Tuesday, November 13, 2012
POLK COUNTY -- While the presidential election may have had people on the edge of their seats for most of the evening Nov. 6, there was very little drama regarding who would be representing Polk County's cities beginning next year.
With no contested races, most of the same individuals sitting on city councils in Dallas, Independence and Monmouth will be back in 2013.
Dallas Mayor Brian Dalton ran unopposed and will serve his second, two-year term.
Councilors Kenneth Woods Jr., LaVonne Wilson and Kevin Marshall were re-elected. Murray Stewart, who was appointed to the council in 2011, was elected for the first time.
A new member of the council is Kelly Gabliks, who's currently the senior assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice. A Dallas budget committee member for several years, Gabliks said she ran for office to be involved in broader matters.
"I'm very excited" at being elected, Gabliks said. "I know we have ... some real budgetary concerns, but the people on the council are very thoughtful and I look forward to working with them to resolve those issues."
In Independence, John McArdle will serve an eighth consecutive term as mayor.
His town's council won't change from its current incarnation. Councilors Jerry Hoffman, Nancy Lodge and Forrest Peck all won unopposed races.
To the west, John Oberst won his fourth straight term as Monmouth's mayor.
Darin Silbernagel was re-elected as a Monmouth city councilor. The dais will feature a new, yet familiar, face in Steve Milligan, a former councilor of eight years.
Jesse Shafer was elected to the Monmouth council for the first time. Shafer is a sports camp director for the Monmouth-Independence YMCA and former sous chef for Ragin' River Steak Co. in Independence.
Milligan and Shafer will take over council spots for Chris Larsen and Kenn Lehto, whose terms conclude this year.