VOTER GUIDE: Candidate Statements for May 18th Election

The Tillamook County Pioneer sent ALL candidates (in contested and uncontested races) a request for a candidate’s statement. Here are the candidate statements that we received in one document.
The May 18th ballot features dozens of opportunities to serve your community on local boards for our schools, ports, transportation district, recreation districts, water districts, fire districts and more. There is not a voters pamphlet for a primary/special election, therefore the Pioneer provides this opportunity for candidates to tell voters about themselves and the position they are seeking, even if running unopposed.
Tillamook County Pioneer CANDIDATE’S STATEMENT – 5 minute “why we should vote for you” pitch; include information about why you are running for the position and your TOP 3 most-important-issues facing the board/organization you wish to serve on.
As Tassi O’Neil, Tillamook County Clerk commented, “In my 30 years, I’ve never seen so many candidates for a mid-term, special districts election.” Please do your research. Review the candidate’s statements, even if you might have already decided who you are voting for – look at some of the letters to the editor supporting candidates. You might think that this election isn’t “important” but these boards and organizations are the very foundations of our communities – protecting our transportation, ports, water, parks, recreation, schools and children.

VOTE! And be sure to return your ballots before May 18th. If you are going to mail your ballot, please do so by May 11th to ensure that it gets to the county clerk’s office by May 18th. There are ballot drop boxes available throughout the county, the list is here.

Tillamook County Emergency Communications District 911
Direction, Position 3

Matt Kelly

I’m running for Position 3 on the Tillamook County Emergency Communication District Board. As a former 911 dispatcher, firefighter, and current law enforcement officer I understand how important the 911 system is to all of us. I want to be a part of helping maintain the quality of service that 911 is and has provided to the citizens and visitors of Tillamook County.

911 dispatchers are the first, “First Responders”. They are the voice on the phone in your time need and will use all their skills and abilities to ensure you receive the appropriate help.

I will do my best to ensure 911 provides the service that Tillamook County needs.

Thank you for your support.


Christopher Kruebbe

We need better communications to discern the difference between a 911 call for law enforcement, a call for mental health, substance abuse, EMS, or firefighters. Mental Health Counselors and Substance Abuse Counselors dispatched through local 911 can help reduce the unnecessary involvement of deputies, officers, firefighters, or EMS. In the effort to facilitate this, I propose a name change for the board to “Tillamook County Emergency Communications District 911/988” when the new 988 number is implemented nationwide.


911/988 Operators need to be trained in Mental Health First aid:
This will properly prepare/educate operators for knowing what agency to deploy mental health as opposed to uniformed/armed law enforcement, EMS, or Firefighters. Research shows that, depending on the situation, deploying uniformed first responders to a mental health or substance abuse situation could unnecessarily traumatize subjects that are calling for non-law enforcement reasons.
My pursuit of Tillamook Communications District 911 is out of my desire to give back to my community. It started when I moved here 6 years ago when I joined the Bay City Fire Department and as a member of the Nehalem Emergency Volunteer Corps CERT Team. As a first responder I learned about emergency services. My five years of volunteering led to a run for Mayor of Bay City. I have learned and continue to learn about the governance of a small town. I ran meetings, maintained order, promoted the city, issued press releases, attended government meetings, deliberated, pontificated, all the while keeping the interests of the electorate in mind. It’s the honor to serve that inspires me and the opportunity to serve Tillamook Communications District 911 would be a great honor.

Tillamook County is woefully unprepared for the substance abuse problems and mental health concerns that our community will face in the coming years, especially now that we have experienced a catastrophic blow to our economy. Alcohol sales are up in record numbers in Oregon and we already had a serious problem to begin with. When locals call Tillamook a drinking town with a fishing problem, you know it can’t be good. So what are we prepared to do about it? I can tell you what I am prepared to do, and that’s to work with local law enforcement professionals to bring what I envision as reimagining policing and law enforcement based on research and empirical-based approaches. Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Diversity are key concepts that need to be considered in this effort.

I hope you will consider me as your next elected member of Tillamook Emergency Communications District 911, so that together we can imagine the possibilities of what we the people want for the future of 911 Emergency, mental health emergencies, substance use emergencies, policing, and law enforcement in Tillamook County. To find out more about my campaign and philosophy, please visit, I appreciate your support!
@kruebbefortillamookcommunicationsdistrict911PosNo3. Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and learn about what my hopes are for Tillamook County. Please do not hesitate to call my campaign headquarters to have any conversations you would like to have with me at 503-457-7032.

Tillamook County Transportation District, Director Position 3

Jackie Edwards

The Transportation District Board offers an opportunity to assist citizens of Tillamook County at a very basic and necessary level. I have served on the TCTD Board of Directors (Position #3) the past seven years and also served several years on the District’s Transportation Advisory and Budget committees, assisting in gathering information and making recommendations to the Board.

Transportation is vital to the survival of families always, but especially in a rural area where job locations are many times a great distance from home and medical appointments can be impossible to attend without adequate (and specially assisted) transportation. In the years I have been involved with the District, I have seen services to our residents multiply, addressing needs not previously met. The District and its leadership give this very necessary service to all residents and I want to continue to offer my skills to carry on and expand these services to the entire county. We are fortunate to have people who care at the District who are in key positions. I want to continue to be a part of this compassionate organization.

My professional background is in financing – from purchasing, to auditing, to allocation-of-funds/budgeting to cost sections. This background has included continuous education with constant upgrading of skills in Contract Administration.
Additionally, I have seen the world from the perspective of individuals struggling to survive. Those are individuals who especially need our services. I have volunteered at battered women and youth shelters and also worked a suicide hotline. So, while my skills are “work skills,” they are also “people skills.” Tillamook County is a caring county and I want to continue to be a part of it by serving the Transportation District. My abilities and experience are a good fit with the needs of the District and our community.
Over the past 8-plus years the TCTD Board of Directors has taken the time to consider the needs of All of Tillamook County and has adopted plans designed to carefully invest taxpayer dollars into services that achieve the highest return on investment. This has been accomplished through surveys and analyses, with a mission statement of: “Connecting communities through sustainable transit services”.

