2020 City Council Candidates

Getting to know Adam McGuffie for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

I’m running for Newberg City Council to help create brighter futures for my kids. In Newberg, I have worked at, and earned an M.Div from, George Fox University, pastored at Family Life Church, worked as a clinical chaplain at Providence Newberg Medical Center, and started a small business here. I love our community and believe our town is positioned for incredible growth over the next decade. I believe that we can move into that future without sacrificing the small-town America feel that we love.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

Come to city council meetings and make your voice heard. If that isn’t an option for you, write me an e-mail. Your voice will be heard.

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

First and foremost, we are in the people business. Local government exists to build stronger communities. City councilors need to personally model servant leadership to the community and City Hall will follow.

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

Affordable housing is a huge problem that we are facing. I believe that adjusting zoning ordinance to allow for residential infill and increased medium and high-density housing will be an essential part of the solution.

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

Phase 2 is estimated to cost $200M. It took a collective effort to raise the funds for phase 1, and it will take another collective effort to raise funds for phase 2.

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

Zoning for, and constructing, medium and high-density housing will help bring down the cost of living in meaningful ways for families in Newberg.

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

With many employers allowing their employees to work remotely these days, Newberg will continue to attract working professionals who no longer want to live and work in urban areas like Portland. At the same time, Newberg needs to focus on attracting businesses that can provide good-paying jobs for the middle class. As our community grows, we have to focus on staying true to the values that make Newberg a wonderful place to work, grow, and thrive.

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

I am married to a public school teacher who is a proud member of her union. That said, I believe that public employees should be paid higher wages and moved away from having a pension plan and towards a contribution-based plan with training for how to prepare for self-reliance in an extended retirement. My father served in the United States Coast Guard for the majority of his career, and, by the time of his retirement, nearly 50% of the USCG annual budget was going towards paying for retiree pensions. The math simply does not work for any pension system that needs to support retirees for 20, 30, or even 40 years after retirement.

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

Newberg is a small American town that my wife and I have fallen in love with over our past four years of living here. I’m running for city council because I want our two children, Declan and Maeve, to grow up in a place that continues to thrive as it navigates the challenges and opportunities of growth. Strong communities are built on the backs of strong families. As our community grows, we have to focus on staying true to the values that make Newberg a wonderful place to work, grow, and thrive.

Getting to know Denise Bacon for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

I am excited to see what will be accomplished with the council’s DEI goal, shifting the way the city views customer service within the organization, building in sustainability both in the environmental sense and in the city budget, and find some out of the box ways to finally make housing affordable. The community also told us what they wanted, and we need connect the decisions we make with The NewBERG Community Vision that you all worked so hard on last year, so it does not just end up on a shelf.

I am also excited that we are ready to break some molds of the old way of thinking. Our new City Manager has brought an air of professionalism, hard work, and expertise that is moving Newberg in the right direction. With the new staff and elected leaders, I am able to provide historical information, while pushing ahead in making Newberg the best place it can be to live.

I have a masters in public administration, have finished my course work and will soon be completing my dissertation to achieve my doctorate in public policy and administration. My focus of study was on rural communities and rural government. I currently work for The Ford Family Foundation serving the rural communities of our region, hearing their stories, and helping them work together make their communities better. I have been a small business owner and worked for large corporations, so I have broad perspective of the varied difficulties each face.

I served on many boards and advisory committees in the area through the years but it all began with Edwards’ Parent Club 15 years ago and continued on with many fantastic organizations such as: Habitat, YCAP, YC Ending Homelessness Plan, The Newberg Education Foundation, C-WISH, and the Community Wellness Collective. I currently serve on The Newberg-Dundee Police Foundation (President) and Yamhill Watershed Stewardship Fund (Treasurer). I have also volunteered and supported many other organizations when they needed help.

I am a Rotary member and have co-advised the Interact Club at Newberg High School for six years. I have spent a lot of time working with students at the HS encouraging them to dream big.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

I am fortunate that I have held so many different roles in the community over the last 22 years and have been able to work with so many diverse groups of people. I have built a

strong network with our community members from all walks of life. I believe that it is important for elected officials to go to where the people are and not wait for people to come to them, and this has been my practice all along. I also engage with community members by attending their meetings, returning their phone calls and emails, hearing their stories from others so I can reach out to them, and staying aware of issues being posted on social media that might need the city’s attention.

