New kids on the block vying for King City council seats
There will be a pair of new faces on the Nov. 3 general election ballot in King City.
Shawna Thompson and Kate Mohr are seeking four-year terms on the City Council, along with two councilors seeking re-election. Those terms would begin in January.
Thompson is already on the council, having been appointed to fill the seat of John Boylston, who earlier announced plans to move to Lake Oswego, to be closer to his family.
The four at-large candidates on the ballot will be Thompson, Mohr, Councilor Smart Ocholi and Councilor Gretchen Buehner. The three candidates who receive the most votes will each be elected to serve a four-year term on the City Council.
Councilor Thompson, who works as a real estate agent, grew up in Lake Oswego and moved to King City about a year ago.
"We had been living up on Bull Mountain and fell in love with the Edgewater community," she said. "We just had to be a part of it. It's such a great community."
She added, "It's just full of kids and families. We just love it. It's such a great fit for us."
The Thompsons have two girls, ages 9 and 14.
Speaking of King City, Thompson said, "I've always wanted to live in a small town. Right now, where we live, we're a block from the park. We ride our bikes around."
Thompson had some government experience in King City before she was appointed to the council earlier this year.
"I was originally on the planning commission for King City," Thompson said. "Because of my background in real estate, I thought that I would have the expertise they were looking for. When I found out there was an opening on the City Council, I applied to the City Council last winter. I was appointed in spring to the open seat. So far, I've loved it."
She added, "I really am excited about helping to plan the future of what King City is going to look like, with the growth that's coming up. That's why I'm wanting to be involved. I want to help shape what it's going to look like."
Looking ahead at the challenges for King City, Thompson said, "There's going to be some road expansion that some people are not happy about. With every growth, there's growing pains. I think that's going to be one of our biggest challenges, communicating with our residents and coming together for the greater good."
Thompson enjoys her relationship with fellow city councilors, even during the COVID-19 lifestyle we're all adjusting to.
"Absolutely," she said. "These Zoom meetings have really, I think, encouraged more communication because it's a little bit less formal of a way to meet."
Looking at future businesses in King City, Thompson will want to stress walkability.
"That's what I hope to, kind of, focus on, businesses that are walkable, and ways for people to access them, either by bike or on foot," Thompson said.
Thompson enjoys the social aspect of campaigning.
"I've always been involved," she said. "I've always been a volunteer. I like serving, so it's fulfilling to me in that way. I'm a very social person, so I think I'm a good fit in that way. I'm open to hearing and talking with people and getting their perspectives and bringing that to the council."
Kate Mohr is the newcomer in the race, the only candidate running who is not currently a member of the City Council, whether appointed or elected.
Mohr grew up in Baker City and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow.
After living in the Seattle area a few years, Mohr moved to what she considered home, the Portland area.
"We lived in Tigard for about a year and a half, and then we purchased our home in King City in 2010," Mohr said, noting her grandmother also moved to King City from Baker City.
For Mohr, she said, "The geography of King City was the biggest draw and then, of course, the house. The proximity to my grandmother, at the time, was a really nice bonus, too."
Mohr is a fourth-grade teacher at Willamette Connections Academy, which is a public online school, sponsored by the Scio School District.
Mohr has seen some positive developments in King City.
"Over the past couple of years we've had a lot of improvements to the King City Community Park," Mohr said. "We just finished leveling out the big grassy field area. It is incredible and something that is very much needed in this area."
Mohr continued, "I love that we've had a couple of businesses move in. We've had the Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery. It's so cool. It's right behind Grocery Outlet. It's in the same building. They have thousands and thousands of games and puzzles."
Looking ahead to challenges in King City, Mohr said, "One of the more immediate challenges is that we have to make sure that our revenue is keeping up with our growth and we're able to sustain services and programs that we have while we're adding services and programs."
Looking at King City's future growth, Mohr said, "I think that maintaining and, at the same time, renewing King City's identity will be one of the challenges we're facing as well. What I don't want to see happen is unplanned growth where everything's patched together."
Looking ahead to possibly serving on the City Council, Mohr said, "The whole point of the City Council is to represent our constituents, get together and have conversations."
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