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Engineer says his expertise would be crucial as City considers infrastructure work

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Bill Relyea, right, felt the time was right to make a run for City Council after two years on the Planning Commission and more than a decade as president of his Neighborhood Association. A second person has joined the race for West Linn City Council, as Planning Commissioner and longtime Parker Crest Neighborhood Association President Bill Relyea announced his candidacy Aug. 15.

Relyea joins Jules Walters in the race for two seats that are opening as City Council President Brenda Perry and City Councilor Bob Martin's four-year terms expire. Perry has already announced that she will not run for reelection, while Martin has yet to declare his intentions.

Since moving to West Linn in 2002, Relyea — an engineer and administrator who currently works as an engineering, construction, bio-medical and emergency preparedness manager at OHSU Tuality Healthcare — has served in an array of volunteer positions with the City. He's been on the Planning Commission for two years and has served as neighborhood association president for the last 12 years.

Joining the City Council has long been a goal for Relyea, and he said the timing was finally right for him to jump in the 2018 race.

"It was just a good time in my life in general and there are critical issues coming before the council in the near future that have a lot to do with infrastructure, whether they be on Highway 43 or Interstate 205 and the waterfront," Relyea told the Tidings. "I just believe my expertise and understanding (of) how public works projects are managed, and being able to negotiate those issues with our partners and surrounding communities … those multi-agency coordination issues would make my skillset a perfect fit for being on the council."

Earlier in his career, Relyea worked on state transportation projects as an officer with the United States Corps of Engineers. He also served as a facility services director during the construction of state hospitals in Salem and Junction City.

Relyea and his wife, Claudia, have two children who went through the West Linn-Wilsonville school system.

"As a member of the City Council, I will work to ensure that our community remains a safe place and is prepared to make prudent decisions that are based on an engaged community process," Relyea said in a press release. "If elected, I will bring my depth of knowledge about infrastructure, transportation, emergency preparedness and most important 'operational funding' to the table."

The deadline for candidates to file paperwork with the City is Aug. 28.

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