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Milwaukie candidates apply for your vote

Several viable candidates have filed for Milwaukie City Council Position 4, an open seat due to the retirement of current Councilor Mike Miller.

In campaign materials, these contestants have outlined their plans if elected to the volunteer position: Scott Barbur wants to “cut red tape and find ways to attract and retain quality businesses,” Brian Henderson is “a strong fiscal conservative (who) also believe(s) in a small government with limited powers,” and Karin Power is focused on “building positive coalitions and stronger civic engagement across socioeconomic, age and ethnicity lines, especially with new residents arriving ahead of light rail.”

Photo Credit: FILE PHOTOS - Karin Power, Brian Henderson and Scott BarburBarbur, 33, is now one of the city’s planning commissioners, vice-chairman of the Historic Milwaukie Neighborhood Association, a board member for the Milwaukie Historical Society and president of the Milwaukie Rotary Club. He graduated from Rex Putnam High School in 1999, and in 2007 moved back to Milwaukie, where he has his law practice downtown.

In a closely contested 2012 race, Barbur lost to City Councilor Mark Gamba by fewer than 500 votes. Barbur has criticized the City Council of 2008-10 for spending money it didn’t have through TriMet’s $4 million light-rail obligation, which “was, fortunately for the city, bailed out by its citizens voting in a bond” in May.

“I will do everything I can to make sure that the city is responsible with its finances,” Barbur said. “I want to assure that the development of our downtown and other areas is development that the citizens of Milwaukie have input on and want to see occur … and improve and maintain our commitment to public safety.”

Brian Henderson

Henderson, 44, moved to Milwaukie in March 2013 from Oregon City where he had lived for about five years. He was born in a Southern California town called Hawthorne, where he lived until his mother died in 2007.

“I'd like to start with telling you that I am legally blind. I have a condition called retinitis pigmentosa,” he said. “I have always had a desire to serve the community, but until recently, I hadn't the confidence in myself. … I decided to run for City Council as my first choice to serve the community.”

During the summer of 2013, he worked for Blind Enterprises of Oregon sewing nametags for U.S. Marine uniforms. Other than that, his paid work experience is limited to tutoring mathematics in college after receiving his high school diploma in Lawndale, Calif.

For the last three Christmas seasons, he’s worked for Salvation Army as a bell ringer, singing carols as he mans the donation kettle. His other interests include growing his own vegetables, cooking, baking, walking around town, and listening to audiobooks. He’s active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Riverside Ward, where he’s the second councilor to the Sunday School president.

“I don't want to be thought of as a politician, but rather as a public servant,” he said. “People who serve in public office are supposed to represent the people who vote them in, not their own self interests.”

Karin Power

Power, 31, was raised by a middle-school English teacher and a state prison administrator in Fair Haven, N.J., a riverside suburb where she rode her bike with friends, built tree forts, and worked summers at the county’s last independent bookstore. Since moving to another riverside suburb (Milwaukie), she’s been in the news for drafting a petition to encourage City Council to think more ambitiously than the $4 million bond that passed in May, and with her wife, Megan, becoming the third lesbian couple to legally marry in Clackamas County, and showing off her home-grown chickens as part of local Yard to Table and Tour de Coops events.

On the City Council, Power would review city code and fee structures in partnership with elder-advocacy organizations “to identify opportunities and impediments to modifying existing homes so that seniors can live in them safely, or develop new housing in more accessible parts of town.”

Power also hopes to work more closely with North Clackamas parks staff to research pesticide-free options, and with Milwaukie’s Public Works Department to use more stormwater-friendly road surfaces wherever possible as part of continued strategic road maintenance, including a greater focus on new sidewalks and bike lanes.

“The challenges that we face are common to all towns split by big arterials over the last few decades,” she said. “Our neighborhoods are disconnected. What would otherwise be a short walk or bike ride turns into a car ride, which in turn often leads to travel to a more trendy or convenient area of the Portland metro area. As a result, our own downtown renewal struggles to thrive.”

Power works as Freshwater Trust staff attorney with experience in commercial real-estate law, Oregon land-use law, and fundraising for nonprofit museum and foster kids support organizations. In Milwaukie, she volunteers as chairwoman for the Island Station Neighborhood Association and vice-chairwoman for the Kellogg Wastewater Treatment Plant Good Neighbor Committee.

She also volunteers on the environment and natural resources section of the Oregon State Bar’s Executive Committee. Before graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School, she received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.