While the District is running very well and is fiscally sound, it is looking to the future with respect to upgrading vehicles for improved air quality, improving technology so people can access schedules and other services online, and identifying through surveys which transit investments should be made to make sure local residents have access to reliable transit services to get to medical appointments and jobs. That said, there is a concern for the need to be competitive in our pay scale and to have affordable health care for drivers, maintenance technicians and dispatchers, and then to have affordable housing for these workers. The District will continue working with communities, and community and county governments, to address these needs for our employees.

I am proud to have contributed to the success of the District for the past seven to eight years and I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Tillamook County.

Linda Adler

Hi! My name is Linda Adler and I’m running for Reelection for the Board of Directors of the Tillamook County Transportation District.
All my life I have always volunteered and given freely of my time. from soup kitchens, to clean the beach and helping with at risk youth. Those of you that know me, already know that about me.
The most humbling of all my experiences was the 5 years I worked at Marie Mills Center, it was there I developed an understanding for transportation needs for those that cannot drive or afford a car,
That was when I decided I wanted to give my time to the Tillamook County Transportation District.
Since joining the board of Directors, we have worked in conjunction with the local tribe and we are now managing the Lincoln City to Grand Ronde- Salem route
Another amazing innovation is that we are converting our entire fleet to propane, giving us sustainability, making us environmentally friendly and it’s cost effective
When reelected my plan is to bring our focus back into the county. Starting with getting equal coverage for the entire county. Currently, south county only has 4 trips, while their neighbors to the north and west enjoy 6 to 7 trips daily.
With the exception of Tillamook, South County has the highest year-round population, combined with the lowest median income, therefore they are the most dependent on Public Transportation.
TCTD currently provides a FREE bus in Pacific City that offers rides to tourists to get from the various parking lots to the Cape Kawanda Beach. I propose that we expand this to include Sand Lake road. These residents have no access to public transportation.
A dedicated Sand Lake Road Loop would solve this great disparity.
Another area that has been overlooked is Miami Foley Road, a dedicated bus to cover this loop would also be a great advantage to our neighbors to the north.
Dial a ride was created to bridge the gap to the non-coverage areas. I’ve been told that they are difficult to reserve and sometime have to make a reservation a week in advance. Instead of raised the fares, I would like to find an affordable way for all, who need it, to get transportation to and from Tillamook, this is the town offers the most services.
There has been discussion of running buses both directions within Tillamook, this would be a great service if we were able to successfully get it done.
When you get your ballots, I ask you to vote for me Position #3, Tillamook County Transportation District. Linda Adler. I want to bring balance to the entire county.

Tillamook County Transportation District, Director Position 5

Mary B. Johnson

Mary Johnson and Pat Patterson discussing transportation issues near Sandlake.

I’m Mary B. Johnson and I am running for Tillamook County Transportation District Board, Position #5.  I will bring a fresh voice to the transportation board and will work to meet the needs of riders and the community.

As a person who relied entirely on public transportation for over ten years, I understand how important public transit is to meeting the transportation needs of a community.  My transit use has provided me with experience in what works and what does not work in public transportation.  I have found that a lack of reliable public transportation can be an obstacle to obtaining basic needs such as health care, employment, and nutritious food.  On the other hand, good public transportation not only helps to meet those needs, but provides an opportunity to meet new friends and see new places in a safe, relaxing, and environmentally friendly way.

One of my goals is to help increase access to our buses and Dial-a-Ride so that all our residents have dependable transportation for employment, education, shopping, medical services and recreation within Tillamook County, as well as convenient access to the Willamette Valley and other coastal communities. Another goal is to encourage post-Covid public transit use by visitors to our beautiful county.  Visitor usage can have a positive impact in our area by reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality, benefiting our communities both economically and environmentally.

Having worked in the legal field for many years, I believe my experience in careful listening, viewing issues from different perspectives and researching solutions to difficult problems will enable me to be a dynamic and effective board member.

I have been listening to Tillamook County bus riders and their stories and will bring attention to the issues directly affecting them.  Mary McGinnis is one of the bus riders I talked to. Mary is a teacher who rode the bus from her home in Rockaway to her school in Tillamook for many years and now rides for enjoyment. One improvement Mary would like to see is an updated payment system that does not require exact change.  I also met with Pat Patterson.  Pat, who is now age 97, was one of the original Tillamook County Transportation District board members.  He needs safe transportation for social visits, shopping, and medical services.  Pat would like to see services expanded to reach more people in rural Tillamook County.

Once elected, I will continue to listen to our residents’ needs and work to improve our transit system for the betterment of all.  I will work to provide transparency to the public by making certain that the public is able to attend board meetings in person and on-line and by ensuring timely publication of board decisions.  Ensuring that all of our residents who need access to reliable transportation HAVE that access will be my priority.

Chris Kell

I have been a supporter of the Tillamook County Transportation District since its inception. As the Office Manager for a large church, I was well aware of the difficulty of our elderly and veterans to get transportation to doctor’s appointments, both locally and in Portland. As the fledgling agency grew into the quality service it is today, I have become even more passionate about serving the transportation needs of Tillamook County.
A lot has been accomplished and there is still much that can be done. Continuing to build strong relationships with other local agencies and working together to serve common goals will provide efficient, quality services to our citizens, and save taxpayer dollars in the long run. The District recently worked with the local Department of Veterans affairs to provide rides to VA medical services in areas other than the Veteran’s Hospital in Portland such as Seaside and Lincoln City. The first month of operation was just completed and it showed surprisingly strong ridership in this new service.
Continuing to fine-tune the NW Connector services with area Transportation Districts will improve options for locals and visitors alike to enjoy affordable traveling throughout the region. It also makes it easy to enjoy the uniqueness of our reginal attractions. This, in turn plays a roll in quality of life and economic support of our small businesses.
Increasing and streamlining dial-a-ride services as the need arises is a good thing. Conversations with area citizens has shown that dial-a-ride can be valuable in helping make connections to fixed route services to get people where they want to go at a much lower cost to both riders and the district.
I regularly attend the board meetings, serve on the Budget Committee and am the current chairman of the Transportation Advisory Committee. Now that I am retired, I have the time to give my all to serving on the TCTD Board. I would appreciate your vote.

