Local realtor wants to help Prineville as it grows, with an eye toward infrastructure challenges

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Shane HowardShane Howard has concerns about how the city of Prineville is preparing for community growth and wants to play a role in planning ahead.

To that end, he has filed for a Prineville City Council position. He is the only candidate running who is not an incumbent nor a former member of the city staff, but he is eager to get involved and help lead the city going forward.

"I want to be involved with the city in the decision-making process surrounding the growth and infrastructure of our city," Howard said. He went on to reference concerns about traffic in particular. He points out that Prineville has "experienced tremendous growth in the last five to 10 years and it's a very difficult task to keep up infrastructurally."

"Traffic in this town has gotten really, really bad," he said, noting that afternoons are particularly congested. "We need some other arteries for getting around." Howard currently works as a real estate agent with The Associates Real Estate, but he has a history with sports, having served as a local middle school wrestling coach for 10 years. To help bolster local sports options, Howard would like to play a role in developing a sports complex.

"It's been tried before and failed, but I would support the decision to try and come up with a way to develop more healthy activities for youths and adults alike," he said. Howard believes that enough people need and want improved sports infrastructure and he would like to be a part of the effort.

"When I grew up here, we played ball all day long," he remarked.

Howard acknowledges that a serving on the council would be a new experience and that he is not a politician, but he feels like he could help.

"I feel like I could offer some good ideas," he said. "I like to be involved and I feel like I can offer positive opinions."

Howard is one of four councilor candidates running for three open positions. The other candidates are Scott Smith and incumbents Patricia Jungmann and Janet Hutchison. The top three vote-getters in the November general election will take office in January.

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