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

The city council has set a goal of improving customer service to our community. The role of the council is passing that directive on to the City Manager for him to decide how to make that happen. It is also the role of the council to follow up with him and make sure that there is forward movement on this goal. I believe that we are here to serve you. It is our job and the job of our staff to provide you with the very best service possible. Business owners are investing in this community, community members are investing in this community, and you should be satisfied that you received the best service possible.

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

Land—we have a huge lack of available land to grow our local business sector. We should want our businesses to grow strong and healthy, but if they outgrow us and leave, we are all hurt. We must focus on creating our own strong local economy, because the more we depend on the economies of those around us, the worse it will be for us.

Housing—we may have to let go of our ideas of what housing should look like and take a new approach. This is hard because people get very locked into their ideas of what things should look like and trying something new and different is hard. We have been saying the word affordable housing for as long as I can remember and just keep doing what we are doing along with making things more expensive. I propose to use out of the box thinking to change how we define housing, find ways to lessen the burden the city puts on developers, and create opportunities for all types of housing to be built.

Encourage Business—The city must change its practices to make it affordable for business to come here.

Recovering from 2020—We are already experiencing negative effects of everything that has happened in 2020. Economic, physical and mental wellbeing, and accepting the new reality of everything we are seeing will be required in our recovery. This kind of social and economic trauma leaves scars, not only on adults but on our children as well, that can affect our community for generations to come. It is imperative that we begin rethinking the norms of local government to lessen the long-term damage the experiences 2020 have caused. We must adapt to the needs of our community members and meet them where they are. If our community members are not healthy, we cannot and will not have a healthy vibrant community

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

I would like to see this project continue, I am glad that there was no break in the work after Phase I, and I hope that it doesn’t take another 20+ years. Our only hope for funding is State and Federal dollars with small matches from our local agencies either through a local gas tax or continued support from the state gas tax.

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

I talked a bit about safe and affordable housing and that is a must, but it goes deeper than that. We must invest in creating environments for well-paying jobs to exist. We also need to encourage entrepreneurship so the incomes of those who live here are rising faster than their expenses. This will include having to find ways to use public/private partnerships to support the well-being of our community. We must lift people out of poverty, and encourage new thinking around how things should be done as we move forward. If what we have been doing isn’t working, we cannot be afraid to change it. This means being brave and taking risks, and I am willing to take those risks.

I quit my job when my son was born because my paycheck and daycare for him did not pencil out. It was a hard choice and we struggled for a long time trying to make ends meet and they rarely did. That was 19 years ago. Although I have no regrets—it has made me more aware of what people are facing and the situation has only gotten worse. This breaks my heart for the young families who are trying to make a go of it here.

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

The city budget must always be a balanced budget. Like the rest of us, it is facing rising costs. If the cost becomes greater than the amount of money available to run the city; projects, programs, and departments will be cut unless the city finds ways to increase the incoming funds. All the things you asked about above are important, but they take money to fund them. It doesn’t matter if it is through taxes, grants, or other government programs; all the money is coming from money we all paid. Hard decisions must be made, and it is up to the public to tell us what is important to them. That is why we have four months of budget committee meetings so the public can tell us what matters to them. If we don’t hear from you, the decisions based on what we believe you want.

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

As we have no control over that, we get a bill and we have to pay it; it would be helpful if you all would lobby our legislature to see what future changes can be made to PERS.

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

In the past few years there has been many changes at Newberg City Hall. With my experience and knowledge of past decisions, I feel it is important to keep my institutional knowledge on the council. I am the most senior councilor, with 12 years of experience, otherwise there isn’t a member of the council who has more than 3 years of experience.

But more importantly, I have worked diligently during my time on council on equity, sustainability, and community. I want to move the community forward by having the hard equity conversation, look at sustainability of the city and keeping the community at the center of all the decisions we make. I want to have hard conversations with you. I want to hear your thoughts. I want to hear your ideas. My son always tells me that you must bring in “big brains” if you want big ideas. I know our community is filled with big brains and big hearts, and we can do this together. That is why it has been my pleasure to serve this community for the past 12 years.

Getting to know Maryl Kunkel for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

Newberg is growing, and the decisions we make now have lasting implications for the livability of our community. Growth is inevitable. But losing our small town feel is not. I believe we can reap the benefits of growth and become a more successful city by ensuring inclusive access to public services, as well as investing in social, economic, and sustainable development. This will create economic opportunity and ultimately improve the quality of life in Newberg.

