In an unusual move, this month, I will file again to run for elected office in Sherwood, but this time for City Council—and will not to ask you to elect me Mayor for the eighth time.
When I ran for Mayor again in early 2018, I had several goals I advocated for and hoped to achieve. With the help of the City Council, city staff and those that serve on the many city boards and commissions, we have accomplished or are about to accomplish all of them including:
-- Getting long stalled projects built (Cedar Creek Trail, Tualatin-Sherwood Road/Roy Rogers Road improvements)
-- Reimagining the Sherwood West growth area
-- Building a pedestrian bridge over Highway 99W
-- Expanding Sherwood Broadband
-- Maintaining a strong and well-trained city police force
-- Restoring the city partnership with our YMCA and school district
-- Working to get more state and federal dollars returned to Sherwood
-- Focusing on economic development with the goal of improving local jobs and the property tax base to help ensure sustainable revenue for city services with the slower growth rates we now have (vs. the crazy 1993-2006 growth rates)
-- Continuing to delivery high quality services families want while not asking voters to tax themselves more
After I was elected, we added to our list of goals. We:
-- lobbied for and were awarded grants to build the skate park next to the YMCA and to improve our veterans memorial (construction starts this fall).
-- with Council President Rosener's and Rep. Neron's help, we procured a $4 million Oregon lottery grant to use toward the cost of the pedestrian bridge.
-- expanded services to Sherwood seniors.
-- updated planning codes to enable and promote more middle housing options like cottage clusters and housing built above retail;
-- created a new urban renewal area to support our goals;
-- worked toward more public art in town (one mural done, art in roundabouts coming soon);
-- established goals to build/improve Edy Rd, Oregon St., Brookman Rd, Ice Age Dr.;
-- developed a vision for the Festival Plaza next to Clancy's (construction starts this fall); and much more.
We did all of this without raising taxes on our community members.
Once elected, I was also surprised when asked to apply to serve as Treasurer/board member for the League of Oregon Cities, also know as LOC. I was elected Treasurer and was eventually the LOC board President in 2021.
One of my goals from 2018 wasn't public: I intended to find/support a person to be my potential successor as Mayor.
Make no mistake, I love being Mayor, but I knew the time commitment was significant, and I have businesses to run. Maybe I will try to serve as your Mayor again in the future, but in my mind when I decided to run in 2018, it would be a 3-5 year commitment if I could find the next person I could support to replace me.
So, after the Nov. 2020 election, I asked City Council President Tim Rosener to consider the idea of running for Mayor in 2022. As part of that, I asked him to do more in his role as council president than before in order to prepare — to do some things in my place as I spent time with the League of Oregon Cities business and to join me in weekly meetings with the city manager and city attorney. This is very similar to what I did with Mark Cottle when he was Mayor 20-plus years ago.
Then COVID happened, and that amplified everything. It enabled Tim to see more of my thought process for city policies and goals. It allowed me to better understand Tim's thought process on topics and his ideas for Sherwood. COVID meant we talked a lot about things I never expected to have to talk about, and I got to know Tim and his family more than I would have expected.
Now, more than 18 months later, I believe Tim, with the support of his family (yes, I checked), is ready to serve as our Mayor if voters give him that opportunity. I think Tim Rosener will do a great job, and he has my full support and endorsement.
Being your Mayor is an honor of a lifetime. After the first four terms, I never expected to run for Mayor again; I was happy and working hard with my businesses and volunteering in the community in other ways.
Then things happened, and I got phone calls asking me to consider running for office again to help in 2018. Now I am in my fifth year as Mayor since 2018 and have really enjoyed working with a new group of community leaders and city staff.
When I asked Tim a few months ago if he wanted to run for Mayor after all he had seen and experienced in the last few years, he said yes, but only if I would do something unusual—he asked me to run for City Council.
Tim asked me to continue to help be a voice in the room to help impact city policy and goals. It is much like how I continued to serve other organizations after being President (League of Oregon Cities, Oregon Mayors Association, Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, and Sherwood Chamber of Commerce) — you continue to serve to help the new leader and the organization.
So, I also said yes — and would like your vote this November as I run for the office of City Council.
If elected, I would help the next Mayor and City Council to be successful, help complete the City's goals that we have in progress, and work on some new goals I have in mind as we continue to be the best city in Oregon to live, work and raise a family.
Keith Mays is Sherwood's mayor
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