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Elected in 2018, the incumbent will face the Kids Not Camps petitioner this November.

This November, Newberg residents will bear a large responsibility -- choosing their mayor for the next four years.

In the running are incumbent Rick Rogers, who ascended to the position in 2018, and William Rosacker, the owner of construction company BQC and an outspoken member of the community.

Rogers

In addition to serving as Newberg's mayor, Rogers works as the executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity. His past government experiences include various roles on city and school district committees.

According to his candidacy application, Rogers has a background in public health, small business development, journalism and banking. For high school, he attended Dolefil School in the Philippines through tenth grade, eventually graduating from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He later earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from Tufts University. Rogers

Rogers said in an email interview that residents should reelect him because the city "is a better place than when I took office."

"I feel the city of Newberg has faced some unprecedented challenges over the past nearly four years, but through this we have scored some significant accomplishments," he said.

He counted among city government's accomplishments the sale and planned redevelopment of the Westrock mill property, federal emergency funding distribution, passing the urban renewal plan, continuing the legacy of award-winning public safety, staff stabilization and developing plans to achieve financial stability.

"Personally, I am most proud of the staff for the sense of teamwork, the acquisition of redundant water waters, the upgrades to the financial and computer systems, budgeting and financial reporting upgrades, and funds disbursed to local businesses to aid after the pandemic," Rogers said.

He said he was also proud of how well the city and the City Council's collaborated during his term.

"Keeping Newberg vibrant while maintaining its character means not only local collaboration but collaboration with regional partners on such issues as economic development, housing and transportation," Rogers said.

As evidence of his commitment to cooperation, Rogers described himself as an active leader in organizations like the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Mid-Willamette Valley Area Commission on Transportation, Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium, Parkway Committee and SEDCOR.

Additionally, he said that in his view collaboration -- along with honest communication -- is the key to healing the fractured Newberg community.

If reelected, Rogers said he will prioritize attracting family-wage jobs to Newberg, tackling housing availability, completing the Wynooski/Wilsonville Road/Highway 219/bypass interchange, growing the amount of available commercial land in the city and improving the delivery of services.

"As with other communities throughout this great state and country, we are challenged by the fact that wages are not keeping up (and have not kept up) with the cost of housing," Rogers said. "We need well-paying jobs that allow residents to live, work, play, pray, study and volunteer here. With this life-work-volunteer balance, we all gain. I care deeply about this community and people and look forward to continuing to serve if that is the desire of voters."

Rosacker

Despite his initial agreement to an interview, and Pamplin Media Group's repeated attempts to contact him, Rosacker had not submitted his answers by the print deadline on Sept. 10. The following information was gleaned from his application for mayor, social media and other outlets.

Rosacker is co-chief petitioner for the Kids Not Camps initiative and was a vocal advocate for letting the voters consider the future of the recently passed urban renewal plan. According to his application, he has served on the Newberg Budget Committee and as chairman of the Newberg Downtown Redevelopment Committee.

After attending Newberg High School for three years, Rosacker earned his high school diploma while in the Army at Fort Bliss, Texas. He later became an Army armor reconnaissance specialist, achieving the rank of sergeant.

Sometimes on opposite of issues

Both vocal members of the community, Rogers and Rosacker have often expressed opposing opinions on issues affecting Newberg. Most recently, the issue was Peace Trail Village, a transitional housing project that, due to its planned proximity to Veritas School, sparked child safety concerns from some residents, despite reassurances that future occupants would be thoroughly vetted.

Rosacker, along with City Council candidate Robyn Wheatley, headed the Kids Not Camps initiative in hopes of requiring voter approval before new housing for homeless people can be built in town. The initiative also seeks to ban these facilities within 1,500 feet of schools.

The Kids Not Camps initiative formed soon after a June meeting where the council heard a report from Portland State University students on homeless housing and the prospect of "car camping" in the community.

Even though the council took no action and Rogers said the city commissioned the free study in response to a query from North Valley Friends Church, Rosacker said he would do everything in his power to stop the city from participating and to also let the voters decide what the city's involvement in homeless initiatives in the future would be.

On Aug. 8, Rogers spoke passionately at an emergency council meeting, which was called to address whether city councilors should place the initiative on the November ballot despite petitioners failing to submit the necessary signatures by the July deadline.

Rogers, who has worked at Habitat for Humanity for 23 years, challenged community members who favored the initiative.

"(The initiative) is punitive for those that are least defensible in our community," Rogers said. "We are demonizing these people to the point where they cannot be near our children. Really? Seriously, people?"


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