I have an educational foundation from UC Berkeley and Portland State studying sustainability and conservation and resource studies. As Chair of the citizen-led Sustainable Solutions Group, I have experience working collaboratively with our City, as well as local and regional governments and educational institutions in my previous roles as Coordinator of the Oregon Climate Dialogues. As a mother, and local business owner, I am invested in the success of our community and of raising the voices of others.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

Currently, city functions such as council meetings are inaccessible to many Newberg residents. The main barriers I see are confusion about how the process works and how citizens can participate, and the lack of inclusive communication such as interpreters. In order to listen to all of the voices of the community, I believe we need to be intentional about removing the barriers that limit folk from participating in collective decision making. I will prioritize conversation over politics by clarifying what the city council is responsible for, focusing on providing language services, and finding creative solutions to make it easier for residents to participate in the process.

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

I believe our community can better engage with City Hall and City Council with an increased understanding of how the public can influence decisions and how feedback can be used in decision making. I would like to see the City utilize an in-depth survey to better understand the sources community members use for information, the level of community engagement, as well as the satisfaction the community has with the City’s communication and outreach. I believe this would provide a baseline understanding and a foundation upon which our City and Council may enhance our customer service.

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

I’m invested in building a framework of policy that balances social justice, urban growth, economic development, and sustainability. I believe the biggest challenges facing our community include:

Economic Development & Affordable Housing —With the challenges we are facing due to COVID, it is of the utmost importance that we prioritize policies and programs that help create jobs and support our economy. One factor impacting our ability to retain large employers is our ability to house employees. Without affordable housing, employers have a hard time recruiting employees. In this way, affordable housing, economic development, and job creation go hand in hand. If we use a circular vision of economic development, wherein we can work and live in the same community, we will see decreased wear and tear on our infrastructure as well as environmental degradation. Addressing affordable housing will require a multi-level approach, including a better understanding of the systemic problems that got us here in the first place. There are many ways we can tackle this problem, including increasing the availability of middle housing, taking a hard look at historically discriminatory zoning codes, as well as addressing systems development charges, which impact the kinds of housing options and development opportunities we want to see in Newberg.

In addition to affordable housing, one challenge facing our economy is our lack of economic diversity. When disaster strikes, changes to travel and tourism greatly impact our community. I believe we need to grow our economy through innovation labs and by utilizing important tools, such as Urban Renewal and Urban Growth Boundary expansion to incentivize infrastructure and increase the amount of commercial and industrial land available for major employers. This will not only create jobs but will enable our community to have a more resilient economy.

Climate Change —We must make immediate changes to support a resilient ecological, social, and economic landscape in the face of climate change. We don’t have to recreate the wheel. We have the history, current data, and allied leadership available to us — we need to make good use of it. I will work to build a foundation of policy to address where we find ourselves now and outline the steps we can take to become a more successful and resilient city. My priorities include developing a strategic climate plan, addressing transportation and accessibility, prioritizing economic diversity as well as enhancing our infrastructure to withstand natural disasters, including projected water shortages, earthquakes, and wildfires.

Community Engagement & Collaboration — In listening to the experiences of many local residents, I believe Newberg needs to address how we engage our community in collective decision making. This involves not only actively removing barriers that keep residents from having equal social, economic, and political power, but also equal access to public services, participation in decision making, and staff diversity.

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

We need to address local concerns related to the Bypass, as well as traffic and mobility challenges as a result of the completion of Phase 1. I believe our community also needs to further examine the funding needs for Phase 2, weighing the benefits and consequences of increasing debt and furthering the financial burden on residents and businesses. Getting funding from the state or federal government can be frustratingly slow. To better address funding issues we need to enhance our regional coalition of partners that will benefit from the creation of the Bypass so that we are better able to lobby for more money from the state and the federal government.

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

Affordable housing, economic development and job creation go hand in hand. Addressing affordable housing will require a multi-level approach, including a better understanding of the systemic problems that got us here in the first place. There are many ways we can tackle this problem, including increasing the availability of middle housing, taking a hard look at historically discriminatory zoning codes, as well as addressing systems development charges, which impact the kinds of housing options and development opportunities we want to see in Newberg.

In addition to affordable housing, I believe we need to diversify our economy. When disaster strikes, changes to travel and tourism greatly impact our community. We can do this through innovation labs and by utilizing important tools, such as Urban Renewal and Urban Growth Boundary expansion in order to incentivize infrastructure, increase the amount of commercial and industrial land available for major employers. This will not only create jobs but will enable our community to have a more resilient economy.