Neah-Kah-Nie School District #56, Director Zone 4

Mike Wantland

(From We Want Wantland Facebook page)
I am a father of 3, soon to be grandfather of 2, and coach and mentor to many. Advocating for and providing opportunities for youth is truly my life’s work. After dedicating decades of my life to serving young people from little league through college, I made the decision to relocate to my mother’s home town of Rockaway Beach 5 years ago. Since that time, I have had the honor of serving the students of the Neah-Kah-Nie School district through coaching, volunteerism, and mentorship.
Service is at the heart of my leadership style. I believe that I am an effective leader who demonstrates integrity in all words and actions. I approach challenges with kindness, compassion, and honesty and demand accountability for myself and others serving our students. I believe all young people deserve opportunities to learn, grow and be successful. I have no problem advocating for every kid in our community. My years of serving youth have taught me the value of listening and elevating the voices of our students. My coaching and volunteer efforts have given me the great privilege of being in a position to hear these voices on a regular basis. As a school board member I would ensure that the actions taken by the school district match the needs of our students.

Damian Laviolette

I am excited to announce my decision to run for the Neah-Kah-Nie (NKN) School District #56 Director Zone 4 position. I hope to bring a diverse background of work and life experience to the School Board. I attended Kindergarten in Rockaway Beach (back when it was just Rockaway),
Nehalem Lower and Upper Elementary School, and Graduated from Neah-Kah-Nie in 1991. I reviewed State (ORS 332.124 – 332.126), County, and District Board criteria and qualify to run for this position.
I have many great memories from my twelve years spent in the NKN school district. Its small-town rural nature allowed for many experiences not available elsewhere. I was able, as a scrawny 6-foot tall 135-pound high schooler, to participate in the school’s football, wrestling, and baseball programs. Mentor/hang out with younger students at outdoor school and participate on several high school quiz bowl teams. I had the fortunate opportunity to learn lifelong skills and lasting memories from school district staff, such as Nap time with Mrs. Gillis, discipline from Principal Jacobsen (yes that paddle had holes in it), story time from Mrs. Grimes, Spanish from Mrs. Daniels (she made our amazing wedding cake), Algebra from the legendary Mr. Duke, and Marine Biology from a “Rockstar” in her profession Mrs. Gienger. There are so many other amazing memories of friends, events, and teachers it’s impossible to give them all their do in this limited space.
I was fortunate to enlist in the United States Army in 1992 along with my wife Teah (also a Neah-Kah-Nie alumni). During an active duty career that spanned 20 years, beginning in the enlisted ranks, and ending as a Warrant Officer, I learned to appreciate the hard work and stick-to-it mentality
my parents had so diligently worked to pass on. After numerous deployments, duty stations ranging from Panama to Washington DC, and nine different colleges, I was finally able to earn a Master of Science degree, grasping the true value of higher education. After retiring from active duty with a
fantastic technology and cyber security skillset I entered the private sector and world of banking. I was again fortunate to end my 8-year stint in banking with a five-year run as a C-level executive in one the United States larger financial institutions.
A dream opportunity to operate the family business (which has been a community staple for 43 years and counting) brought my small family unit home. Teah and I, who started down the road to children later in life, couldn’t resist a chance to bring our children to the school district and the unique/amazing opportunities that so shaped our lives. Today, I work full time as the Director, Information Services for the County, and co-operate the family business with my wife, our three children, amazing manager Josh Rebello (Class of 2011), and strong staff, many of whom are also NKN alumni. Teah and I have faced and overcome significant adversities and challenges in our 28 years of marriage to include numerous deployments and relocations, Teah’s battle against cancer and subsequent medical treatments. The loss of my father and her mother to unforeseen tragedies and the covid-19 pandemic that we’ve all been affected by and are still trying to survive and thrive through.
When combined my family background, education, career experiences, and Teah and I’s life journey to date have positioned me as a strong candidate for the NKN School Board. I have seen and experienced life elsewhere firsthand, not only in the United States but in other nations far less
fortunate than ours. I have managed large diverse teams and groups of individuals while serving the nation and working in the private sector. I have skillsets, training, advanced education, and certification in organizational management, technology, cybersecurity, risk management, and
regulatory compliance. I have successfully implemented, monitored, and operated budgets (capital and expense) exceeding 50 million dollars. Over the past twelve months I have served on the NKN School Budget Committee. Working for the County I have come to understand some of the districts funding sources and many of the challenges facing them. Our children are currently enrolled in the School District today, Sabrina in 8th Grade, Robert in 3rd Grade, and Caleb in Kindergarten. We have a vested interest in our children’s education and the long-term future of the school district. I am committed to ensuring every student has access to the districts existing educational opportunities. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and committing the time necessary to work with other board members, school staff, and fellow parents. Exploring future technology and trade options for our children is a must do and something I would look to make a priority. Our children could and should be equipped as early as possible for the high demand career fields of today and the future. Collaboration is critical and listening to the parents not only in my zone, but across the district will be a key factor in continuing the School Districts long track record of success.
Please consider me favorably when completing your ballots for the May 18th Election for NKN District #56, Director Zone 4.

Nestucca School District #101, Director, Position 5

Shane Stuart

Shane Stuart, Human Resources Manager for Tillamook PUD.
I am a born and raised Oregonian who has lived in the Cloverdale community since 2017, although my wife’s family has been a part of this community for generations. I am a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in Business Administration. I have been happily married to my wife, Lauren (Kellow), for 13 years and we have two beautiful children, Kael (9) and Evie (6), who both attend Nestucca Elementary. My wife, her sister, her parents, her grandparents, and a lot of her extended family are all graduates of Nestucca.
I believe in active community involvement and the school board is another impactful way to be a positive influence in our community. I care about our community and I care about the direction and future of the Nestucca Valley School District. Additionally, there are exciting things happening in our district and I see an opportunity to be a part of that, while helping to continue to provide a promising future full of opportunity for our children. I feel I can bring a dynamic point of view to the Board of Directors that will add value thanks to my background in human resources as well as the time I have spent in the community being a parent of school-aged children, volunteering, coaching, and involvement with community groups.
Since 2017, I have been very active within the local community and the school district. I have been a part of the Nestucca Valley School Board Budget Committee since 2017. Over that time, I have been a part of multiple budgets that included the bond to build the new school as well as many large grants that required our committee to work with the school to ensure they were spent appropriately. I have also connected with the district’s youth through athletics as a coach, as well as volunteering on field trips and school events. Lastly, I feel the education of our youth is of vital importance and I know I can be a valuable advocate for our children, our parents, and our community members.
There may not have been a more impacted part of our society in the last year than education. This pandemic has taught us many hard lessons, but the impact it has had on our youth will be long lasting. As we transition into a post-pandemic society, our ability to be proactive in our schools to ensure our children have the support and resources they need to be successful will be extremely important. Proper support, guidance, and strategic thought leadership from the Board of Directors will be important as we navigate this transition. Moving forward, I feel schools will continue to be impacted by change, both societal and economical. I can bring a positive voice to embracing change and working to find positive outcomes for our children and our community that will continue to offer a high-quality educational experience. Progress is impossible without change and change is not a threat, it is an opportunity for transformative success.

