Estacada candidates run for four open council positions
The November election for mayor and three City Council positions in Estacada will consist of both new and familiar faces.
Mayor Sean Drinkwine is running unopposed for reelection, and Joel Litkie, Charity Hughes and Paul Strobel have put their hats in the ring for three open positions on the Estacada City Council. The council positions up for election are held by Strobel, Kimberlee Ables and KC Spangler. The latter two are not seeking reelection.
Drinkwine was elected mayor in 2016, and Strobel was appointed to the City Council to fill a vacancy in July.
"I love Estacada, and I love the people in it. I always want to do what's in their best interests," Drinkwine said. "I've been a lot of places in my life, and I've seen a lot of communities. After a hard day at work, I love coming back to Estacada."
He added that he thinks Estacada has experienced positive growth during the past several years.
"We have a beautiful downtown core. It's making Estacada a place where people want to come, and making residents feel good about their downtown," he said, reflecting on his time in office, and cited Sauter Timber's upcoming move to the Industrial Campus as something he's proud of. "With the growth, we have to find jobs for the people who live here. That's something I've worked hard to do."
Drinkwine faced criticism earlier this summer for a social media post critical of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, an experience he said he's learned from.
"As mayor, I've grown quite a bit this past year. I feel like I've come a long way, and I've learned from my mistakes," Drinkwine said. "I hope to be a better mayor for everyone."
He added that he's happy to see people interested in joining the City Council.
"I want to give a shout out to them for stepping up to serve the community," he said. "There are so many people running because they care about Estacada."
Candidates run for City Council
Hughes said she hopes to join the City Council to be a voice for her fellow community members.
"It's important that the council represents the community," she said. "I'm not out here to push my own agenda."
She has lived in Estacada for four years and is an assistant coach on the Estacada Junior RIOT Team. She also volunteers as a health and fitness coach at Sandy Crossfit.
"I absolutely love this town and this community," she said. "(I asked myself) how can I find a way to give back to the community and preserve what we have? I really feel like we have something special here."
After founding Estacada Community Watch earlier this year, Litkie looks forward to the possibility of serving the city in additional ways.
"I was looking at how things were going, and I saw the need for service. I had some thoughts and ideas, so I decided to step up to serve the community," he said.
Litkie, who works as a cybersecurity analyst, has lived in Estacada for four years. In July, he created the Estacada Community Watch, which has coordinated a community cleanup and kept eye out for any potential instances of violence or vandalism during a march against racism earlier this summer. The group will also host a Back the Blue march and barbeque on Saturday, Aug. 29.
Litkie appreciates being part of a community like Estacada.
"I love the small town feel, and the people there. You can walk into a business and know the people there and know the owner," he said. "If someone needs help, we can be there for each other. There's a real community feel."
Strobel views being part of the City Council as a continuation of his previous volunteer work with the city. Along with heading the economic portion of the Downtown Estacada Commission, he serves on the city's budget committee and the board of directors for 300 Main.
"Through my prior experience with the city working on different projects, I have an understanding of the city's goals," said Strobel, who operates a State Farm insurance office in Estacada. "I like seeing different angles, and taking different ideas together toward the big picture."
Strobel has lived in Estacada since 2011 and appreciates all that the community has to offer.
"The city is a really vibrant city. I like being part of that," he said.
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