While a measure to incorporate White City is garnering most of the attention among community voters, they also will be asked to select a new city council. But whether the council election means anything is entirely dependent on whether the incorporation measure passes.
Stan Alexander, one of the candidates, said the council would be nullified if the incorporation measure doesn't pass.
"(But) you have to select them simultaneously," Alexander said.
Of the 10 candidates vying for spots on the White City council, half would be elected to the posts if the incorporation measure passes. The top five vote-getters would be elected.
If seated, elected council members would be responsible for setting up a city charter, zoning ordinances and deciding on an interim mayor until a permanent candidate is selected in 2013.
Following are the candidates for the council seat:
Name: Stan Alexander
Occupation: Self-employed Realtor.
Public and volunteer experience: White City Planning Commission, White City Urban Renewal Advisory Committee.
Alexander said he's been involved with White City planning, urban renewal and incorporation efforts for years, and wants to help the city get off to a good start if incorporation passes.
"If the incorporation gets approved, nobody else has got the knowledge on this stuff to make this happen," Alexander said. "I want to make sure that if it passes, if that's what the public wants, that it gets off to a good clean start."
He added that he wants to do everything he can to get the public involved in future policy decisions for the city.
"So they can make good decisions," he said.
Name: Cindy Mohar
Occupation: Real estate broker at Melody Stevens Realty.
Public and volunteer experience: With Jackson County Search & Rescue for 18 years, served as manager for 12 of them.
Mohar said White City has a lot of potential that has not yet been tapped to enhance livability. If elected, she wants to be able to be part of efforts to look for more local employment and retail opportunities.
"We really shouldn't have to go to Medford to do shopping," Mohar said.
She said she also would like to see a better network of activities and organizations for youths following recent departures of the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA.
"We really need something for the kids, so I would like to see that going." Mohar said.
Name: Daniel W. Phariss
Public and volunteer experience: U.S. Air Force, eight years; involved at his church.
If elected, Phariss said he hopes to be the White City council's fiscal conscience.
"I'm not into big government," Phariss said. "I don't want to have people in there that are just spending money. There are a good bunch of people running, and I think they're of the same mindset I am."
Regarding job creation, Phariss said he would like to give local companies and organizations preference on bids for public projects.
"The local residents of White City, if they have a small business, should get those consideration points toward the bids instead of having people from Portland coming down," Phariss said.
Name: Joy Reich
Occupation: Retired teacher.
Public and volunteer experience: Volunteer at Cascade Community Pool, Urban Renewal Budget Committee, White City Lighting District Budget Committee, White City Improvement Association board member, former White City Sanitary District secretary.
Reich said she feels her skills in drafting budgets and leadership would be a benefit to the White City council. She also believes she has a wealth of knowledge about procedures related to White City incorporation.
"I have a pretty good handle on the laws we have to use and realize we're going to need a lot of volunteers for a lot of different committees," she said. "I really want the city to get off to a good start."
Reich said she is committed to finishing the White City Community Park by the town's library through fundraising efforts. She also hopes to be part of code enforcement efforts that will clean up overgrown landscape on local properties.
"There are a lot of places out here that are fire hazards," she said.
Name: Ron Wilson
Occupation: Boise Cascade forklift operator.
Public and volunteer experience: White City Community Improvement Association (past president, current board member), helps out at Cascade Bingo, former Boy Scouts of America volunteer,
Wilson said his wife and a few friends encouraged him to run for the White City council, and that he took to the idea.
"I'd just kind of like to see what happens," Wilson said. "I've got no agenda or anything like that."
He added that grassroots organizations like the ones that have emerged over the years to beautify — and possibly incorporate — White City are important, and that he'd like to be part of the ongoing efforts.
"It'd be kind of nice to be in on the ground level and help," he said.
Wilson said cosmetic work on the area's streets is key for him, specifically fixing potholes and sidewalks.
Name: Javier Zavala
Occupation: Rigger, Fish-Rite Boats.
Public and volunteer experience: Volunteer at Cascade Community Pool; helped with White City Lighting District.
Zavala said his bilingual ability — he speaks English and Spanish fluently — would be an asset to the White City council because of its sizable Hispanic population.
"White City has a (large) Hispanic community," Zavala said. "I would just like to help the people."
If elected, the 11-year White City resident said he wants to focus on beautification efforts locally, including fixing some roads, planting more trees and finishing up local parks. He also would like to see what can be done about improving local air quality.
"It's pretty much affecting the whole area," Zavala said.
Name: Roger O. Hansen
Occupation: Retired; built transformers for 37 years.
Public and volunteer experience: Former Little League coach, scoutmaster, former board member for White City Community Improvement Association, former School District No. 9 budget committee member.
Hansen, who has lived in White City for 39 years, said he'd like to see the city continue to grow under a more localized watch.
"It's now in a position where we as a community can control our own destiny," Hansen said.
He praised the efforts of recent urban renewal projects and would like to see tax money used for infrastructure handled on a more local level if incorporation is passed by voters.
Hansen said he also would like to see more inclusion of White City's Hispanic community.
"I feel they should be part and have a say in what we do," he said.
Name: Constance Travesi
Occupation: Retired; former bookkeeper, accountant for property investment business.
Public and volunteer experience: Cascade Community Pool board, White City Road Committee, church activities volunteer.
Travesi said she saw some vast improvements in the community from White City's urban renewal projects. Their upkeep will be a key focus if she is elected, she said.
"At the minimum, I'd like to see them maintained," Travesi said. "For a $1.45 per $1,000 (cost of incorporation), we can continue to improve."
Travesi added that she wasn't always for incorporation of White City until she saw the results of urban renewal. She said she will continue to offer her input in the public arena whether or not she is elected.
"I feel this community has tons to offer to the county, and people are going to be surprised at how we just blossom," she said.
Name: Curt Sather
Occupation: Jackson County Roads Department.
Public and volunteer experience: No prior government experience; volunteer with FFA.
Sather said he is not in favor of incorporation, but hopes to be elected to the council if it passes.
"I want to be there to be able to guide it in the right direction," Sather said. "I would like to be able to be a voice for the community."
He said he is not in favor of incorporation because of the potential for added restrictions under a city charter. He is also against the tax increase that would pay for incorporation.
If he is elected, Sather said, he would hope to increase recreational opportunities for youths in the area.
"There's nothing out there for kids to do," he said. "They need a place to go where they can be safe and actually enjoy themselves. Nobody talks about that."
Name: Lee DeBerry
Occupation: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife facilities operation specialist.
Public and volunteer experience: Former Little League coach.
DeBerry said he considers himself a "reluctant candidate," as he's not yet convinced incorporation is best for White City because of the added cost and potential for additional restrictions under a city charter.
"I'm open about it. I'm willing to be convinced," DeBerry said. "Should that happen, if that's what people want, then I would like to be there to add my perspective on how the city should grow and what direction it should go."
He said he hasn't given much thought to projects he'd like to undertake, if elected, as he'd like first to listen to what citizens want done.
"People need to be aware that whatever the city does, it will cost money," DeBerry said of incorporation passing. "If they want parks, somebody's going to have to end up paying for that, and it's going to be the residents."
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.