Mary Groves

Tillamook School District #9 – Director Position #1

Andrea Goss

Why are you running for Tillamook School District Director, position 1?
I want to bring my lifelong experience as an advocate to help make a difference in the lives of our students in Tillamook School District #9. My life and work experiences will help me positively contribute to the Board. Our public schools are a service to our community by providing solid education and so much more — sports programs, extracurriculars, structure, and for some, the healthiest meals they get in a day.
I have worked with students who struggle to simply stay in school. I have also worked with students who are college bound. In between those groups there are many students who will work in the trades, in manufacturing, in construction, or in sales. Each child can succeed if given the tools and opportunities to do so, and I intend to help make that happen.

What experience/skills do you have that makes you the best candidate?
Advocate: Currently, I advocate for victims of crimes in Tillamook County, and as a CASA, I advocate for kids in the child welfare system.

Professional: In my career in human resources, I worked collaboratively with many different people in order to successfully resolve conflicts.

Board Service: I serve on the Foundation Board of TBCC and have served on four other Boards in Tillamook County: Women’s Resource Center, Master Gardeners, AAUW, and the Citizen Review Board. I understand the dynamics of working collaboratively on a team. The key is open, respectful communication and listening.
Volunteer Service: I have volunteered in classrooms and with after school activities. I’ve served on numerous Scholarship Committees for organizations in Tillamook County. I have volunteered with Kiwanis, with CARE, with AAUW, and with other organizations in Tillamook County. Now I want to put my volunteer energy into helping all students in the Tillamook School District succeed.

What are the top issues facing the Tillamook County School Board?
Of course, the biggest challenge right now is getting our students, teachers and staff back into the classroom safely and full-time. As a member of the Board, I’ll work collaboratively with all stakeholders, and within the CDC and state guidelines, to make the transition back to in-person learning as smooth as possible. Distance learning has been very hard on the kids, and for some even more than others. I pledge to work with the Board to make sure there are ways for each child to get the support they need to succeed.

A bit about Andrea’s background:
Occupation: My career was in Human Resources in the high-tech industry. Currently, I work part-time as a Victim’s Assistant in the Tillamook County District Attorney’s office. For the past 15 years, I have been a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) representing kids in the Child Welfare System in Tillamook County.
Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Science from California Polytechnic State University Pomona
Family: My husband Larry and I have been married for almost 58 years and have lived in Tillamook for the past 20 years. We have four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They completely have my heart! They all live on the west coast so we are able to see them frequently throughout the year (unless it’s a Covid year).

Matthew Petty

I am running for Tillamook School District #9 Board Position 1. I have always had a passion for public education and have been a supporter of our schools and their programs, from Charity Drive to FFA to elementary fundraising, boosters, and scholarships. Like most families, we all have had to take a much larger role in our children’s education due to the Pandemic. With two boys, ages 9 and 12, I am vested in TSD9’s educational path. I strongly believe the school board should be made up of people who want to serve and are in it for our children and the next generation of kids. My desire to serve is not about power, control, or politics. I fully understand this position is non-partisan, and that’s how it should be, as I am here to advocate for all students, not just our talented and gifted, but also our most vulnerable students as well. I am a firm believer in doing what is right, and I am not afraid to make tough decisions when it is the right thing to do. I also believe in complete transparency because parents and educators alike deserve to understand the School Boards rationale for their decisions.

There are a few issues that the district will face in the near and long term. First, come fall, we need to have all of our students return to in-person instruction full-time; this is the first step in ensuring the success of our children. Understanding, in-person may not be the answer for all families, I want to work to ensure that we keep and expand our Virtual Academy as a permanent option.  Secondly, we need to increase our recruitment and retention within our district. I will work with my fellow board members and administration to develop a robust long-term strategy around these areas. As I have said before, the community of Tillamook is a wonderful place to live. And with the right strategic plan, we can create a destination district that will attract and increase our retention. But, in order to do this, we will need to invest time and resources, which includes increasing our professional development opportunities for our Teachers, Educational Assistants, and Administrators. We also need to focus our recruitment efforts in areas that will help represent our student’s demographics. Another important part of the district the school board helps to oversee is the budget. I have years worth of experience being fiscally responsible while overseeing multi-million dollar budgets. I want to make sure the district is financially in a good place to withstand the ebbs and flows of public state funding. I would greatly appreciate your consideration because a vote for me is a vote for someone who is transparent, a leader, believes in accountability, is agenda-free, values honesty, and will fight for an equitable education for all. Please visit my Facebook page at Elect Matthew Petty to Tillamook School District Board – Position 1.

