Sept. 7, 2022 — Aug. 30 was the deadline to file for office in Cottage Grove, including mayor, Ward 1 Councilor, Ward 3 Councilor, and Councilor at Large; all of which will be on the ballot in the upcoming November 2022 General Election.
Mayor Jeff Gowing has held the position since 2017, and has previously served on the Cottage Grove City Council between 2009 and 2016. Running against him will be local business owner and current city councilor, Candace Solesbee; she was elected to Ward 3 in 2018.
Three candidates have filed for Councilor at Large. Running again is Mike Fleck, who has previously served on the council and was re-elected to the position in November 2018. Also running is Robert D. Kidder, a Cottage Grove resident and tow truck driver with no prior city government experience, and Daniel D. Wilson, a local security guard and courier, and a past member of the Springfield Downtown Revitalization Committee.
Filing for the Ward 1 seat on the council is incumbent Chalice Savage, who was appointed by the council in 2021 to fill the remaining portion of Jake Boone’s term. Boone vacated his seat to apply for the position of assistant to the city manager. Running against her is newcomer Donald L. Morris, who has no prior government experience and is a foreman for a heavy equipment contractor headquartered in Coburg.
Ward 3 received two applicants for positions on the council, Chris Holloman, a local business owner who is on the board for South Lane County Fire & Rescue, and Dana Merryday, a freelance writer and substitute teacher with South Lane School District. Merryday is also on the City of Cottage Grove Budget Committee since she was appointed in 2021.
In the November election, a measure appearing on the ballot would give the residents of Cottage Grove an opportunity to vote on whether or not an ordinance would bar or allow psilocybin mushroom service centers and manufacturers from operating within city limits. Approval of this measure would prohibit centers from opening their doors in Cottage Grove.
Lane County voters will also decide a measure to improve parks and natural areas by “levying $0.16 per $1000 assessed property value for five years beginning the 2023/24 fiscal year. This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than 3% while the measure temporarily funds Lane County Parks to improve and invest in parks, trails, water access, water quality and other natural areas,” according to the Notice of Measure Election filing, which closed on Sept. 8.
In the primary election, Richard Brissenden (nonpartisan) ran unopposed for Lane County Justice of the Peace and has been active in the Oregon Municipal Judges Association the Florence Municipal Court for 17 years. According to the City of Florence, he was also the Municipal Judge in the City of Cottage Grove for over 12 years.
Still to be determined, is the District 7 seat in the House of Representatives. The contest is between Ashley Pelton (D), a Licensed Master Social Worker and community leader from Cottage Grove, who is running against Cedric Hayden (R), a dentist and regional business owner from Lane County. Hayden is currently representing the Oregon House District #7 since 2015.
For additional information or to register to vote, visit sos.oregon.gov/voting-elections/ and lanecounty.org/elections.
Registration deadline by mail, in person, or online is Oct. 18. Returned ballots by mail must be postmarked by the date of the General Election, which will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.