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Says she and husband want to travel more in retirement; council also discusses annexations at work session

City Council President Brenda Perry announced Monday that she will not seek reelection in November.

"My husband and I want to travel more in our retirement and also have time to visit our three grandchildren," Perry said in a statement. "I wanted to declare early so that prospective candidates would know that I will not be contesting the seat."

Perry was elected to the council in 2014 after running a joint campaign with Axelrod, who was later elected mayor.

"During my time on the council, I have worked hard to be a thoughtful and independent voice that represented all West Linn citizens," Perry said. "I hope that whoever replaces me will remember that their responsibility is to all of West Linn and not just their supporters. Councilors should not be afraid to change their minds on issues as they gain more information, even though some citizens will likely complain."

Annexation discussions

One week after voters approved an annexation of 6.47 acres at 23190 Bland Circle — the vote was advisory and the City Council must render a final decision — two more annexation proposals were presented during a work session Monday, May 21.

The annexations are at neighboring properties of 2.35 acres and 2.57 acres at 22864 and 22870 Weatherhill Road. The properties have two different owners who have requested R-7 zoning, and in total the properties contain an estimated 22 lots.

The properties are considered "islands" in that they are surrounded by City land, and annexing them would not expand the city's urban growth boundary.

A formal hearing will be held June 18, but during the work session City staff asked the council if it anticipated holding another advisory vote. Senate Bill 1573 — passed by the 2016 Oregon Legislature — mandated that all annexations be decided by the City Council, a departure from West Linn's long-held practice of putting annexations up for public vote. Other cities have challenged that law in court, and while that process plays out the City Council has opened up the possibility for public advisory votes on annexations when deemed necessary.

The council said it would finalize its decision on an advisory vote June 18, but each of the three councilors present said they did not feel it would be necessary this time.

"These are islands, and we've talked about how islands need to come into West Linn," City Council President Brenda Perry said. "My feeling is it's just wasting time, money and effort to send it to an advisory vote."

Mayor Russ Axelrod said the results of the Bland Circle vote indicated that voters generally approved of the annexation of island properties.

"Any time we annex any land outside our city (limits), we're definitely going to the voters," Axelrod said.

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