Tillamook School District #9 – Director Position #2

Becky Hogan-Heimerl

I am a product of the Tillamook School District #9 system, graduating from THS in 1999 and Oregon State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Sciences and Agriculture Education in 2005. Growing up here and being involved in our school and community activities played a large part in helping me find my interests and passions in life. Once starting our own family, my husband Joe and I, realized how important it is to provide our children with the same experiences I had as a child. We knew this was where we wanted to raise our children, JD (3rd grade,) Arlee (2nd grade,) Nellie (kindergarten,) and Madelynn (age 2.) We love being a part of this community and the opportunities it provides for every member of our family.
Our schools are the foundation for the future. Investing in our youth, our schools and employees, and our community is essential. I care about the quality of education we are offering the youngest members of our community and understand how these early childhood experiences help shape future adults and community members. I want to help make sure our system is inclusive to all our students, we have options that work for our families and we help each student find success and prepare them for real world living. Well thought out, fiscally responsible and objective decisions that help make a difference in all our lives are important to me.
As school faculty, parents, students, and communities work together to bring our children back to the schools, evaluating the individual needs of our students and addressing them is of high concern. We will need to collaborate to understand the academic, emotional, and physical ability level of each student. Coursework and instruction for all levels will need to be tailored to each child. Additional support for students may be required as we work towards returning to a more normal resemblance of education. Whether families and students choose to return to in-person school or be a part of our virtual academy, making sure we are continuing to address the needs of the students and are serving each student to the best of our capacity is priority.
To help achieve a quality education for our students, developing a sense of connection, belonging and moral value in our faculty family is important. Providing support and guidance to our school employees is the foundation for student and school success. Our employees need to be appreciated and valued as part of the team. Their daily interactions with our students are life changing and helping our kids grow. Recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty that value our community and the traditions we hold here, is important to help our children receive a well-rounded educational experience.
I want to ensure each of our students are educationally equipped to lead a successful life. I believe in hands on, real world learning opportunities, educational choices, enrichment through organized experiences and activities, and sound curriculum. There is a path for each of our students and our schools need to be equipped with the knowledge, resources, and tools to help each student find the right fit for them. Inspiring, mentoring and assisting our kids to apply themselves and move into a better future is in my opinion the end goal. I want to be a part of this mission and be one of the local folks overseeing the work of educating our children, our future.

LaDonna Coon

My name is LaDonna Coon and I am running for re-election to Tillamook School District Board, Position 2.
I was born in Oklahoma, have lived in California and Arizona, and now call Tillamook my home, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My husband was born and raised in Tillamook, and when we visited on vacation in 2013 I fell in love with the area and the rest is history.
I’ve had 4 children and 3 grandchildren attend school in the Tillamook School District, which allowed me to be involved in 6 of the 7 Tillamook schools.
I’ve been asked before how Arizona and Tillamook schools are different:
In Arizona the classes were large and there was little to no personal connection between teachers and students. As soon as our children were enrolled in the Tillamook School District, we began to feel like the school system was an extension of this great community. Teachers, counselors, and coaches would reach out and ask, what can we do to support? The come-alongside attitude of the staff at TSD is very apparent. The love and passion are evident and have inspired me to give back to this community.
As a current school board member, I am the board liaison for East and Trask River Schools. I’m familiar with all of Tillamook’s schools as a parent, and as the liaison for these specific facilities, I am afforded additional focus and familiarity with each school’s community, providing an open line of communication between the school and the school board.
I have a background in healthcare administration and am currently an Operations Manager at our Tillamook DHS office. I enjoy what I do, and serving not only our community but all Oregonians is a rewarding feeling.
My work experience includes a variety of ongoing training including Oregon Ethics Law, Suicide Awareness & Prevention, Psychological Safety Training, and Equity & Inclusion Training. In addition, I have participated in Metro Leadership training and continuing in Leadership in Action training. All of these continue to grow my awareness of others’ needs.
In closing, I am asking for your vote as I re-run for my school board seat. If elected to keep my current seat I will do my best and always give my 110% to support our superintendent and to serve our principals, their staff, our students, other board members and this community.
I have a strong drive and desire to give back to this community. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself, helping the community continue to grow and helping our children continue to thrive, contributing to a brighter future for us all. Thank you.

Tillamook School District #9 – Director Position #3

Jesse Werner

I was born and raised in Tillamook, growing up on a family dairy farm. I learned early on the value in hard work and finishing what I started. I attended a private school through my freshman year of high school and then transferred to Tillamook High where I graduated with the class of 1998. I’ll never forget the incredible experiences I had playing Tillamook Cheesemaker Football. I have many fond memories of my years at THS.

I graduated at the top of my class from U.T.I. with an Associate’s Degree in Truck and Industrial Technology. I worked in the heavy duty truck and diesel industry for 17 years. During this time, I served in a couple of different ministry roles, one as a volunteer worship leader for 8 years and the 2nd as a part time worship director for a period of 4 years at a different church. In that mix was 6 years of working a small sales business and serving on a church board. These two things allowed me to grow into a person that could communicate well, work through differences with other people and in the end, find common ground for a good end result.

I have been happily married to my wife, Crystal for 22 years. We have 3 children. Caleb, who graduated from THS in 2019. Alex, who graduated from THS in 2020 and our daughter Emily who is currently a sophomore attending THS.

I’ve been asked to list the top 3 things that I feel our school board is faced with.

1. The biggest is the continued lockdowns due to Covid. I firmly believe that all of our schools should have been fully open with zero restrictions many months ago. The data does NOT support continued restrictions. We do have state mandates to abide by, but we should be pushing hard against them. We are seeing unprecedented mental stress in our students brought on by restrictions to normal, healthy activities. There are more parents than ever transferring their children to private schools due to less restrictions.

2. General Curriculum. We have gotten way out of balance with our public school curriculum. We need a balanced approach where students have the opportunity to learn about Intelligent Design and Creation, not just Evolution. Our students need to be given more opportunity to think independently and critically for themselves. State guidelines limit this to a degree, but as a school district, we have flexibility in how topics are presented.

3. Communication between schools and parents must improve. Parents need more information into what’s going on with activities and topics being taught in school. This gives parents an opportunity to talk with their student ahead of time and prepare appropriately.

If you choose to elect me, I will do everything in my power working alongside other board members to get our schools fully opened ASAP. I will fight to bring back balance to our curriculum and work to find ways of improving communication between schools and parents.

Eva S. Manderson

Hi I’m Eva Manderson. I am running for reelection to Tillamook School Board Position #3.

My experience as a current school board member, a parent of 3 children in the district, and an early childhood educator make me the right choice for the school board during this challenging time.

Why school board?
I love people. I love listening. I love giving back.
This year this has been harder than ever. Our children need their teachers, they need high quality education, they need safety. Our teachers need their students, they need time to develop new and different skills, they need safety. Balancing different needs and views of students, families, and teachers across our community – this is the job of a school board member. Serving on the school board gives me a chance to listen and learn. I learn about current issues facing our schools, teachers, families, children and community. I listen to the voices that share their stories with me. I ask questions and I respond in ways that are supportive of as many of the people as possible.

