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Voters now electing city councilors by position rather than in a top-two format

Nick Tacheny is once again taking on longtime Happy Valley City Councilor Markley Drake, but this time it's a race specifically for Position 1, rather than an open-election format.

FILE PHOTO - ShermanIn 2014, Drake was among top-two vote-getters in Happy Valley's old open-election format, but this year he faces off head-to-head with Tacheny. Brett Sherman, first elected to City Council in 2014, will be facing a head-to-head matchup with Joshua V. Callahan, the chair of the Happy Valley Planning Commission.

Sherman agreed with the top-two system in an April 17 work session from a charter perspective, but he took issue with the fact that the language was adopted unintentionally. He said he would have rather kept it as a top-two system, but he ended up voting for the charter change when it was up for adoption in the June 5 council meeting.

Sherman said his mind was changed on the subject after the city attorney provided "insightful context," indicating that the city charter did lay out "by position" sufficiently.

"I don't believe we had to materially alter the charter, but [we] did make the language more specific so there would be no future misunderstandings about the definition of the positions," Sherman said. "Realistically, I didn't have strong beliefs either way and in hindsight, the 'by position' structure is generally how people perceive elections in today's environment."

Callahan honorably left U.S. Army's Military Police to pursue a legal career. He grew up in Oak Grove, graduating from Rex Putnam High School, getting his law degree from Lewis & Clark College after getting his bachelor's degree at Portland State University in criminology and criminal justice.

"I believe Happy Valley is on a great track to continued prosperity, but as any growing city, there are issues to be addressed," Callahan wrote in his Voters' Pamphlet statement. "Infrastructure and growth, schools, policing, and our parks and recreation are the areas that I believe require the most attention right now."

Sherman pointed out that schools are not specifically a Happy Valley issue, although the city works with the North Clackamas School District on various issues.

"Let me start by saying that I've found Joshua Callahan to be pleasant, personable and thoughtful," Sherman said. "He's done a solid job on the Planning Committee and seems to be a good guy."

Sherman agreed with Callahan that infrastructure and growth are important issues for Happy Valley as it seeks to mitigate traffic on Sunnyside Road and Interstate 205 by expanding the Sunrise Corridor. Sherman said the North Carver Pleasant Valley Comprehensive Plan will not only lay out how the city looks (and works) on the east side, but will also provide the framework for a future downtown core.

"Other priorities include working with our nearby partners to fund sewer and stormwater-capacity increases," Sherman said.

Sherman was the Happy Valley Traffic & Public Safety Committee vice-chairman and has been a longtime coordinator of the Happy Valley Hikers group. Drake and Sherman have cross-endorsed each other and are both endorsed by all three of the remaining City Council members.

Drake vs. Tacheny

Tacheny, whose two children attend Clackamas High School and Happy Valley Middle School, is a CHS graduate born to a Happy Valley family in 1973. He earned a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University and bought a home in Happy Valley 11 years ago.

According to his Voters' Pamphlet statement, his professional career includes medical sales in service to long-term care living, oncology, and now mental health patients.

"I have also supported our local community through philanthropy, coaching youth sports, supporting school programs, and serving on the Clackamas Youth Basketball board for the past three years," he wrote.

Tacheny is endorsed by two CHS teachers — John Arntson, varsity baseball coach, and Korey Landolt, varsity girls basketball coach. He also received endorsement of former Clackamas High School Principal Elaine Drakulich.

As a Happy Valley councilor since 2005, Drake is the longest serving city volunteer of any candidate. In addition to city councilors, Drake is endorsed by Clackamas Fire Board member Thomas Joseph and former council members Michael Morrow.

Drake previously served over two years on the Planning Commission and three years on the Parks Committee. He has served on the Clackamas County Coordinating Committee, River Health Advisory Board, Water Environment Services Advisory Committee and Sunrise Water Authority Budget Committee. He has a master's degree in business administration from George Fox University.

"I have worked with my fellow councilors to create a fiscally conservative approach to our budgeting and finance, building fiscal reserve funds, and planning for our future," Drake wrote in his Voters' Pamphlet statement.

Drake previously worked in Multnomah County as a senior research analyst for its sheriff's office and as a project manager for its aging and disability services department.

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