Election 2

Ballots for Results are available in the Special District Election. 

POLK COUNTY — The Special District Election is May 18, and it will fill seats on local school boards, fire boards, water control districts and cemetery districts.

Ballots are on their way now, if they haven’t already arrived. Find information about ballot drop sites on page A5.

Here are the candidates in competitive races for Dallas School District, Perrydale School District, Polk County Fire District No. 1. and Southwest Polk Rural Fire Protection District.

Perrydale School District

Position No. 3 candidates

Jessica Keene, of Dallas

Employment history: Preschool Teacher 2003-05; Target department manager 2005-06; Verizon Wireless 2006-10; Memory care respite home 2011-13

Education: Parkrose High School, 2003; completed some courses from Warner Pacific Community College for business, no degree.

Previous government service: None

Campaign phone: 503-758-8711

How long have you lived in Polk County? 11 years

Why are you running for office?

I believe in our community and school and believe it is already great. I know I can bring a diversity to the board that isn’t currently there. Being a stay-at-home mom, I have ample time to commit to this position. I have attended every board meeting except for one in the past two years. I have a kiddo in every part of the school, kinder, late elementary, middle school, high school and special needs. By being so active in my kids’ education already, I hope being a part of the school board, I can do more for all our community kiddos.

What are the critical issues facing the Perrydale School District? How would you address them if you are elected?

I believe Perrydale already has a great board, I would be honored to join the strong team bringing my diversity to add to the strengths already present. I would focus on curriculum, adding more life skills as well as student supports. I also have a passion to create more opportunities through after school clubs that aren’t sports related for all ages.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the schools community?

I have been so proud of my own personal growth over the past few years learning how to look at different situations from different points of views. The ability to understand different points for views than my own has made me a great candidate for a position on school board and the diversity of tasks that come to them. My love for the school and community I live in will only help me to advocate for our kiddos to make their school careers the best it can be in a fun and caring atmosphere.

Anything else you wish to add?

Making sure my kiddos have the best possible learning environment has always been important to me. I will continue to advocate in the best interest of our community and kiddos. We already have a wonderful school and adding opportunities will benefit our littles growths as they become great, overachieving adults.

Katie Fast, of Rickreall

Employment history: Current Executive Director of Government Relations for Oregon State University. Previous employment: executive director Oregonians for Food and Shelter; vice president of public policy, Oregon Farm Bureau; and director of government relations, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Education: Bachelor of Science, agriculture, Oregon State University.

Prior government experience: Several state agency advisory committees.

Fast did not return the I-O’s candidate questionnaire by press time.

Polk County Fire District No. 1

Position No. 2 candidates

Dan Miller, of Monmouth

Employment history: Retired Firefighter/Lieutenant Paramedic. Started in 1985 with Marion County Fire District #1. In 1994 started working for Clackamas County Fire District #1. In 2007 worked as Operations Supervisor for Rural Metro Ambulance. I Have been adjunct faculty for Chemeketa Community college teaching technical rescue classes since 2012.

Education: Laurelwood Adventist academy graduated 1980; Chemeketa Community College, AA degree in Fire Science Technology 1987, AA degree in Emergency Medical technology 1988

Previous government service: N/A

Campaign phone: 503-507-9319

How long have you lived in Polk County? 7 years

Why are you running for office? I would like to give back to my community.

What are the critical issues facing Polk County fire district? How would you address them if you are elected?

Similar to many combination departments, critical issues for PCFD#1 involve staffing levels, response times and utilizing available resources to maximize personnel safety and service delivery.

Addressing these issues does not involve a canned answer, these issues are an ongoing challenge and depend on many factors. Willingness to work with the Fire Chief while asking pertinent questions during board meetings, and sharing my insight, and voting for what I believe to be the best interest of the Fire district and the taxpayers.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the fire district? I have over 30 years’ experience in the Fire Service.

Freeman Stutzman, of Monmouth

Employment history: Retired

Education: Sheridan High School graduated 1964; Portland Community College, 2 years, did not graduate

Previous government service: I am the current Polk County Fire District No. 1 Director Position 2, and have held that position since 2015

Why are you running for office? I am concerned about taxpayer dollars being spent wisely.

What are the critical issues facing Polk County fire district? How would you address them if you are elected?

The county’s growth and how to serve the demands of our residents with speed and efficiency and with the greatest possible use of our dollars to keep personnel and equipment safe and up to date.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the fire district? I have lived in this community since 1981 and have owned and operated a fast-food restaurant for 18 years. I sold that business in 1999. I drove a dump truck for Tom Snair and worked at Valley Concrete as a truck driver and dispatcher.

