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With candidate filing deadline approaching Sept. 6, contenders are Bill Relyea, Leo Groner, Scott Erwin and Tanner Woody

After a flurry of candidate applications, a withdrawal and a declaration of ineligibility over the past week, there are now four candidates — Bill Relyea, Leo Groner, Scott Erwin and Tanner Woody — in the race for two open seats on the West Linn City Council.

Relyea and Groner filed their candidacies in August, while Erwin and Woody submitted paperwork Sept. 1. The council seats up for election in November are currently occupied by Relyea and Todd Jones.

Jones recently decided not to run for reelection after completing his two-year term. He was first appointed as an interim councilor in March 2021 after then-Councilor Jules Walters took office as mayor, and later elected in May 2021 to serve the remainder of Walters' term.

"We're making plans for our future and I realized that I could not commit to being in the city for another four years," Jones said.

Kim Bria and Persis Fay submitted candidate filings on Aug. 26 and Aug. 28, but Bria withdrew her application five days later and Fay was deemed ineligible Aug. 31 due to residency requirements.

The West Linn City Charter requires council candidates to have lived within city limits for at least a year prior to their election.

"I missed the residency requirement by a month as I was living right outside city limits last year," Fay told Pamplin Media Group via email. "I plan on trying to get involved with the community by seeking out needs on committees and also other council opportunities should they arise after December."

Bria narrowly lost out on a council seat in November 2020, coming in third behind Mary Baumgardner and Rory Bialostosky in a crowded field of candidates.

She decided not to run after considering the timing behind the city's major goals as well as federal financing opportunities from recent infrastructure and sustainability legislation. Bria felt that she could make more of a difference outside of the council.

"These infrastructure packages are really focused on my areas of expertise — transportation and clean energy and sustainable businesses," she said. "I thought about the next four years and thought I need to be working with sustainable businesses for those long-term outcomes. I could do it from the policy side or I could do it from the business side, and right now it's really all hands on deck to get these projects done with the funding that's coming."

West Linn voters could see another council decision on their ballots in the 2023 may election if Mayor Jules Walters wins her bid for House District 37 in November. If that happens, the city will need a new mayor to fill the remaining two years of her term.

The filing deadline is Sept. 6.


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