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City Councilor Mark Gamba will be the only candidate listed for mayor on Milwaukie ballots for this May’s special election.


FILE PHOTO - GambaCity Recorder Pat DuVal accepted petitions for mayor through 5 p.m. on March 10, and Gamba was the only resident who filed. Gamba appreciated the confidence shown by voters, none of whom chose to oppose him on the ballot. It’s nearly inconceivable that a viable write-in candidate would prevent him from being elected mayor.

“It allows me to spend to next couple months on projects that are important for Milwaukie, rather than spending all that time and money campaigning for election,” Gamba said.

Top among those projects, it’s Gamba’s goal to have safe routes for kids living within a mile of all Milwaukie schools by the time his term as mayor is completed at the end of 2018. With a cost of about $100,000 per block face to build a sidewalk, Milwaukie hasn’t built a sidewalk on its own accord for decades.

“It’s not just sidewalks to schools because we also want kids to be able to ride their bikes to school, and it’s also about infrastructure needs like crossing signals and crosswalks,” Gamba said.

Many of Gamba’s longtime goals have forced the city to negotiate with the Oregon Department of Transportation, including getting Kellogg Dam removed. Gamba will also be “making sure that ODOT builds the 17th Avenue bike path project it’s promised.”

Gamba is hoping that Riverfront Park renovations can be completed well before opening celebrations this summer.

“We’ve been waiting on the permits for entryways from ODOT, and they’ve been excruciatingly slow in coming,” Gamba said. “It could have been completed in January (when the city thought the work would be completed), but then we had to stop work because of ODOT.”

Gamba is expected to fill the term vacated by former Mayor Jeremy Ferguson, who resigned in January. Wilda Parks was appointed interim mayor on Feb. 17, and she will serve until the newly elected mayor is sworn in at a City Council meeting in June, after the results of the special election are certified by the Clackamas County Elections Division.

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