raising a family here with his wife, Donna.

In his re-election bid he faces Heidi Parker, a retired nurse and recent California transplant who has been an outspoken critic of the city’s handling of visible homelessness and nuisance issues. 

There are many questions we hoped to ask Parker to gain a sense of her policy positions and understanding of local governance. However, she declined to participate in an endorsement interview with our editorial board, even when offered the timing of her choice. She said her schedule was fully committed.

That in itself is not disqualifying, as we have other sources of information. But it suggests a reluctance to test policies and positions with a well-informed group of knowledgeable observers — something mayors must do on a regular basis.

Hill is dedicated to his mission, attending the vast majority of meetings of the city’s dozen odd standing committees and accompanying complement of special task forces and project committees. That gives him an unmatched mastery of the city’s inner workings and the people carrying them out.

His history of local leadership includes roles in the LDS church, United Way, McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, McMinnville Downtown Association, McMinnville Library Foundation, County Parkway Committee, Boy Scouts of America, American Lung Association, Affordable Housing Task Force, Visit McMinnville, McMinnville Downtown Association, McMinnville Water & Light Commission, Urban Renewal Advisory Committee and Oregon Partnership. Believe it or not, that list just scratches the surface.

While troubles surface in McMinnville, the city has long celebrated a reputation for outstanding governance overall. Citizen uprisings over homelessness and growth have fueled concern, and a wave of new residents have many calling for more voices to be heard at City Hall.

To the extent course corrections are needed, and both Hill and our board believe some are warranted, we put our faith in an old hand with a reputation for dedication, fairness, dignity, professionalism and integrity. We are confident his brand of constructive and collaborative leadership will grow even deeper with the lessons learned in recent years and the current election process. 

Parker is a self-described community influencer, mother of four and eager promoter for local businesses. She has used Facebook groups to quickly earn name recognition and many fans throughout the city. In that role, she has also been a lightning rod for criticism pertaining to her pattern of blocking oppositional views. Mayors inevitably face a regular diet of second-guessing and outright opposition, and need to meet it with magnanimity

McMinnville is staring down UGB expansion, fire department consolidation, COVID-19 fallout and other issues that will shape the city for generations. We need a mayor proven to understand such complexities and trusted to navigate the convoluted policymaking processes on the upcoming docket.

Fresh perspectives and upstarts can be good, but in this case Scott Hill is clearly the better option. 

Comments

news junky

Parker must not have had permission from Mary Starrett to meet with the editorial board.