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MailTribune.com
  • RVTD board election features just a single contested position

  • Four seats are up for grabs on the Rogue Valley Transportation District board in the Regular District Election on May 21, but voters won't have many choices.
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  • Four seats are up for grabs on the Rogue Valley Transportation District board in the Regular District Election on May 21, but voters won't have many choices.
    Races for two of the positions drew just one candidate each, and one position garnered no applicants.
    In the only contested race, longtime RVTD Budget Committee member Mary Ruth Wooding will challenge incumbent Rick Dyer for the Position 7 seat.
    With no tax increases since the district began in 1975, RVTD faces challenges in funding growth, the candidates said. But overall, they said, the district is well managed.
    Dyer, of Medford, who was elected in 2009, pointed to expanded weekend services and fiscal efficiency as accomplishments during his first term.
    Dyer said the focus in coming years will be funding.
    "There are always ongoing funding issues that need to be addressed and forecasted and really kept watch on, and we do that, but I think this next four-year term there are really going to be some questions as far as funding that maybe we hadn't faced before," he said.
    "I think we do have, and it's important to have, a lot of different perspectives coming together to face those challenges. Our board works well together, and we all bring something different to the table."
    Dyer is licensed to practice law in California and also owns a construction company focused on home remodeling and energy-efficiency projects.
    Dyer moved to the Rogue Valley 26 years ago and ran for his seat out of an interest in participating in local government.
    Wooding, a retiree who previously worked for the Southern Oregon University Housing Department, is also a familiar face for the district.
    A Budget Committee member since 2005, Wooding came to the district in 1997 and served eight years as a board member.
    Wooding said she, too, hopes to help focus the district to meet upcoming funding challenges.
    "I've been involved with RVTD one way or another since 1997 and have always been interested in transportation. With my budget experience, I know right now that the time is coming where our expenses will meet our income. So sooner or later we're going to have to go before the public, and I would like to help with that," said the Ashland resident.
    "When they started in 1975, they got 17 cents per $1,000, and there's been no increase since then. Thirty-seven years later, there are a lot more people riding the bus than there were then, and everything costs a lot more than it used to."
    In the other races, incumbents Stan Littrell, for Position 4, and Joel Marks, for Position 6, are unopposed. Incumbent Wade Six did not seek re-election.
    RVTD General Manager Julie Brown said a few people expressed interest in running just after the filing deadlines passed. Brown said she expected at least a few applicants to request appointment to the vacant seat following the election if no write-in candidate is elected.
    "We know that there are people out there who have since notified us and told us they were interested, but we have told them that there's a process and we'll have to wait until after the election," Brown said.
    Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com.
    This story has been corrected. In the originally published version, Mary Ruth Wooding's last name was spelled incorrectly.
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