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Rogue River mayoral candidates are write-ins

ROGUE RIVER ' Current City Councilman Dick Skevington and newcomer Tom Lazette are facing off in a write-in race for mayor since neither candidate filed by the Aug. 4 deadline.

Skevington, 80, served eight years on the council after several years on the planning commission.

I'd like to serve at least one term as your mayor, Skevington said at a recent candidates night at the Community Center.

Born at home in what is now Rogue River's Palmerton Park, Skevington attended schools in Wimer and Rogue River. He joined the U.S. Army and was injured in World War II. He was facility manager of Mount Rainier National Park until he retired back to Rogue River.

Skevington said traffic, water storage and infrastructure repair are the city's key issues. Rogue River's current storage capacity will meet only one day's water needs should there be an emergency, he said.

— I'd like to see a new tank installed, said Skevington.

He'd also like to see a neglected area of downtown made into public spaces to boost tourism and benefit the local economy.

I'd like to see the old restaurant and service station turned into a nice park with a restroom to improve the center of town. It's the first thing you see when you drive into Rogue River, he said.

Lazette, 59, moved to Rogue River in 1996.

I haven't lived here all my life, but I plan on spending the rest of my life here, he said.

Lazette said he has no preconceived notions about the operations at City Hall. But if elected, he, too, plans to focus on downtown revitalization.

I'm amazed at how little tourism we have. We're 500 feet off the freeway, he said. We need (tourism) for our small businesses.

He would like to see the police perform more of their duties on foot.

They need to be seen going through town, he said. They don't need to be in their cars twenty-four seven.

Lazette grew up in southern Michigan, joined the Marines, served in Vietnam, and worked for a Fortune 500 electronics business before moving into the financial services industry. Lazette is currently a branch manager for Securities America, a stock brokerage firm.

The candidates say they expect to perform their non-paid duties on a daily basis but would be available at City Hall 15 to 20 hours a week. Both also said they would like to see an office provided for the mayor's use. The city gave the former mayor's office to the city planner and instead provided a desk for the mayor in the council chambers.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail .