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TROUTDALE: Three seats up for grabs on council

Six candidates, including three councilors, run for open positions


Three Troutdale city councilors face competition in their efforts to retain their seats, which are up for reelection in November.

The last day for candidates to file was Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Here’s how the races stack up:

POSITION 1:

David Ripma vs. Josh Moriarty

- Councilor David Ripma, who was re-elected to the council in 2010 after a break in 20 years of serving on council, will run against Troutdale native and Port of Portland project manager Josh Moriarty.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - DAVID RIPMARipma, a patent lawyer by trade, has served on the Troutdale Planning Commission, Troutdale Parks Advisory Committee, Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council and Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board.

Interested in staying on council, Ripma said, “We have a lot of important issues coming up that I feel strongly about.”

For instance, he said, “I want to be able to weigh in on the decision about our City Hall.”

Ripma, often the devil’s advocate among fellow councilors, strongly believes the city should look into saving taxpayers’ money by refurbishing the old City Hall, rather than building a new one.

“That’s probably my biggest thing,” Ripma said. “I am also very concerned about our finances, the urban renewal area and the issue of the possible merger of our police department with the sheriff. Ripma said his experience on the council, knowledge of the city’s issues and relations with other local governance and community leaders “is important right now.”

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - JOSH MORIARTY- Having grown up, raised his family and worked for the city of Troutdale in the 1980s and ’90s, Josh Moriarty, a current member of the Troutdale Budget Committee, said he knows Troutdale from multiple perspectives. He has also served on the Reynolds School District Budget Committee.

Summing up his interest in serving on the council, Moriarty said, “I want Troutdale citizens to prosper, the city to be recognized as the great place it is, and see the city get on a financially sustainable path.”

Moriarty sees a strong link between improving and bringing more business to Troutdale and increasing the city’s resources to fund vital city needs.

Moriarty said he’s watched the funding trends point downward to unsustainable levels without concrete plans to resolve these challenges.

As a professional IT project manager for the Port of Portland with a strong background in business, Moriarty said, “I plan, budget, lead diverse groups, manage risks and get things done.”

His specialties are in complex enterprise system implementations, managing large diverse teams and multi-million dollar budgets.

Moriarty fully supports Mayor Daoust’s vision of becoming a well-known tourist destination, he said.

“What’s concerning is I don’t believe the city has always proved itself to be business friendly. I think we’re getting there, can improve, and that Troutdale should be a city that desires to always be moving forward,” he said.

POSITION 3:

Norm Thomas vs. Larry Morgan

Elected in 2002, Council President Norm Thomas has served almost 12 years on the City Council. He will run for his position against 23-year-old Larry Morgan, former student body president at Mt. Hood Community College.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - NORM THOMAS - Thomas isn’t ready to make an exit from the council until a few things get finished.

“I really don’t want to just bail out now when we have worked so hard to get where we are,” Thomas said.

He hopes to continue to build and maintain existing relationships with developers to grow and create jobs in Troutdale.

First on the list is the city’s urban renewal district, destined for development by the Yoshida Group. Other opportunities for development, Thomas said, are the south side of downtown, the county-owned pig farm, the old Thriftway complex and the old Reynolds industrial site.

“When I look at where the city is today and where we are positioned to go it’s a very exciting time, and I’d like to work with individuals, property owners, developers to finish building Troutdale,” he said.

Thomas, who has been involved with the city since 1995, has served on the Citizens Advisory Committee and Troutdale Planning Commission. He is currently Troutdale’s representative on the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and serves on a committee that deals with the Gresham fire contract.

A software engineer with a career background in U.S. Army, Thomas said he has enjoyed being a city councilor.

“We have a really good team on the City Council, and I’m enjoying being a part of that team,” he said. “We complement each other really well.”

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - LARRY MORGAN- Larry Morgan may not be as seasoned as some of his fellow candidates, but the self-employed real-estate broker and political disciple brings a high level of ambition to this race.

Morgan said he is sympathetic to the public sentiment that people are turned off by politics.

“I am a registered independent,” he said. His slogan is independent mind for an independent future.

One of the more notable points in his young career, Morgan said, was serving as Mt. Hood Community College’s student body president during one of the district’s first-ever faculty strikes, and helping to prevent it.

In doing so, Morgan soon found himself working for Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Post Secondary Education Transition Team.

“Then with a few other students, I was able to represent our school when the President Obama rally came to town,” he said. Since then, Morgan has worked with Dr. Scott Hansen, a Gresham native and Navy veteran who ran for the state Senate in 2012.

Morgan is endorsed by Oregon Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson and Rep. Chris Gorsek.

Morgan has never served on Troutdale City Council, but is on the Citizens Advisory Committee.

“I feel there is a lot of work that needs to be accomplished,” Morgan said. “One of them is developing a partnership with MHCC to make sure the work force we have locally is trained, educated and works in the city they live in.”

In addition, he wants to work with the district’s state senators to help curb sex trafficking in East County. Following a big sting operation in Troutdale for prostitution, Morgan said he would like to bring awareness to the issue and work with elected officials and the public on prevention.

POSITION 5:

Rich Allen vs. Ray Eppley

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - RICH ALLEN- Elected in 2010, Councilor Rich Allen has served on the Troutdale Council for four years.

Prior to that, he served on the Budget Committee and the Citizens Advisory Committee. He also serves on the East Multnomah County Transportation Committee and is assigned to the city committee responsible for negotiations in the potential merger of the Sheriff’s Office and the Troutdale Police.

Allen, an engineer by trade, was “thrown into the fire” when he was first elected, dealing with the controversy surrounding former Troutdale Mayor Jim Kight, the City Hall being declared structurally insufficient and the downturn in the economy.

He said he looks forward to being a councilor during better times.

Allen, who is often the first to speak up on council when he feels something isn’t right, said he’s not interested in making decisions without listening to what the public wants first.

“I want fairness in the process and I want to hear from people,” he said.

Allen encourages residents to call his cell phone, listed on the city website, if they want to talk.

He would like to see economic prosperity and for Troutdale to be a place people want to live, raise their children and be a part of the community.

Allen also wants to participate in the negotiations between the city and sheriff’s office as they move toward a merger. He also highlighted a need to remove barriers to economic growth, protect the public’s right to be involved in their government, public safety, pushing for reasonable budgets and other issues.

“It’s a great deal of work, but I love our town and I want to be part of better days for us all,” he said.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Ray Eppley- Retired from corporate sales and marketing management, Ray Eppley has no prior experience working in government, but he does have a big love for people and East County.

Eppley has called Oregon home for more than 50 years. He’s lived on the east side of the county for approximately 12 years, seven of them in Troutdale, where he now lives.

Proud of where he lives, Eppley believes East County, and Troutdale too, doesn’t get the respect that it deserves.

As a member of the Troutdale Council, he’s hoping to change that.

Having spent his entire career in sales and marketing, Eppley has developed a knack for working with people, a skill he believes will translate well on council.

On the business side of things, Eppley has managed a company of 117 employees, a portion of whom worked in other states. Eppley retired from the corporate life in 2012, but quickly felt bored and decided to start his own sales and marketing consulting company.

Only in the past few months did he start attending City Council meetings.

Eppley says he can bring his people skills and a level of professionalism to the council.

The Troutdale resident is looking forward to a brand new experience. “I have no agenda for this,” Eppley said. “I am going in with a wide open mind and I’m going to listen to the people of Troutdale, and try to make it better for everyone.”



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