Why me?
I bring passion for all people. I bring passion for learning. I bring passion for working collaboratively.

In my first years as a board member I had a LOT to learn and I continue to learn. Without the curiosity to continuously learn, I could not have been successful as a board member. Board members do not have all the answers, we are the gatherers of experiences and information from our community. The most important roles of a school board member are to set the tone and direction of the school district and to support the superintendent. As a board member and board chair I’ve done that by planning and leading an effective Assistant Superintendent search in 2017, transitioning an Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent in 2018 and supporting the writing of new board goals in 2018. Our board goals focus on people: communicating with people, recruiting and retaining people, supporting achievement of people, prioritizing wellness of people, understanding and valuing perspectives of people — ALL people.

Outside of service to TSD9, I work in Early Childhood Care and Education. I have worked as the Executive Director at Tillamook Early Learning Center, the Preschool Promise Manager for the NW Early Learning Hub and for the past 3 years have worked as the Director for NW Regional Child Care Resource and Referral.

To learn more about me please follow me on Facebook, or email me at with your questions. Be watching for my soon to be published website,, to learn even more.

When your ballot arrives — Vote for our kids and our community. Vote for Eva Manderson for Tillamook School Board!

Tillamook School District #9 – Director Position #5

Nick Troxel

I have a passion to serve and want to continue to serve our children ensuring we are putting kids first when making decisions. New school board members face a steep learning curve, and there is little time in their term for mistakes. Board members need expertise in many areas. Some of these areas are; Policy, Human Resources, Finance, School Curriculum, Communications, and school board Governance. During my three years as a school board member and now Vice Chair of the Tillamook School Board I have gained invaluable experience in these areas. A Vote for me is a Vote for stability on the Tillamook School Board. Stability is what we need right now.
What experience/skills do you have that makes you the best candidate?
I have served on the Tillamook School District Budget Committee before I was appointed to the School Board. I was then elected to position number five. A Vote for me is a vote for; Honesty, Experience, Proven Leadership, and Service. I have served the Tillamook School District for three years on the Board of Directors. During these challenging times we need consistent Leadership for our Children. This is an amazing School District I have a passion to serve. With your support and Vote I can continue to serve!
What is the school district’s biggest challenge and how will you overcome it?
Currently I believe our aging school buildings and facilities is a challenge. We need to invest in our facilities. We have no sustainable plan for re-model or replacement of buildings, property and other facilities within out School system. This is a looming challenge that needs to be closely looked at, reviewed and a plan developed. We, as a community, need to determine what our expectations are in regards to our facilities. I am in favor of gathering with community to brainstorm ideas to develop an action plan.

Occupation: Detective Sergeant with the City of Tillamook Police Department

Education: Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis and Linn-Benton Community College.

Family: Married with two boys.  One is at East School and the other is at the Junior High School.

Mike Gardner

I am invested with five grandchildren in the district: their futures concern me as do all of the district’s students. Education in America is at a critical crossroad. In my previous classrooms, I taught that freedom is about choices and one can make wise choices if he/she has knowledge to pursue opportunities and challenges. Our young people need an education with a solid academic base and a rich extracurricular schedule that builds and develops skills to help them navigate decision making in a free America, which is full of opportunity to those willing to work hard to realize their dreams. It seems lately these values are now in question, and my concern for all students is that they continue to understand liberty and freedom, and ultimately have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and THRIVE. Because I’m retired, I now have an abundance of time to dive into the opportunities and solutions.
Different roles in my life have provided a lifetime of skill sets. Leadership on sports teams as a young person to coaching kids of all ages in football to teaching at our district’s alternative school, Wilson River School, to small business owner, and most importantly my roles as husband, father and grandfather have all helped hone skills most needed for this Board position. I am a current Director on the PUD Board so understand board work and teamwork. Communication skills are key with listening to be at the top of the list. Knowing how to listen and hear all sides of an issue is imperative to solving challenges. A strong work ethic is important to me. I don’t give up or quit on a difficult task, but rather consider it a challenge to keep working toward a solution in an ever-changing environment.

What are the top three most important issues to District #9?

A. Meeting student post pandemic needs is the most important issue right now. Everyone’s life has been upended this past year. I don’t think we have a firm grasp yet of all of the repercussions it will have on our students and staff. We have to come together as a team: Board, Administration, Teachers, Classified, Parents and Community to get students back to school full time so they can thrive again academically, physically, socially and emotionally. Going forward, what do we envision for our students? What do they need? How can we make District #9 student-centered, and where EVERY student finds her/his niche be it in art, music, outdoor school, computers, debate, drama, football or golf? What needs to be adjusted or changed now?

B. Parent involvement is critical to student success going forward. How might we engage parents more fully in the process of educating their children? What can we do as a district to develop, establish and welcome parent involvement. We need it-especially now.

C. I believe we need to ramp up our district’s academic rigor in reading, writing, math and history, along with teaching students how to think for themselves critically. We need to be confident our students have a strong foundation in our country’s principles and values. Education is truly the key to freedom in America, and the only way we preserve and save our Republic is with an educated electorate.

Your vote is important. I would appreciate your consideration. For more information you can visit my Facebook page: Mike Gardner for TSD9 Board or email me directly at

Tillamook Fire District, Director Position 5

Brian Cameron

I’m running for the position of Tillamook Fire District, Director Position 5, with the intent to continue the work I’ve been doing with the district over the last four years. The district went through a great deal of upheaval during my short tenure and I feel obligated to see the district move forward in a new and positive light.
We have made a great deal of headway in the past year and I look forward to being involved as things progress.

Having grown up in Tillamook I understand the needs and nuances of the county, as I have a vested interest in the safety of the district, as well as the functionality and fiscal responsibility therein. I have served the previous four years as elected board director, in addition I was a wildland firefighter for three consecutive seasons with the Oregon Department of Forestry from 2006 to 2008. I am an active dad to my young twin children, and always seem to be busy in one way or another.

I look forward to serving my community once again as an elected board member, and I very much appreciate the supportive electorate.

