Woodburn's longest-running mayor Kathy Figley is not seeking re-election, but her seat is being contested by longtime city councilor Frank Lonergan and longtime Woodburn educator Eric Swenson. Lonergan's council seat is being sought by newcomer Mary Beth Cornwell, and incumbents Robert Carney and Sharon Schaub will be running for re-election unopposed. The election is Nov. 6.

Woodburn Mayor Race

Frank J. Lonergan

COURTESY PHOTO - Frank LonerganRelevant Experience:

I have over 40 years of progressive leadership in Woodburn government. Currently 12 years on City Council with the last four years elected council president by my peers. I have over 45 years of strong business experience.

Why are you running?

I believe we have much more to accomplish with some very serious decisions that need to be made over the next few years. I have been committed to Woodburn for most of my life and believe my experience and passion for our city will help make these decisions. My mission statement is "Livability, Diversity, Possibilities."

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

1. Growth: We will have over 1,500 new residences within the next five years. This will affect traffic, schools and the city's services.

2. Economic Development: Now that we have increased our industrial urban boundaries, we need to bring in viable businesses that will deliver first-rate jobs. This includes continued development of Woodburn downtown, Highway 99E and current industrial park.

3. Traffic: Settlemier will not be able to handle growth and development mentioned above. Need to plan accordingly.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

1. Prosperous development of First Street/alleys.

2. Raise medium income by $10,000 with good paying jobs.

3. Woodburn: "UNITED" with a new community center.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job:

1. My varied government experience, with past 12 years on City Council.

2. Over 45 years with a business background that has prepared me to make difficult decisions that are fair and equitable for everyone.

3. I can save the city a parking spot by walking to City Hall!


We have one son who has given us much joy in traveling around the world to visit him within his military endeavors. We have an old Victorian house that we enjoy maintaining and decorating, plus two small poodles that require a lot of attention.

Eric Swenson

COURTESY PHOTO - Eric SwensonRelevant Experience:

I served six years on the city of Woodburn's budget committee and currently on the Parks and Recreation Board and the Woodburn Area Tourism Advisory Committee. I'm president of Woodburn Proud, president-elect of Woodburn Rotary and a member of Woodburn Eagles. I have served on the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce Board and the Woodburn Boys & Girls Club Board. I hold a master's degree in public administration.

Why are you running?

I have come to have a deep appreciation for all those that live and work in our community and have a desire to do what I can to make Woodburn an even better place to live for all of us.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

1.Managing the upcoming growth with the anticipated addition of thousands of new homes.

2. The revitalization efforts along First Street.

3. Maintaining and improving the livability in all neighborhoods.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

I would like to see more businesses occupying our empty downtown buildings, our parks improved to include turf fields and the construction of a community center.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job:

1. My broad service will allow me to be an effective spokesperson for our city.

2. Having come to understand the talents, assets, struggles and dreams of Woodburn citizens from all walks of life, I will be an effective advocate for all our residents.

3. Being fluent in Spanish and basic conversational Russian (and pretty good in English) I am able to communicate directly with the majority of the people in Woodburn.


My son is fluent in Russian and Spanish, having benefitted from our district's dual-language programs. I am an avid tennis player and love skiing and white water rafting. I'm now a member of the Woodburn Senior Center and an associate member at Woodburn Estates where I plan to become a basic golfer.


Woodburn Council Ward 3

Robert Carney

COURTESY PHOTO - Rob CarneyRelevant Experience:

Woodburn Planning Commission, Woodburn Citizen's Advisory Committee, Fifth Street Improvement Project Committee, Highway 99E Corridor Planning Committee, City Councilor for Ward 3 since 2014.

Why are you running?

I wish to continue to better serve the political and policy-development desires of my Ward 3 citizens and to also to serve our community at large.

What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the city?

1. Identifying and securing a manufacturer, processor and/or industrial firm who will provide the Woodburn community with mid-to-high level hourly and/or salary employment, with a three-shift/day employment commitment.

2. We are already beginning to expand our single-family and multi-family housing stock and expect to see between 1000 and 2000 new living units completed within the foreseeable future. Managing such significantly increased growth effectively, within an already established community must be one important priority.

3. The new housing-caused transportation pressures mentioned above in #2, remind us that our streets, roadways and paths already exist within very-obvious constraints and, for the most-part, are not easily suitable for expansion or renovation. Solving future transportation challenges, of this sort, must remain a serious, second priority.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

1. I wish to see the very real and obvious obstacles to redevelopment of First Street to be completely eliminated, immediately. And, for the First Street and Alleyway Project to proceed as currently planned.

2. I wish to see a new development/redevelopment focus placed upon the Hwy-99 Corridor, through the combined efforts of the State of Oregon and the City of Woodburn. I suggest that, properly developed, this new commercial zone could eventually rival our existing Company Stores Complex, which is now full and has reached its physical, development potential. Consider, the purchasing power of the tourists keeps coming and we must consider how to effectively redirect them to eqelivent commercial locations, while also keeping them within our City's boundaries.

3. I would like to help stimulate a manageable, reasonable and effective Community Center development project, to better address the current recreation and social shortcomings encountered by our youth and senior citizens.

Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job:

1. I've come to understand how our system of government functions most effectively and also continue to recognize how to best accomplish our City's policy development needs.

2. Since joining our Council, I have reached-out to other County and State political and policy development agencies, joined them and continue to work closely with them to help them better understand how it benefits them to further enable Woodburn's policy needs. I suggest that this is a duty of all elected officials, to use our voice and experience to make other decision makers and policy developers aware of how we can help one-another.

3. I am an engineer. I view future development through an engineer's perspective and normally insist that potential problems be identified, in-advance and that agreement to solve such dilemmas be already in-place before a project commences.

What are some of your hobbies or interests, or what is something we might not know about you?

1. I am an Electrical Engineer with a Master's Degree in Business. I also enjoy problem solving and project management.

2. I am retired from Portland General Electric.

3. I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction; also hiking Oregon's parks and motorcycling her back roads.


Woodburn Council Ward 5

Mary Beth Cornwell

COURTESY PHOTO - Mary Beth CornwellRelevant Experience:

Volunteer/Participant in: Settlemier House (curator); Woodburn Comeback Campaign; Historic Woodburn Neighborhood Association; Historic Elsinore Theater; Citizen's Police Academy

Why are you running?

I believe it is time for me to give back to my hometown. My friends encouraged me to participate and have been supportive to me as well.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

Biggest issue to me is the lack of aesthetic beauty within the city and Ward 5 in particular. Property owners do not seem to take full responsibility to keep up their buildings. Second is lack of ordinance enforcement to address all issues of livability. Third is the free trade of drugs within our city and the transient population.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

I would like to see a change in people's willingness to participate in the beautification of the city. I would like to see the downtown city blocks of businesses to be occupied, revitalized and thriving again. I want a safe and proud city. I would like to see that people are acknowledged for making an effort to improve their property.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job:

I have a lifelong commitment to Woodburn and Ward 5. I have a great energy and desire to help Woodburn continue to grow toward the proud and beautiful community that many neighbors envision it to be.

I am open-minded with strong opinions, willing to listen to all sides to bring beneficial resolution to most situations.

What are some of your hobbies or interests, or what is something we might not know about you?

My interests include — gardening, antiques, old houses, Native American art, Argentine Tango and Latin dance, animals, poetry and prayer.


Woodburn Council Ward 4

COURTESY PHOTO - Sharon Schaub

Sharon Schaub

Woodburn City Councilor Sharon Schaub is running unopposed for re-election. She did not submit a response before the Independent's deadline.

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