Canby Council members run unopposed
Voters in the Nov. 6 election returned Tracie Heidt and Greg Parker to the Canby City Council and selected Shawn Varwig to take over the seat that Tyler Smith will vacate on Jan. 1, 2019.
The three candidates were virtually assured of their seats since they all ran unopposed. In fact, Parker quipped, "Its funny having a job that nobody wants."
As preliminary results came in, Tracie Heidt was the leading vote getter early Friday night with 3,526, or 38.55 percent of the total vote. An incumbent, she shyly was surprised but happy to receive the votes.
"I'm surprised to be the top vote-getter and I think it's really helpful for voters to know what their candidates are about," she told the Herald.
During her second term as a council member, she says she'll continue to be "a big library advocate, to support hours and stable funding, I also will continue my communication with the residents with Facebook postings that are not partisan or political, but are informative."
She also thanked the voters for their continued support and staying connected to the community to help keep the council fresh.
Earlier this year she told the Herald she felt she hadn't finished her work on the council and that she brings a "unique perspective" to the council, representing different groups and individuals throughout the city.
"I am an involved citizen who knows the community values and values community building," she said.
Because he was running unopposed, Parker said he felt "it was pre-ordained" that he would win. However, he felt that more people didn't vote than voted.
Still, he sees some important issues to talk about and is mostly pleased that with this election, the council maintains its gender, geographic and political balance.
However, he said he's disappointed that "21 percent of Canby residents don't have a voice at the table. We need more diversity on the council, more diversity and we'd look more like the city because 21 percent of Canby residents are Latino," he told the Herald.
During his third term he'd like to have a dialog with residents regarding what they want to see and what they don't. For example, "Do our citizens want affordable residences but multi-family, or the opposite? Twenty-five years ago we made a mistake in our comp plan, setting aside the right amount on multi-family that now has single family on it," he said.
Like Heidt, he wants to see more parks and he also would like more access to areas by the river, especially the property across from Willow Creek.
Parker also feels he has work left to do. He sees his job on the council as looking at the long–term vision of the community. He wants to develop policies and systems that produce sought-after outcomes for the residents of the community.
"There's more work to be done," he said.
Parker has been on the City Council the past eight years
Shawn Varwig will take his seat on the council on Jan. 3, 2019. He feels that it's his job to give back to the community. "…It just feels like the right thing to do to get involved in the political spectrum as well. I have many ideas, and I don't think its right to talk the talk without walking the walk," he told the Herald.
Varwig moved to Canby in 2012. He's already been active serving on the Planning Commission for the previous two years. He wants to see more transparency between the council and the community, and is hoping to unify people from the various political spectrums while supporting the character of Canby.