Port of Nehalem, Commissioner Position 4

Joe Velkinburg

Damian Laviolette

I am excited to announce my decision to run for the Port of Nehalem Position #4. I bring a diverse work background to the table, including 20 years of Active Duty in the Military, corporate banking, small business, and local government. I have lived locally in the community, out of the County, out of the State, and outside of the Nation. In 2019 Teah and I were fortunate enough to return to the area to run the family business and raise our children in the same communities where we grew up.
Nehalem Bay and the local communities surrounding it are critical to the survival of our family and family business. The success of the Port of Nehalem is directly tied to the continued success of our family business and its survival on the bay. I am familiar with many of the State, County, and local entities the Port interacts with today as well as many of the challenges facing the Port, surrounding communities, and residents.
Over the past 43 years and counting my family to include: mother, father, brother, sister-in-law and now my wife and I have ran/operated the Jetty Fishery LLC, Marina and RV Park on Nehalem Bay. As the last business entity and some of the last residents on Nehalem Bay before it touches the
Pacific Ocean, we have a significant stake in the area. Our business is primarily tourism driven and in turn often helps surrounding local businesses or vice versa/we help to support other each other. Although not the largest employer in the region by far, we do also consistently provide 4-16 local and/or seasonal jobs. As a resident, business owner, and employer the issues facing the Port of Nehalem are meaningful and relevant.
I would seek to utilize twenty plus combined years of business ownership, training, higher education, risk management, regulatory compliance, and financial management experience to the Port of Nehalem’s benefit. This experience would also hopefully through the Port of Nehalem benefit the
residents, businesses, and tourists visiting the area.
Three key goals:
One – Learn the organization, role, responsibilities, and issues
Two – Develop the Port of Nehalem capabilities and seek out potential revenue/growth/efficiency
Three – Enhance existing and/or develop three to five-year strategic plan for the Port of Nehalem
with transparency to the public

Port of Tillamook, Commissioner Position 3

Kevin Stoecker

I’m a fiscal hawk with regards to government budgets. Accountability is a priority. I am the current chair of the Tillamook County Solid Waste Division Budget Committee, and have served for the last 5 yrs. I also served for 7 yrs on the Parks Advisory Board. I look forward to serving you.
The Port of Tillamook bay has many issues to resolve. First being development of trail system from banks to Tillamook. Second, vacancies of office space. Third, prevent major spills into Andersen creek.



Christian Sween

Port of Tillamook, Commissioner Position 4

Bill Baertlein

I was a Port Commissioner prior to becoming a Tillamook County Commissioner. My experience as a former municipal auditor and eight years as a County Commissioner has put me in a unique position to serve on the POTB Board. I have developed the political contacts and agency contacts to make me a valuable asset to the Board. I know what the community needs to expand our local businesses and I still have a desire to serve our community.


James Potts

I am a local small business owner looking to extend my impact to the community. Seasons and I are the proud owners of Salty Raven has become Nationally recognized brand and locally known as an emerging small business. Salty Raven utilizes local Businesses, People and Resources within Tillamook County to help bring our products to market. As small business owner, I fully understand what is needed for success of Tillamook’s future.

I recently retired from a 30-year career in the construction business. Most of my expertise is in the construction process start to finish. Since the POTB focus is mostly around development and management of Commercial/Industrial space, my background in construction will help provide informed decisions to move goals forward.

Additionally, I am able to offer 8 years of elected board experience for a non-profit organization that Internationally recognized. This experience will lend to the process of standard Board procedures and operations w/ an exposure to annual budget oversight.

While serving on the board; I hope to advance our attraction of outside businesses to Tillamook. Port of Tillamook Bay has a huge responsibility providing opportunities for Commercial and Industrial growth to small, medium and large businesses.

When elected Commissioner; I would push to help with innovation, such as increased access to Fiber Optics, and look to working with the City regarding long term housing solutions needed to support workforce growth.

Top 3 Challenges – POTB
1. Tracks to Trails – This has been an ongoing issue related to railroad tracks that extend from Tillamook Port through Wheeler and then on to Banks. There has been a plan to convert this property to augment Salmonberry Trail. This has been a long-standing matter that will continue to move forward over a long period of time. There are Financial, Property Border and Development impacts brining this plan to reality. My belief that this is something that should move forward and would be wonderful attraction to Tillamook County once completed.
2. Residential Expansion/Opportunities – While this doesn’t fall under POTB jurisdiction, it is however something that will impact the ability to attract new businesses to Tillamook. We have all seen the recent increase of the cost of living in Tillamook and surrounding areas. Also, we are all aware of the housing shortage that has existed for some time. My goal would be offering myself as a liaison roll to City/County to ensure that we are properly addressing the needs for residential growth to keep up with the momentum of business opportunity.
3. Fiber-Optics – Wave Fiber is a POTB lease occupant, and the Port and City of Tillamook have access to Fiber Optic options, however it has been under deployed/utilized. There are many financial reports linking successful business growth to high-speed communication access. I would encourage access deployment to all POTB facilities and again work to promote this option within Tillamook.

Please consider voting Potts 4 Port! Facebook @potts4port

North County Recreation District, Director Position 4

John Coopersmith

I am a candidate for the NCRD Board, Position 4. I was appointed to this seat in 2007 when the district was shut down for lack of funds. Under the leadership of Mr. Peter Nunn as volunteer Executive Director and with the financial advice of a local citizen group the Board and Administration re-organized expenditures on a pay-as-you-go basis. Cutting expenses, focusing on our core mission, teaching the children of Nehalem how to swim. In November 2008, NCRD asked voters for a 5-year operating levy to repair physical plant and reopen in-demand services. This levy passed by 18 votes out of over 2100 cast.
The Board and Administration adopted a policy of replacing roofs, siding, windows and dry-rot repair. After years of neglect there was a lot of dry rot to repair. In 2013 voters re-authorized the five-year operating levy by 267 votes, or 59% voting yes.
There have been accomplishments and there have been learning experiences. At the suggestion of then Board member Paul Steele the Board formed a Capitol Improvement Committee comprised of 2 board members, 3 local citizens and the District Executive Director. This committee made recommendations overseeing major building repairs, the creation of the Performing Arts Center and completion of the lobby, replacement of the upper parking lot and long-range planning for a new pool. I was a member, then Chair of this Committee.
The District is blessed with dedicated staff and administration. I am proud to have been some part of the success NCRD has earned in service to our community. In July of 2019 I accepted an out-of-town job opportunity leaving me no choice but to regretfully resign from the Board. With the advent of Covid-19 that job went away. I will remain in Nehalem, the community I cherish and to which I wish to contribute.
Voters decided with 57% yes to go forward with a new pool serving our community for generations to come. This is a $9 million-plus project. Boards wisely hire the best engineers and contractors to complete a project. Yet, ultimately, board members are responsible to the people that the project is carried out within budget and on-time.
Friends, this is what I bring to the table. I have been part of this project from the beginning when conceived and brought to the people as an idea. I have experience with multi-million-dollar budgets and projects. I know the staff of the NCRD and our patrons. I am always open to ideas. I like to say no one knows where the next great idea will come from, so we must listen.
This is my pledge to you. I will listen and be open to ideas. Make no mistake, this is a big project. I offer experience and ability to help oversee this project, in detail. I have successfully worked as a team with current Board members and Administration. My only thoughts are the well-being of the NCRD and of our community. I ask for your vote.

