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City of Aurora sees contested races for mayor and two separate City Council positions.

Aurora Mayor Bill Graupp has as challenger this election: current City Councilor Kris Sallee. Running for Sallee's council seat are Tom Potter and Tara Wiedman. Councilor Brian Asher vies against newcomer Jerry King to regain his council position. The election is Nov. 6.

Aurora mayor

Bill Graupp

COURTESY PHOTO - Bill GrauppRelevant Experience:

• Mayor, City of Aurora (5 years)

• North Marion School Board (6 years)

• Planning Commission, Aurora (2 years)

Why are you running? Continue to serve the citizens of Aurora, providing responsible leadership in planning the city's future.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

1. Growth management — infrastructure

2. Attracting business investment into vacant land

3. Traffic congestion

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

1. Continued infrastructure investment

2. Continued fiscal responsibility

3. 10-year investment strategy

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job: 1. Demonstrated responsible leadership

2. Dedication to public service and the future of the city

3. Focus on the future of our children

hobbies/interests: 1. Serve on nonprofit boards and state government boards for the betterment of education in Oregon

2. Serve on the Oregon Mayors Association Board

3. Teaching business and financial leadership workshops to students.

Kris Taylor-Sallee

COURTESY PHOTO - Kris Taylor SalleeRelevant Experience: Aurora City Government: Councilor (2013-Present), Planning Commissioner & Vice Chair (2012-2013), Budget Committee (2014-Present), Budget Committee Chair (2015).

Why are you running? During my time on city council Aurora Citizens continue to be excluded from the decision-making process. My ongoing requests for town hall meetings and other avenues for citizen input have largely been ignored. Decisions are made with minimal consideration of citizen input. The lack of transparency must change.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city? 1. Vision: We need to find the balance of preserving small town charm while remaining relevant. 2. Transparency: Citizens need to be included and clearly understand the issues we face so we can work together toward the solutions that best benefit Aurora and not special interests! 3. Appropriate growth: Our infrastructure is in serious need of updating and funding is a challenge. Appropriate, business friendly development is needed to provide additional tax dollars to help fund these projects and not leave the burden to residents.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected? 1. Town Halls: Establish regular town halls to inform citizens of the goals and objectives of the city, as well as provide a venue for their input. 2. Safety/Police: Thefts in our town have increased recently and folks do not feel safe and protected, nor is there a sense of police presence in our town. Review of the county police contract is one of my top priorities as this contract is one of our largest budget items. 3. Citizen engagement: Establish committees where citizens can connect their skills to a passion.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job: 1. I understand that I serve at the pleasure of the citizens and not my personal interests. 2. The corporate leadership skills I have developed over 30 years provides me the expertise to bring people together. 3. My long-standing family history with Aurora gives me a unique perspective.

hobbies/interests: Classic car enthusiast (own a 1964 Comet Caliente and a 1975 Honda CB125). I enjoy local car shows.

Aurora City Council Position #1

Tara Weidman

COURTESY PHOTO - Tara WeidmanRelevant Experience:

5 1/2 years on Aurora Planning Commission, 1 1/2 years on Aurora Parks Committee. Office Manager for medical offices for over 15 years.

Why are you running? I absolutely love my town. It brings me incredible joy to plug in and find ways to enrich our community, as indicated by my history of involvement. Being on council will give me a greater opportunity to serve my neighbors and be their voice. I also feel that our city is facing big issues that will shape the future of our town. I want to be a part of the process to ensure a safe, healthy and abundant environment for generations to come.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

Airport expansion, water service rates and infrastructure, and trying to make Aurora friendlier to small local businesses.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected?

1. I would like to encourage more opportunities for community involvement. I envision Aurora residents and business owners co-creating a vibrant local culture and economy.

2. I would like to develop an even more transparent and accessible city council. Together, we can create a wider variety of ways our community can voice its opinions. I envision more actively attended town hall meetings, citizen surveys and other forms of outreach to be certain we are truly representing the voice of our town.

3. I would like to work closely with our Aurora businesses, planning commission, volunteers, and Aurora Colony Visitors Association toward the common goal of beautifying our town, supporting local businesses and sustaining viable development.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job: 1. I will focus on our common ground instead of our differences. I believe it is essential that every individual in our community has a voice and is heard. 2. My years of experience on the planning commission has given me a ringside seat to what is working in our local government and what is not. 3. I have an infectious passion and joy for life.

hobbies/interests: I love exploring Oregon with my family. In my free time you will find me with my husband, two daughters and labradoodle on a wooded trail or combing our beautiful beaches. I also play bass guitar and sing in a local Aurora group called The Colonists.

Tom Potter

Tom Potter did not submit a completed questionnaire before the Independent's publication deadline.

Aurora City Council Position 2

Brian Asher

COURTESY PHOTO - Brian AsherRelevant Experience: Currently completing 1 1/2 years appointed Aurora City Councilor position, 22 years Aurora Historical Society Board (current treasurer) past president of McLoughlin Historical Society, Rose Farm board member

Why are you running? Working with the current city council to make a difference in our city, helping to make Aurora a great place to live, raise your family and be proud of your community.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

1. Implementing the water, sewer and storm water assessments for the city.

2. Citizens' concerns for more police presence.

3. Passing a new bond for the repairs to the water and sewer and infrastructure, new City Hall, community center.

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected? All of the above issues. Grow our parks: use of public land, bicycle pathways. Put together a long-range visionary plan for the city.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job:

1. Business experience. I have worked with many people and have had the opportunity to find many solutions to different ideas through my construction business for 25 years.

2. Leadership experience. I have experience working as part of a team. My volunteering and working within the community has given me a vision and I am here to support and help the people of this city.

3. Visionary. My ability to see long-range potential goals and understand the process to getting them accomplished will be an asset to the council.

hobbies/interests: Woodworking, repairing early American furniture, gardening, restoring old homes

Jerry King

Relevant Experience: No government experience, however, I have been a teacher for over 40 years and know how to conduct a classroom with information, communication and the organizational skills needed for continued student growth and understanding.

Why are you running? There is a need for change in the Aurora City Council. Communication with the citizens is sparse on important issues and the current concept of growth does not fit the town's businesses and its citizens.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city? 1. Appropriately controlled airport growth using existing Oregon Land Use laws that will restrict larger jets.

2. Open communication on city growth with the citizens and businesses of Aurora

3. Adequate police protection for public safety

What three things would you like to accomplish if elected? 1. Keeping Aurora Airport contained to the existing runway length. 2. A communication system that notifies all citizens of development and allows for citizen input. 3. Increased police presence that will require a review of our current contract with Marion County.

three reasons you are the best candidate for the job: 1. I will institute immediate communication change that will serve the Aurora public and businesses.

2. I retired and chose Aurora as my home in 2015. I will work with the mayor and city council to keep its character while guiding its growth with citizen input.

3. As a career teacher, I have learned that everyone should be treated with respect and fairness, that there should be clear communication, and to listen to new ideas from everyone.

hobbies/interests: I am a career music/math educator, performer, and a publisher. I hope to contribute to local music performances in the near future. I have an active interest in all sciences and love to engage in conversation with the latest discoveries. Watching the 2017 solar eclipse from my deck was quite a thrill.

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