By addressing affordable housing, and prioritizing economic development and job creation we will create a more thriving community in which we can live and work.

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

With increasing unemployment as well as decreasing business activity, including tourism and travel, it is realistic to say that our community faces financial challenges due to COVID. We know that the available funds from TLT’s (transient lodge tax) will be significantly lower than in years past, which directly affects the General Fund. The City has made tough choices, including not providing a cost of living increase for city staff as well as eliminating or freezing several positions. I believe that we need to further examine areas where we can decrease inefficiencies, as well as instituting a review before hire policy, wherein open FTE positions are reviewed before replacing or rehiring. This would provide an opportunity to address financial challenges without impacting important goals, such as community development.

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

The rising cost of retirement is years-deep in the making and made more challenging by the fact that many decisions determining rates are governed by the state legislature. While the state has recently made changes to PERs, these will not have an immediate impact. In 2016, the City Council addressed this issue by phasing out the Newberg Employee Retirement Plan and moving all new employees into PERs. While there are opportunities to pre-fund liabilities at a lower cost, including pension bonds and an employer incentive fund provided by the State of Oregon, these are not guaranteed solutions because they are dependent upon market variability and the timing of debt. In examining the opportunity cost of pre-funding liabilities, I believe our community needs to have a larger conversation about the benefits and consequences of costs now versus what future generations will pay as well as the balance of how this might impact important community goals.

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

Without a doubt, our community faces some challenges, but I will work tirelessly towards a stable and prosperous community in which we can all thrive by being a good steward with the resources of our community and by prioritizing conversations with an open mind, a willingness to listen, and a desire to learn.

Getting to know Mike McBride for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

I am running for City Council because I feel that Newberg should be planning to properly zone land for commercial use and be working to bring businesses in that can provide family sustaining jobs for our I’m opposed to adding more fees to water and sewer bills without a vote of the people in our town. I have always lived in Newberg and with my 35 years of experience on Chehalem Parks and Rec board, I would also like to expand and be part of the guidance for growth in Newberg. I’ve been a long time Chamber of Commerce member and also volunteer with Kiwanis, a local service organization that helps children in our community. I’ve been in a variety of leadership positions throughout my career in local organizations and churches.

While serving on Chehalem Parks and Rec board, at the time of building the new aquatic center, the City imposed fees and building permits that amounted to over

$800,000. As a result of that the board had to trim back and cut out the planned outdoor pool that was going to build on the backside of the facility. These extra costs all add up to additional expenses that keeps housing costs higher than it should be. It also deters family wage businesses from coming to Newberg. If the City is willing to impose these costs on an existing organization that has proven to be an asset to this community for years, they will do the same for businesses coming to our area. This is one of the reasons that I feel compelled to run for City Council; to keep costs down.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

I am open to input from the community whether that is by phone, email or in My intent on running for City Council is to represent the voices of our community and to make informed decisions based on their input, while looking at the big picture. I am not opposed to changing my mind if I have additional information that will come to a better decision. Being a business owner, you need to be able to communicate and be available to listen to people’s needs and requests.

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

I do not feel that it is the City Council’s role to micro manage City Our job is to provide leadership, direction and vision for Newberg. The City Council should make it clear to the City Manager to pass along information to staff that everyone should be treated with respect. In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated.

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

The biggest challenge for the City is to provide good family sustaining jobs. By providing those jobs it will help people be able to afford homes and decrease traffic congestion by keeping residents working in the same community . This can only be done by properly zoning land for commercial development that is shovel ready. The City charges too much for permits and hookup fees that get passed on to the homeowner and increases the cost of Businesses will not be interested in coming to Newberg if our fees are unreasonable.

An environmental concern is that Newberg is currently wasting effluent water and dumping it into the Willamette River. A portion of this water is currently used by Chehalem Glenn Golf Course to irrigate the greens. At present time CPRD is the only one using it because they paid for a purple line to bring the water to the golf course. Looking ahead, each time there is a new sub division or a street is opened to repair existing sewer and water lines, the city should lay purple pipe to carry effluent water. This would reduce the amount of wastewater that is dumped into the Willamette River and the water could be used to irrigate all the schools and park lands. In addition, every new and existing homeowner or business could be given the availability to hook their homes up to sprinkler systems and watering their yards without having to pay the high cost of regular drinking water to do that. This water could be put to good use in our community. It won’t happen without planning and making it a priority.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to drive into Newberg and see lush green landscaped yards, businesses and parks beautifully green using this effluent water, rather than dumping it into the Willamette River?

