Voruz seeks re-election to continue improving Fairview
Natalie Voruz, 47, is seeking to retain her Postition 5 seat on the Fairview City Council, a post she's held since 2015. Her opponent is city of Gresham employee Edward Jones.
Prior to serving on the City Council, Voruz served on the Arts and Community Events Advisory Committee. She volunteers at Reynolds High School, has coached youth soccer, served as a mentor for teenage mothers and hosts foreign exchange students. Voruz has also acted as the council liaison for the Fairview Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, and volunteered as a member of the Municipal Audit Committee.
Voruz moved to Fairview in 1999 with her husband and two boys. She spends her free time gardening, boating, riding her motorcycle and playing with her two dogs.
She works for the federal government as an administrative officer, and she serves on Oregon's Federal Executive Board Policy Committee.
The Outlook met with Voruz to discuss her upcoming priorities if she gets elected to another term.
THE OUTLOOK: Why should people vote for you?
NATALIE VORUZ: I think my biggest strength is transparency. When I talk about transparency I don't just mean getting information out there, but making sure there is correct information out there that's timely and up to date. So then we're showing our citizens what's behind our decision making.
OUTLOOK: Why are you running for re-election?
VORUZ: We've done a lot in the past four years, but I'm not completely done. We've made a lot of progress, but I'd like to see projects like the Halsey corridor, and the Main Street on Halsey project move forward (see editor's note). As well as the urban renewal district's Levy-Ready Columbia (project) is really important. It's going to be really important to Fairview if we get the levy recertified. If not, then we face an issue with flood insurance in some of our locations. So I'm really interested in making sure that Fairview does what we need, and be more proactive with that. Also, with the 223rd underpass, we've made some progress working with the railroad to improve the safety. I want to continue with those projects.
OUTLOOK: What do you think of a plastic bag ban?
VORUZ: I'm in support of banning plastic bags. I actually think not everybody on the current council is that excited about it, and they think that is something that might happen because Metro might do it, or the state might do it, but for us, I want Fairview to be a proactive council and set a standard in East County that we care about our environment.
OUTLOOK: How do you handle strong disagreements on an issue?
VORUZ: That's something I'd like to see maybe change on Fairview council, and do it a little more respectfully. There are some councilors when you disagree who tend to attack. The goal for me is to always remain professional through that, and don't let myself get emotional.
OUTLOOK: Several other candidates (not running against Voruz) have mentioned public safety is a priority for Fairview. Why is public safety such an issue here?
VORUZ: With the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office merger, we're doing really good as far as our crime rates, but when you look outside you can see encroaching crime coming from other jurisdictions, and it's just going to continue to come out east. If we don't continue to be proactive, then we could see rising crime rates in Fairview. It's the same with the homeless community. It's exciting to see Multnomah County Sheriff work with the (Homeless Outreach and Programs Engagement) team. So we're looking at homeless, not just as people who don't have homes, but also the mental issues that are involved with that.
Editor's note: The Main Streets on Halsey project is a collaborative effort between the cities of Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale, to create a shared vision for the Halsey corridor (a main thoroughfare that connects all three cities), with the goal of making Halsey Street into a unique destination.