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  • Medford council veterans plan exit

    City extends deadline to file; Strosser, Michaels say it's time for them to move on
  • Medford City Councilors John Michaels and Bob Strosser won't run for re-election in November, opening the door for a new crop of candidates.
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  • Medford City Councilors John Michaels and Bob Strosser won't run for re-election in November, opening the door for a new crop of candidates.
    "Sometimes change is a good thing, and maybe it's time for a change," said Strosser, who has served 16 years on the council.
    "I am not running for City Council. It's official," said Michaels, who has been on the council for 10 years.
    Medford has extended the deadline to file for four Medford wards from Aug. 15 to 5 p.m., Aug. 26, to allow more time for residents to file.
    No candidates have yet filed in Ward 4, in southeast Medford, where Strosser resides.
    Ward 3, in northwest Medford, where Michaels resides, has two candidates so far, Kevin Stine and Don Libby.
    Councilor Tim Jackle is the only candidate to file for Ward 1 in northeast Medford.
    In Ward 2, for the position formerly held by the late Karen Blair, Clay Bearnson has filed paperwork to qualify as a candidate. Marlene Nuckols is in the process of gathering signatures, as well as Aaron Hoefling.
    Candidates need to be residents of the city for six months, be eligible to vote, reside in the ward and collect 25 signatures from registered voters within the ward.
    Strosser, who has been council president four times, said there wasn't a particular reason why he decided not to run, although he said he does want to spend more time with his seven grandchildren.
    Strosser, 69, said he routinely spends 60 hours a week at his real estate business, plus he devotes another 15 to 20 hours to council work.
    "Every once in a while, you just need to take time out," he said.
    He said he hopes that a candidate comes forward who is interested in a number of challenges facing the community.
    "One of the biggest challenges is to get someone who is not a single-issue candidate," he said.
    Strosser said he's particularly proud of the work that went into creating U.S. Cellular Community Park, including receiving the endorsement of the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County for a transient lodging tax to help pay for it.
    "I see a great place for the youth of our community to get involved in sports," he said.
    Other efforts he's proud of include the new fire and police facilities that will be built over the next two years.
    The main thing that has improved under his watch is communication and outreach to the community, he said.
    "It's very satisfying to know that you can make a difference," he said.
    Michaels is into his third term on the council, having served a partial term at the beginning of his council career.
    "Three times is enough," he said. "It really does take you one term to figure out how things work, then at least one more to get things done."
    Michaels, 55, said he's been going back to school to earn his bachelor's degree.
    He said he didn't feel he could personally take credit for any one accomplishment on the council.
    "It's a team effort," he said.
    Councilor Dick Gordon said Strosser, Michaels and Al Densmore, who stepped down last year, had a lot of public experience.
    "That is certainly leaving the council without a seasoned group of councilors."
    Gordon said he considers Strosser a friend and a mentor.
    "He has had a very calming effect on the council for the 51/2 years I've worked with him," he said. "Also, with his public experience, he knows how to say things and get the message across without hurting a lot of feelings."
    Gordon described Michaels as "brash."
    "He's not afraid to bring up issues even though he's treading on a variety of folks in the community," he said. "All the things he brings up are said in all sincerity."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.
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