Petitions due at local city halls by Aug. 26

Madras, Culver and Metolius will all have council positions and the position of mayor up for grabs in the Nov. 4 general election. Mayor positions are for two years, and council positions, for four.

In Madras, the position of mayor, held by Melanie Widmer, will be open, with no candidates yet announced. Widmer, the owner of Madras Sanitary, has served on the council for 14 years, and intends "to retire for now."

"I'm ready for it to be done and do something else and let somebody else have a turn," said Widmer, who considered it an honor to serve in the unpaid position. "It's been a wonderful experience and I'm really glad I did it."

Widmer plans to go back to school to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, "so I can do what I'm doing a little bit better," and will remain in the community.

"It definitely is time-consuming, so my husband is ready for me to spend a little more time with him," she said, noting that Royce Embanks, council president plans to run.

Three other positions on the seven-member council will be available, with two councilors already planning to run. Jim Leach and Richard Ladeby both intend to run for their positions, while Chuck Schmidt said he will not run.

"I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the City Council," said Leach, pastor of the Living Hope Christian Center, who has been on the council for the past three years, filling out a vacant position. "I feel that it's a strategic place to serve the city and make a difference."

Ladeby, food services director at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, said the position has been "very interesting."

"It's opened my eyes to what's happening in the community, and I've enjoyed being a part of that," he said.

Also filling out a vacancy on the council, Schmidt commented, "I learned a lot and hope I helped out a little bit. If the opportunity arises again (to fill out a term), I'd probably do it."

For more information, call the Madras City Hall at 541-475-2344.

For the Culver City Council, Mayor Nancy Diaz, who took office in January to fill out the final year of former mayor Shawna Clanton's term, said she anticipates running for the office.

"It's been wonderful," said Diaz, who has served on the Culver City Council for five years. "I feel that we've gotten a lot accomplished and I want to continue with that."

Her husband, Hilario Diaz, is in his second year of serving on the council and is thinking about running. "Things need to be done," he said. "The only way to get things done is to be on the council. Otherwise, there's no reason to complain."

Sharon Orr has also been on the council for the past couple of years filling out another person's term, and plans to run for the position.

"It's been interesting," said Orr, who would like to see more citizen input. "It's an education really; sometimes you get a little bit overwhelmed."

Councilor Shannon Poole does not intend to run for re-election due to a time conflict with her job.

For more information about the Culver election, call the Culver City Hall at 541-546-6494.

In Metolius, there are five people currently serving on the council, plus two vacancies. Two of the five positions will be filled in the November election.

Council President Patty Wyler, who was appointed to fill out a term in April 2011, indicated that she will run for election to her position.

"I believe I am going to go ahead and try again," said Wyler. "It's quite a learning process; I don't know if you ever get it. I'm just starting to get the hang of things."

Council John Willhoite said he is still debating whether or not to run.

Rhonda Stewart, Metolius city recorder, hopes to find others interested in filling out the two vacancies. "I would love it if someone would volunteer for those two positions," she said. "They just have to have lived in the city for two years."

One of the terms ends Dec. 31, and the other, Dec. 31, 2016.

For more information, call the Metolius City Hall at 541-546-5533.

Beginning June 4, candidates can pick up "prospective petitions" at local city halls, which must be returned to the respective city hall for review and written approval. Completed petitions are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

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