Interviews for former Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart's seat begin today, April 12, with 27 candidates but not all are taking the opportunity as a launching pad for their political careers.
Patrick Starnes has announced that if appointed by the remaining four commissioners, he would not run for re-election in 2018. His decision is in stark contrast with fellow candidate Kevin Matthews who told The Sentinel he plans to run next year regardless of the commission’s decision.
Starnes is joined by fellow applicant Cedric Hayden in vowing not to seek the seat once the current term expires in 2018. Hayden, not to be confused with state representative Hayden, currently serves as the chief of staff for the Oregon State Legislature.
The county received 29 applications for Stewart's seat, announcing plans to interview the 27 who met the basic requirements for the position including Cottage Grove’s own Cindy Weeldreyer, Thomas Weeler, Donald Nordin, Mike Fleck and Gary Williams. Donald Enrich of Creswell, Charles Conrad, William Ganser, James Barber, Jennifer Flint, Gary Carl, Christy Inskip, Tim Laue, Gary Mounce, Thomas Price, Rose Reinertson, Alvin Riggs, Laura Roman, Betsy Schultz, Robert Schutte, David Stram, John Tyler and Marie Wilson also threw their hats into the ring.
Stewart resigned from office in March of this year after securing a position with the city of Cottage Grove as the head of its new joint public works and community development department.
The individual selected by the commission will finish out the remainder of Stewart's term but will have to run in the 2018 election to retain the position.
The interviews are open to the public and will also be webcast live at http://apps.lanecounty.org/Webcast/Default.aspx and broadcast live on Metro TV (Comcast Channel 21). Public comment will not be welcome during the interviews.