Anything else you wish to add?

I would like to thank you for your time and hope you vote. In any case, please vote.

Dallas School District

Position No. 1 candidates

Carol Shaw-Slife, of Dallas

Employment history:

I retired from Salem-Keizer Public Schools, where I worked in various locations as a Special Programs Instructional Assistant/Bilingual and School Office Specialist/Bilingual.

Education: Crow High School 1976, Linfield College 1980. I had a double major in Spanish/English, which included a junior year abroad in Granada and Madrid, Spain.

Previous government service: Association of Salem-Keizer Educational Support Professionals. I was a Building Representative; member of the Executive Board, in which I served as director of several committees. I have worked on political campaigns and volunteered for organizations.

Campaign phone: 503-851-4791

Campaign website/Facebook page: Carol for Dallas School B Position 1 @carolforDSB

How long have you lived in Dallas?

I have lived in Dallas for one year, but I have lived and worked in Salem for 20 years, preceded by 20 years throughout Marion/Yamhill/Polk County areas, so I am very familiar with this part of the state.

Why are you running for office?

I want to use my experience in education and volunteer work, to benefit our schools, students, families and the community at large. I plan to work collaboratively with all Board members for open lines of communication. My passion is inclusion of the whole community. One key to a thriving community is providing an excellent education and high graduation rates in order to prepare students for a successful future. I look forward to the challenge.

Experiences you bring?

I have learned that students, parents, educators, administrators, and board members have different perspectives and priorities. But cooperating is more effective than working at cross purposes.

What are the critical issues facing the district? How would you address them if you are elected?

As we return to in-person learning, schools still must follow state and federal rules. We want to increase graduation rates for all students. Looking to the future, we will be hiring a new superintendent. I anticipate working as a team with others.

Anything else you wish to add?

All of the groups in a community have unique needs, so we all benefit when those needs are addressed openly. A thriving town depends on it.

Luis Garibay, of Dallas

Employment history: Realtor 5 years

Education: McNary High School.

Previous government service: United States Army, National Guard, 2014-2020.

Campaign phone: 503-998-7760

Campaign website/Facebook page: Luis Garibay for Dallas School District Position 1 on Facebook.

How long have you lived in Dallas School District?

More than a decade.

Why are you running for office?

I want to be able to secure a good foundation for our youth and this starts with schooling. They are our future and we need to be able to have good education for them to really challenge themselves and become great citizens in the future.

What are the critical issues facing the district? How would you address them if you are elected?

Our biggest struggle right now in my opinion is two part. 1) We need more staffing to help our teachers and reduce class sizes. 2) We need to get our kids back into full-time school to reduce the detriment that is happening by online learning.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the district?

I feel that I am locally connected to our community and kids are always at the center of what I do. From being the President of Kids Inc to helping coach youth sports, I thrive in environments where I can make an impact in children’s lives and make them feel wanted and appreciated.

Anything else you wish to add?

I really appreciate each and every person’s thought to vote for me in this coming election. I look forward to the opportunity to serve on YOUR school board.

Pat Wildman, of Dallas

Employment history:

Retired farmer.

Education: Concordia High School and Cloud County Community College, general studies.

Prior government experience: None.

Wildman not return the I-O’s candidate questionnaire by press time.

Position No. 4 candidates

Lee Schlenker. of Dallas

Employment history:

Manufacturing Engineer for 30 years and Middle School teacher for 8 years, currently retired

Education: Acalanes High School, Lafayette, CA, 1963; Oregon State University BS 1968; University of Nevada, Reno Education 2000 (Teaching License Nevada Secondary Education)

Previous government service: Dallas School District Citizens Oversight Committee 3 years, Dallas School District Career and Technical Education Committee 3 years

Campaign phone: 503-623-0112

Campaign Facebook page: Leland Schlenker for Dallas School Board

How long have you lived in Dallas School District? 10 years

Why are you running for office?

I want to help improve the graduation rate from Dallas, to continue to strengthen the Career and Technological Education (CTE) program, develop and maintain a balanced budget for the district that services all students and staff so the right students are placed in the right programs for the right reasons.

What are the critical issues facing the district? How would you address them if you are elected?