Frank Knight III

My name is Frankie Knight. I am running for NCRD Board Position #4. I represent working families with young children wishing to preserve and improve the success of all things NCRD! I had the benefit of growing up learning to swim at NCRD’s pool, participating in children’s theatre in the auditorium (PAC) and socializing at the youth teen center. NCRD influence continued into my adult life by becoming a volunteer in the fitness center, playing softball at Rex Champ Field and sending my son to New Discoveries Pre-School. I still swim regularly in the pool and utilize it for water rescue training as a member of Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue. I was appointed to the NCRD budget committee in 2018. In 2019 I was appointed to the board of directors when a mid-term vacancy came open. As we move into a new chapter, with the construction of a new pool and the hiring of the new Executive Director, I will continue to support the long-term success and accountability of NCRD for the community as a whole.
My top three priorities for NCRD moving forward are as follows:
• Hiring a well-qualified and community oriented Executive Director to lead NCRD forward.
• Oversight on the planning and construction of the new pool facility to ensure longevity and financial sustainability.
• Improving transparency between NCRD and its guests, community partners, facility patrons and taxpayers.
Thank you for considering me as your NCRD representative.
Frankie Knight
(printed on ballot as Frank Knight III)

North County Recreation District, Director Position 5

Jack Bloom

As a candidate for the NCRD Board, rather than the usual laundry list of my accomplishments and how great I am…. NCRD’s accomplishments are the results of the entire NCRD Board, the dedicated Staff and the tireless Volunteers, who are not only are great, but extraordinary!
Instead, I’ll tell you why I want to serve another 4 years.
Ten years ago, my wife and I retired to the Oregon North Coast to be close to our daughters and their families and enjoy the new delight of being Grandma and Grandpa. As time went by we increasingly participated in extraordinary community opportunities by joining, CERT, MRC, EVC, American Red Cross, HAM radio and supporting NBF&R.
The one thing that no one tells you about “retirement” though, is the increasing amount of time you will need to spend trying to stay healthy. So, 9 years ago, having passed the POOL sign in Nehalem many times, I decided to address my advancing “decrepitude” and explore what was offered. That is how I found the unique gem – NCRD and its glorious POOL! I soon became a daily lap swimmer and met Barb McCann. Over time, she convinced me to come to Board meetings, join the Budget Comm and the Capital Improvement Comm. When there was a Board vacancy, 8 years ago, she convinced me to run and I did.
What I have come to cherish, is a small organization that is the very embodiment of the spirit of “The Little Engine that Could….I think I can….I think I can….I think I can!” I have the privilege of working with a group of fellow citizens who share a common purpose – that is, to serve and enrich EVERYONE in their community as best they can.
They are the very embodiment of the Oregon Logger Work Ethic. They know what the right thing to do is, nothing can deter them and they accomplish what they put their minds to. They are YOU.
With the Communities financial support, via the levy and Bond measure, The Board, the NCRD Staff and the Volunteers have transformed a severely neglected building and an ancient swimming pool, into a model community center. We now have a Fitness Center, Ball Field, Pickle Ball Court, Children’s Day Care Center, a Performing Arts Center (with a new lobby and ADA restrooms) and soon a new pool that meet all ADA standards. This all together, commands an A+ credit rating and is now viewed by Wall Street as being an Investment Grade investment. This is a world class
accomplishment by any measure.
So, simply (and selfishly) put, I would like your support to serve just another 4 years. It has been a most extraordinary and exhilarating experience; plus, we have more to accomplish. Please, may I have your support for just another 4 years? Thank You. Jack Bloom

Constance Shimek

Hello, my name is Constance Shimek and I am running for Director Position 5 on the Board of Directors for the North County Recreation District.

For over thirteen years, my husband and I have owned and operated Horse Tale Flats B&B and a Christmas Tree farm on the outskirts of Nehalem. During those years I have been heavily involved with funding for numerous programs and projects for NCRD through Friends of NCRD. For the past two years I have served as the president of that board. Now, I’m prepared to do much more.

I have learned a lot over the years, and I have heard so many compelling stories from community members on their vision and hopes for the NCRD. I have also heard their disappointments and frustrations. All of these opinions have value, and I want to make sure they are included in the conversation as we move forward on large scale development projects. I envision an NCRD where EVERY member of the community feels welcome, honored, and respected to visit the NCRD, AND to contribute their ideals and opinions on every aspect of development, policy, and operation. Together, we will create the best possible version of the NCRD.

As a board member my first order of business will be to develop community outreach programs that encompass every segment of the population. We must address social inequities for people of color, for those with challenging economic situations, for the LGBTQ1A+ community, for citizens with physical and other challenges, and for all marginalized segments of the population. We need to hear from them and we need to help. I love the idea of creating a youth advisory panel so we can hear directly from the young people in our community. They, and their children, will inherit what we build today. I would like to bring them in on the decision making process now. The more we learn from all of the voices, the more robust solutions we will be able to create. My mission is inclusion. I will listen, I will carry the messages, and I will fight for those who will entrust me with their voice.
A Vote for Constance is a Vote for All.
Follow me on Facebook, ConstanceforNCRD, my webpage:, or contact me @