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Incumbents Keeton and Smietana run again, Abbe steps up to run, all unopposed

The city of Metolius, population 924, has five city council positions and a mayor. Three seats are open on the council this election. Incumbents Denise Keeton and Joseph Smietana are running to hold their seats. Christy Abbe is a newcomer to politics.

PMG PHOTO: PAT KRUIS - Christy Abbe runs unopposed for a seat on the Metolius City Council.

Christy Abbe

Age: 58

Occupation: Owner/manager of four Outpost stores

Years in Metolius: 32

A volunteer mission to Cartagena, Columbia in 2018 prompted Christy Abbe to get more involved in her community. "That's when I began working with Madras Gospel Mission," said Abbe. "This (running for city council) is another step on following what God has called me to do in our community." Abbe had volunteered in her community long before that mission trips. She's been on the Metolius Budget Committee for 17 years. She currently serves on the boards of both the Madras Gospel Mission and the Jefferson County Faith Based Network. She's volunteered with Young Life and AWANA, both Christian youth organizations, and has been on mission trips to Latin American locations. Abbe says she's running for office because she wants Metolius to continue to be a great place to live. "We have all been through a lot of challenges in the last two years," she said. "I would like to be part of the team that is working on behalf of our city to ensure that wise decisions are made for the future of our little city."

Abbe names the top issues for Metolius as affordable housing, jobs and industry, and keeping our city safe and a great place to live.

While in office Abbe wants to encourage community members to let their voice be heard and get involved in the city in whatever way they are able.

Joe Smietana

Age: 34

Occupation: Fish Habitat Biologist/Project Manager for The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Years in Metolius: 3

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Joseph Smietana runs to retain his seat on the Metolius City Council.

A civic duty draws Smeitana to the city council. Smietana says growing up in Baker City, OR instilled in him the value of local government in a rural community, and he has since been involved in community projects across the state.

Smeitana moved to Metolius almost three years ago, and had a strong desire to get involved in the community. He has previously been involved in the La Grande Downton Association, as well as serving on the Metolius Planning Commission before his appointment to the council in 2021.

Smeitana volunteers with Ducks Unlimited and has previously been an Elks Club member.

One of Smeitana's goals after serving on the council this last year is to focus on taking advantage of grant funding to make improvements to city areas like the park. "I believe the major concerns of the city residents and businesses are the future for the city as the population in Central Oregon continues to expand. I think the city has to continue to strike a balance between urban growth while upholding the values of the agricultural and ranching community which has made Metolius the city it is today," said Smeitana. "I want to see us encourage businesses in town, and support the local businesses we have."

The Pioneer's efforts to reach Denise Keeton were unsuccessful.

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