Bob Elliott believes he has the experience necessary to serve as the next mayor of Lebanon.
He has served on the city council for the past 16 years, including the past 12 years as council president. He has also served as acting mayor on two occasions when a mayor was on leave due to health reasons.
“I’m good at working with people. I care about this town. I was born in the area. I care about what goes on,” Elliott said. “I’ve got probably more experience than anyone.”
His current responsibilities as a council member include serving on the Cascade West Council of Governments Board and Transportation Committee, the Lebanon Budget Committee and the Lebanon Parks Committee/Tree Board. He is also a member of the Lebanon Chamber and is a Willamette Manor Director. Elliott also serves as a Lebanon Strawberrian.
During his time on council, Elliott is most proud of the role he has played in helping cultivate the city’s economic growth. He was part of the council when the work was done leading to the Lowe’s development, the recruitment of the medical school and the veterans home, as well the Entek expansion.
“I’ve been on all of it and I’ve been a very firm backer,” Elliott said.
He believes the city’s economic rebound over the past several years is “the biggest thing we’ve got going for us.”
“We accomplished so much in the last 10 years and I think we have a lot more that’s going to happen,” Elliott said. “We can move more quickly than other cities.”
When it comes to problems facing the city, Elliott thinks the wetlands issue is the single biggest obstacle. Potential developers have been held back by the costs associated with developing these sites.
“We’re working on that, trying to get that squared away,” Elliott said.
He also acknowledges that the city’s utility costs are high and present a real concern for many residents.
“One of the main things people are unhappy about is the water bill, but that’s something we just have to live with right now,” Elliott said.
Elliott was born in Holley and graduated from high school in Lebanon. While working in the wood products industry, he lived in various cities around the country before returning to this area. He retired as the Region Manager for the American Plywood Association.
Carrie Elliott, his wife of 61 years, died in 2013.
Elliott thinks being retired is an advantage for him as a public official. He is proud of the effort he puts into being a productive member of the council and the manner in which he serves the city. He said he attends many community events and is often the only representative of the city who is present.
“I will be a full-time mayor,” Elliott said. “I think elected officials should show support for things that happen in town."