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

As far as the Newberg-Dundee bypass funding, this is primarily the State’s responsibility, although I am all for The City does not have large amounts of money to allocate towards this. Some things we could do are to lower or waive any fees along the route through the city so it doesn’t add additional costs to the State. We can also make sure that no building occurs within the proposed right of way to the bypass. This would keep the State from having to spend additional money to buy out property owners, thus lowering the overall cost

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

I’ve addressed this in some of the questions previously re: affordable housing and bringing family sustaining jobs to Newberg. We also need to look at the overall costs of permits and hookup fees that get added for new housing and passed along to the homeowner, which increases the overall In addition, some of my ideas regarding future housing are below:

Zoning for manufactured home or tiny home sub-division where the homeowner owns the lot. This provides equity and allows a homeowner the opportunity to own their own home and property.

Building homes that have mother-in-law quarters. This allows grandparents to down size and help cover costs with a growing family. It could also help with child care expenses and overall costs to a young family and provide rental income for the family on down the road. This can also help strengthen family unity.

Provide a sub-division for smaller homes ranging from 900-1100 sq ft to give first time homeowners more options.

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

The City needs to be run like a business and not hire unless absolutely necessary and the workload justifies it. Must run lean and keep an eye on the budget and Like any business, you can’t sustain spending beyond your income.

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

The City should get bids on group health insurance every five years to make sure we are getting the best prices and benefits for our As far as the retirement, they should consider getting out of PERS as it is well documented that they are going broke. If they do, this could hurt the City financially. There are many retirement options out there. While a board member of CPRD, we were able to provide a good retirement plan for full-time employees. There are always other options, we just need to look for them and do the research.

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

As a life-time resident of Newberg I have a good perspective of the I have been in business for over 38 years and know what it is like to make the tough decisions. With 35 years as a board member for the Chehalem Parks and Rec District I have the experience and ability to set goals and meet them. Those that know me, know that I am open for discussion about anything that is of concern to Newberg residents. We are all in this together; it’s the place we love and live. In addition, I am also a man of prayer and God’s word says if anyone lacks wisdom that he needs to ask and God will give him wisdom. My decisions will be made with prayer and guidance from God to make the best decisions I can for Newberg.

Thank you for your vote,

Mike McBride

Getting to know Shy Montoya for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

Getting to know Nick Morace for City Council

Provide an overview of why you are running for the position, include background, experience in local government and involvement in Newberg.

My family and I have called Newberg home for over 12 years now. In that time I have
followed our city council’s direction, served on the Citizen Rate Review Committee for six
years, talked with thousands of community members, and served as a mediator for many
small business owners and citizens who needed their concerns brought to the attention of
city officials. Being a business owner myself, I saw the need for representation at the city
level and have always been happy to help where needed. Because of these many
connections I have been asked by several people to consider running for city council district
5. I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to continuing the work of helping
this community thrive. I’m always looking for ways to give back and being a public servant
for this community is something I do not take lightly. True and transparent representation is
what is needed now more than ever and I hope to be that voice so many are needing right
now in Newberg.

Candidates for elected office often speak of the need to represent all voices in the community. If you are elected, how would you listen to community members to understand their needs and inform your decision making?

We often speak of inclusivity and it has become somewhat of a buzzword. Simply put, I
will actively listen to anyone before the council with the intent to understand their concerns,
not to merely respond. I’ve noticed several council members never return emails or phone
calls from community members. This is something that should never be acceptable from a
public servant. We need to look at facts, not emotion when deliberating on any given issue.
Differing opinions and viewpoints are essential and I welcome them to make better, all
inclusive policies. My decision making will be b

What is the role of the City Council in fostering a customer service attitude at City Hall?

I was pleased when the council adopted their new Goals for 2020 which included “change
operational culture to one focused on customer service and act to resolve ongoing legal
disputes”. City officials need to switch their focus from dictating rule of law to becoming people
helping people. We all struggle through this life and our council’s role is to help its citizens
succeed however they can. Many times our leadership hides behind legal precedence or
obligation but to be truly transparent and work FOR Newberg residents, we need an open and
honest discussion about anything affecting the lives of our community members. The council
needs to be taking an active role in listening, sharing, and being upfront with the public and
doing everything possible to make sure they feel heard and understood.

