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Five to compete for three City Council seats

JACKSONVILLE — Two former mayors are among five candidates seeking three at-large City Council seats in November’s election.

Former Mayor Jim Lewis, a council incumbent elected to a four-year term in November 2010, was the town’s mayor from 1995-2008.

Clara Wendt, who was mayor from 1975 to 1978, regularly comments on city issues during public input at council meetings.

The former mayors will be joined in the race by Brad Bennington, Ken Gregg and Ted Trujillo.

Bennington has served on the town’s Planning Commission since May 2013. He is on the Jackson County Planning Commission and is CEO of the Home Builders Association of Jackson County.

Gregg serves on a citizen’s advisory committee to review proposed changes to city planning codes. He is on the board of Historic Jacksonville, Inc. and has lived in town for four years.

Trujillo is an insurance adjuster and has lived in Jacksonville since 2005. He is involved with Madrone Trail Public Charter School.

City Council in August adopted an emergency resolution to allow individuals who do not own property in town to run for office. The city charter contained the landholding provision. 

Potential candidates questioned the legitimacy of the requirement, said City Recorder Jan Garcia. City Attorney Alan Harper informed her the practice had not been legal for 40 years and drafted the ordinance the council adopted.

City Council has completed revision of municipal codes, except for those covering development, and will examine the charter next, Garcia said.

Paul Hayes, elected to a four-year term in 2010, did not file for re-election. Owen Jurling, appointed to a council vacancy in February when Dan Winterburn resigned, will also not seek a seat.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.