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Two candidates face off for position


Tigard-Tualatin Aquatic District has two challenging for open seat.

Next month’s special election will see two Tigard men competing for a seat at the Tigard-Tualatin Aquatic District's Board of Directors.

Three seats are open on the recently formed district’s board, but only one race shows any real competition: Tigard residents Tim Esau and Jeff Miller are vying for the Position 2 open seat. Founding member Jan Larsen decided not to seek re-election to the post.

Incumbents Kathy Stallkamp and Debbie Arizala are running unopposed.

The Tigard-Tualatin Aquatic District took over operations of the pools at Tigard and Tualatin high schools in 2010 after a year-long public initiative to keep the pools open.

That year, the Tigard-Tualatin School District announced it would need to close the pools due to budget cuts.

Instead, voters rallied around the pools, forming the aquatic district, taxing up to 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to keep the pools open. Instead, voters rallied around the pools, forming the aquatic district, taxing up to 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to keep the pools open.

Both Miller and Esau are parents and regular pool users, and both said they wanted to get more involved in the district as a way to give back to the community.

“My family and I use those pools about three out of four weeks a month,” said Esau, a father of four. “It’s a great resource, and I want to make sure it’s available for others to enjoy as well.”

Tim EsauEsau, 49, has lived in Tigard for more than 25 years. After being involved in different community groups, Esau said it was time he took a more active role in the community.

“I really appreciate that (the pools) encourage families to come together. Not just with open swim, but with set aside times for kids to be there with their parents.”

Public pools are an important part of the community, Esau said, because they bring families and the community together.

“I have some great memories of my dad taking me to the local pool with my brother when I was a kid,” he said. “I care about this community, and I want to see that continuing.”

Miller, a firefighter with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, has lived in Tigard since 1996 and was an active member of the grassroots movement to save the pools.

Jeff Miller
“It’s something that I have a passion for,” he said. “This is something I want to preserve and want to make it better than how I got it.”

Miller has been a swim official for Tigard-Tualatin swim clubs, reffed for high school swim teams and went door-to-door to promote saving the pools in 2010, he said.

Miller said he wanted to run for the board to keep the pools on a steady footing.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the process that keeps it stable,” he said. “It is such a good platform for the community — both for fitness and safety — and I want to make sure it’s available to everyone.”

Both Miller and Esau said they were happy with the pools’ current management and neither had concerns or issues they wanted to address if elected.

“They are really healthy,” Miller said. “When you go to sign up for swim lessons, it’s like a rock concert. They are so popular, and it’s great.”

Board members serve four-year terms.

Ballots for the May 21 election will be mailed to homes early next month.