What are the biggest challenges for the City of Newberg currently? What are your proposed solutions?

There are many challenges facing Newberg. Transparency as I’ve already mentioned, tax base
concerns, and affordable housing seem to be at the top of most lists. We’ve heard time and time
again that our tax base needs to grow but given the limited resource we have in the housing
market, this becomes a complex issue. I’ve been developing a plan to help on all these issues.
First of all, we need to reign in and lower our system development charges both from the city
and especially from CPRD. I’ve had many discussions with contractors and developers about
this and by simply moving to time of payment for these fees, we can alleviate much of the burden
for homebuilders. Furthermore, I’d like to implement a city funded infrastructure to continue
lightening this load. This would mean more upfront cost to the city but in the long run, this will
save developers thousands of dollars and inturn will allow the price point for new homes to be
much lower, eliminating the need for more high density housing. Lastly, we need to focus on
local business. Without local commerce, we are fighting a losing battle. Bringing more quality
residents into Newberg requires incentive. Our local businesses offer this and more and need to
be fostered more intently by our city government. By investing our time and resource into local
businesses, we are raising the bar and helping local citizens thrive while also making Newberg a
more inviting place to live.

What are your specific recommendations for funding and completion of Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass?

A lot of good work has been done by our past mayor and we need to
continue his work. By working directly with state legislators and federal
legislators, we can succeed in funding this project. Governor Brown has
hindered these efforts by her actions but we can seek out different revenue
streams by plugging into our legislator’s contacts and applying for different
federal grants. As a city we need to be fully invested into the action committees
and various boards within Yamhill county to stay up to date on the process and
continue to push our state leaders in Washington DC to secure federal
assistance.

Yamhill County ranked as the fifth most expensive county in Oregon (behind the three metro counties) for a family of four to “get by.” This is based on a self-sufficiency scale that includes child care, food, housing, taxes. According to a recent report commissioned by the Portland workforce development nonprofit, Worksystems, a Yamhill County family of four must earn $58,714 just to get by. The US Census Bureau reports the Median Household Income in Newberg is $53,075 – $5,000 less than the amount needed to be self-sufficient in Yamhill County. What steps would you be willing to take as a City Council member to make living in Newberg more affordable?

I’m willing to take any steps necessary to make Newberg more affordable. I plan to live here
and raise my four kids here so affordability is essential. We need to look at waste, tighten the
city budget, eliminate redundant city employment and programs, and lower the tax/fees our
community members pay every month. Newberg has a spending problem and I have no issue
calling this problem what it is. For too long the city has relied on raising taxes to cover
expenses but I will push to lower expenses to fit our current revenue. We need to run our city
like we do do our own homes. If the money isn’t there, don’t spend it. If there is a project
needing completed, save for it and cash fund the entire project. Also, invest in local jobs and
businesses to help bring in the higher paying jobs. Invest in the people, make the hard
decisions and watch Newberg grow.

What specific recommendations do you have for how the City should address our financial challenges over the coming years?

The city of Newberg needs to live within its means. Slow the rate of spending, cash fund
projects, and trim the excess from the budget. We can not afford any more taxes or fees. The
only solution to this growing financial problem is to simply spend less money. Furthermore,
the city needs to be upfront and honest about these issues. If a project or concern needs
financial attention, bring it to the people, the voters and let them decide the best course of
action when it comes to spending their hard earned money.

What are your specific recommendations for dealing with the rising cost of retirement for public employees?

I would like to see public employees have the same retirement packages as an average
citizen. PERS costs are killing our state and now Newberg has joined them. Granted, Newberg
entered this program at a lower tier but this is only a temporary fix to an ongoing problem. We
should have an employer matched employee contribution and tight regulation on payout when it
comes time for a city employee to retire.

Please share some additional compelling reasons why citizens should vote for you.

Newberg is my home and I love this little city dearly. I want to watch my kids grow up here and
have every opportunity granted to them. Our current direction of taxbase growth will not sustain
us and retain the small town feel we all love about Newberg. My goal with being involved with the
council is to add a different opinion and thought so we can have better discussions, benefiting a
larger portion of our communities. I understand the needs and desires of Newberg and only wish
to present these to the council for their consideration. Every voice matters. Every voice counts.
It’s time our city invests and serves our communities without expecting anything in return. I
humbly ask to earn your vote this November 3rd and thank you for this opportunity to serve you.