For a while, the mayoral race appeared to be a done deal. I am grateful the public has a choice.
All our city councilors have good qualities and serve in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position. They face very difficult choices.
It bears noting, however, that Jerry Jackson Sr. was appointed, not elected, to his current position and, during his last bid for county commissioner, he refused to participate in largely attended public debates (which also deprived his opponent of the opportunity). To me, that’s significant. Besides economic growth, they must handle emergency preparedness, other collaborative efforts and educational outreach.
I regularly attend city council meetings to simply witness the proceedings. I bring no personal agenda, and I believe city councilors and staff can attest to that. The experience has broadened my perspective and deepened my understanding. Regardless of this election, Philomath is poised for explosive growth, about which local voters may have very little direct influence, due to a change in the law at the state level.
Now is the time to do one’s civic duty, to exercise one’s right to attend meetings of local government and represent oneself. The newspaper editor does a great job, but no second- (or third-)hand report (or even Facebook Live) can convey the whole reality. Showing up is an important habit to cultivate. Everyone’s presence makes a difference in the long run, beyond any immediate outcome. Philomath is our home. Let’s prove it.