Wilsonville City Council race is set
This article was updated from its original version
The filing deadline to run for Wilsonville City Council has passed. This means that the slate of candidates vying for the open mayoral position and two other open council seats in the November election is set.
Here's a brief rundown of who is running.
Ben West, a current city councilor, is vying for the top gig in the city. West is a nurse, was a plaintiff in the state Supreme Court's decision to end its ban on gay marriage in 2014 and previously ran for mayor and Congress before being elected to the council.
West is the councilor who is least wedded to the city's longstanding positions — questioning things like the city's stance against Aurora Airport planning, planned bridges over the Willamette River and I-5 and even the council's appointment selection process. The Villebois resident also helped spearhead a fund to provide relief to victims of the Villebois fire and recently started a video series highlighting businesses and other staples of the Wilsonville community.
Julie Fitzgerald is a former Wilsonville city councilor who decided not to run for reelection in 2016 due to professional demands. She has helped lead organizations like the Oregon Zoo Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and Oregon Health & Science University but said her current job affords her more time for political pursuits.
She likely will be the candidate who most aligns with current Mayor Tim Knapp in terms of policy and her campaign manager is Susie Stevens, who also tended to align with Knapp as a councilor. Some of Fitzgerald's biggest accomplishments, she told Pamplin Media Group, include jumpstarting the Wilsonville Citizens Academy and contributing to Frog Pond and Basalt Creek planning.
Kristin Akervall is nearing the completion of her first term as a city councilor and has served as council president since the beginning of 2019.
Akervall, who is pursuing a master's degree in business analytics, prides herself on assessing whether the city's processes are sound and whether all sides have had a chance to provide input.
The Villebois resident consistently votes in favor of the council consensus and is passionate about the city's plans to spur the redevelopment of Town Center.
Joann Linville was appointed to the City Council to replace Susie Stevens in 2019. The council was impressed by Linville's leadership background as well as her preparedness during interviews. Since joining the council, the former Development Review Board member and college administrator has also aligned with the council consensus. Linville was also tasked with helping craft the fine details of a plan to provide relief for local businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Budiao has been a consistent volunteer in the community and was honored as the Rotary Club of Wilsonville's First Citizen award in 2019 for such efforts, which include serving as a scoutmaster and coaching youth sports.
He also is a retired Air Force veteran, where he was tasked with facilitating the transfer of large quantities of cargo. Budiao came a few percentage points short of being elected to the council in 2018 and would like to see the city reduce density and traffic.
He also applied to be appointed to replace Stevens, but the council chose Linville instead.
Imran Haider is the candidate on this list who is newest to Wilsonville politics. The Villebois resident, however, has forged a career as a teacher of public speaking and is also a minority owner in Ancestry Brewing. Some of his goals, if elected, include improving the relationship between the community and the police and helping a business community that has been decimated by the pandemic. Haider has Pakistani roots and is passionate that people should be treated fairly regardless of their skin color or background.
This article was updated to remove a misleading statement about Councilor Joann Linville and to add her background in volunteering and local government
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