Card key system for all schools, upgraded fire and alarm system for all schools, and finish the improved external lighting project for nighttime safety at all schools. Obtaining funding for these issues and the proper allocation of those funds. Making sure that there is adequate staffing at all schools for those students who have IEP and 504 plans. Work with state agencies to improve benefits for teachers and staff. Start the selection process for a permanent superintendent with the qualities to unify and gain support of all parties, be fiscally minded, a proven leader with experience at the site level as a teacher and principal, understand the basics of facilities and resource management, and communicate with the board so that they can make proper decisions. Work on a safety program for all schools allowing them to work with all city and county agencies quickly in case of an emergency.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the district?

I have over 30 years of project management experience involving people, customers, vendors and the oversight of a budget to complete those projects. In addition, I have eight years’ experience in the classroom working with students, parents, other teachers and school staff at all levels for a successful educational experience for all.

Anything else you wish to add?

I have worked with the staff and students of the Dallas School District in the past and have been impressed with the quality of education and staff that is provided to those students and want to see it to continue.

Pally Mann, of Dallas

Employment history: I have been employed with Dallas School District for 23 years and will be retiring at the end of this academic school year.

Education: I graduated High School in 1979

Previous government service: Member of OSEA 1998 - 2021; Secretary of OSEA Dallas Chapter #34 - 2011 - 2015; and President of OSEA Dallas Chapter #34 - 2015 - 2020

How long have you lived in Dallas School District? I have lived in Dallas for 28 years and raised 3 kids here all of whom are Dallas alumni.

Why are you running for office?

Though I am preparing for retirement, I knew I was not ready to leave the district behind. I have witnessed Dallas go through tough times and I believe that we are still in the healing process from some of that. As an employee, I did not always have the opportunity to engage in higher level conversations around how to improve our district nor did I feel that other stakeholders always had their voices heard. I want to be a voice on the board that represents all stakeholders including our students, teachers, classified and confidential staff, administration and our community members.

What are the critical issues facing the district?

Currently, one of the challenges that the district is facing is how to navigate in a COVID-19 impacted learning environment. Staff and community members alike want students back in school 5 days a week and I agree with this. However, I recognize that this is a task that may not be able to come to fruition by the end of this academic year. I believe it is time for the District to focus on the 2021-2022 academic year and how we address critical issues such as equitable educational access for all students, safety in our learning environment that would allow for schools to open further, and the distribution of funds to meet these needs. If elected, I would engage all stakeholders in transparent and open conversations around these topics in order to produce solutions that meet the great level of needs amongst of students, educators, and community members.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the district?

I believe that my experience in the district, both personally and professionally, allows me a unique lens to see the changes that need to be made. As an executive board member of the classified union for the last eight years and an employee of the district office, I have been involved in multiple trainings on leadership. Additionally, I have been actively involved as a member of the Negotiation Team for several years and have worked with the district on several Union issues. I believe this experience highly qualifies me for a board seat as I have been part of the parties working with the board and can help unify the school board and district employees.

Anything else you wish to add?

Dallas School District is an amazing district. Educators in Dallas have always ask the question “Is it best for kids” and I believe that we need to continue to ask that question when making decisions.

Southwest Polk Rural Fire District Board

Position No. 5 candidates

Candice Strickland, of Monmouth

Employment history:

I worked in telecommunications in this community for 22 years until I retired to become a stay-at-home mom.

Education: Sprague High School 1995 and Western Oregon University 2000

Previous government service: None.

How long have you lived within the district? I have lived in SW Polk RFPD since August of 2015 and I previously lived in Independence/ Monmouth area since 1995.

Why are you running for office?

I decided to run for SW Polk RFPD because I have a heart for this community. Since moving to the outskirts of the fire district I understand longer response times, the work of rural fire departments, and the importance of Firefighters and Emergency Medical personnel responding to requests for help from the community.

What are the critical issues facing the district? How would you address them if you are elected?

Some of the critical issues for this district are response times for EMS and fire, the importance of volunteer retention and understanding of the growing needs of the community. My goal if elected is to become more familiar with the specifics of the district and promote community involvement.

What experience or talent would you bring to the office that would benefit the district?

My experience comes from having been a volunteer firefighter for six years, I understand the importance of a fire board from a fire fighter perspective and from a property owners’ perspective. I believe it’s important that the community has a voice especially with last year’s forest fires that threatened and destroyed homes and businesses surrounding this community.

Rod Watson, of Dallas

Employment history: Retired farmer.

Education: Attended Oregon State University for a year.

Previous government service: Southwest Polk Rural Fire Protection District Board.

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