The first Linn County election results came about 8:40 p.m. on Nov. 6. With only 63 percent of the votes, the eventual winners had substantial leads.
Lebanon’s newly elected mayor and councilors took time to celebrate on Election Day, and are eager to get to work.
Mayor-elect Paul Aziz, newly elected councilor Jason Bolen, and councilor candidate Dorrie Board held an election night party at Game Time in Lebanon.
“Game Time let us put (Linn County results) up on the screen,” Aziz said. “We were refreshing on Jason’s laptop.”
Aziz said he is excited to take on the challenge.
“It’s very humbling to have so many people put their trust in me,” he said.
Aziz said he got a call from Larry Mullins, Samaritan Health Services CEO, on Nov. 7.
“He just wanted to say, ‘hi,’ and introduce himself,” Aziz said. “There is a lot of great stuff they bring to our town. I let him know I’m not going to undo things; I want to continue the way we are going.”
Mayor Ken Toomb, who will complete his 10th year as mayor in December, said he offers Aziz congratulations and wishes him well.
Councilor-elect for Ward III Jason Bolen has been in close contact with Councilor Ron Miller.
“Ron Miller called (Wednesday) congratulating me,” Bolen said. “He is a wonderful man and wonderful ambassador for Lebanon. I have big shoes to fill.”
Miller said he will meet with Bolen to share his perspective.
“I think it will be a good make up,” Miller said of the newly elected members. “Hopes are always that they make good decisions, and I know they will.”
Rebecca Grizzle, councilor-elect for Ward II, said she is looking forward to having intimate knowledge of the happenings in Lebanon.
As a former councilor, Grizzle said she thinks it is important councilors trust each other’s motives.
“I think the council we have elected will be a really good mix of personalities,” she said. “I’m very excited with the mix of people. It will be a good mix of new, inquisitive blood and stable, longer-term people.”
Grizzle added she believes the existing members of council are hard working, well-intentioned and have done a lot of great things for Lebanon.
“I’m delighted she won,” said Margaret Campbell, former councilor for Ward II. “I’m confident she’ll be a positive voice for growth and development for the city.”
Barry Scott, councilor-elect for Ward I, said he is looking forward to working with the other councilors.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a fair amount of work to truly come up to speed on the issues,” Scott said. “The first order of business to just come up to speed on what’s there.”
Aziz and Bolen both stressed transparency during their campaigns.
Aziz said he will keep his Facebook active to communicate with citizens.
He also plans to communicate regularly through a column in the Lebanon Express.
“I would like a mayor’s corner or something where I could do a regular piece and keep people abreast of what is going on around town and with the city council,” Aziz said via email.
Bolen said he wants to make himself available to citizens with something such as “coffee with the councilors” as soon as December.
“I want to try to get as much out there as possible, because that’s what people have been asking for,” Bolen said.
City Manager John Hitt said Aziz, Bolen, Grizzle and Scott are invited to join the executive session to review the applications for the new city manager.
“I’m really excited that we are going to be involved in the process of picking the city manager,” Aziz said.
Bolen said his first priority is the city manager search.
“I’m looking forward to the process of hiring the city manager,” Grizzle said. “Lebanon has so much potential, and there are going to be so many awesome things.”
The city council meets at 7 tonight, Nov. 14, at the Santiam Travel Station, 750 S. Third St. Follow reporter Audrey Gomez on Twitter @audgomez.