“Maughan for Mayor” says the GT

The Corvallis Gazette Times Editorial Board has chosen their favorite for Corvallis Mayor, and we heartily agree with them! 

Check out this article from the Sunday, Oct 23rd edition:

Maughan our pick for mayor of Corvallis

For the November general election, our editorial board tried to target the most critical races in the mid-Willamette Valley for endorsements.

We eliminated contests that we thought would end in landslides for whatever reason — so you won’t find a pick regarding the Benton County Board of Commissioners, where we expect the solid and steady Pat Malone to be reelected, or in the Albany mayor’s race, where we predict the business-friendly and gregarious incumbent Alex Johnson II will win.

Many of the races for local state representative seem like they’ll be decided simply on demographics.

The races we pinpointed as most substantial and potentially tight were Corvallis mayor, Lebanon mayor andLinn County sheriff.

We’ll start with the race for Corvallis mayor, and in the coming days tackle those other contests.

With Biff Traber declining to seek another term, the Corvallis mayor’s race is one of the most interesting contests on ballots in either Linn or Benton counties. It feels especially important since there are cracks in the supposed utopia that need patched up. Homelessness, affordable housing, public transportation and how to pay for community perks are hot topics.

The contest has attracted three rather qualified candidates: current Corvallis City Council member Andrew Struthers, and former councilors Roen Hogg and Charles Maughan.

Out of this trio, we’d urge you to vote for Charles Maughan, who is the most progressive option in the race, and therefore the person who best represents Corvallis, perhaps the most progressive city in Oregon per capita.

(For full disclosure, Maughan was employed by Mid-Valley Media more than a decade ago and two of our editorial board members were his co-workers. That didn’t factor into our decision, but, regardless, we’ll declare a potential conflict of interest.)

Both Hogg and Struthers, of course, have excellent points that could be attractive to voters.

Hogg has positioned himself as a strong advocate for practical solutions for homelessness, he thinks high taxes are a major issue, and he thinks that the difficulty and cost of building in Corvallis has contributed to the housing crisis.

Some of Hogg’s major selling points are that he’s the most experienced of the candidates and he’s retired, so he can fully devote himself to the position. However, some of the most effective mayors we’ve seen have been newly-elected men and women who worked full-time but were always at community events.

Struthers seems like a genuinely nice guy and moderate influence who wants to bring more businesses to Corvallis and aims to thoroughly investigate issues that come before the council. But Corvallis has a tendency to talk every topic to death, or, lately, to punt issues rather than court controversy.

Among Struthers’ recent votes that seem at odds with the general public are voting to try to delay psilocybin therapy in Corvallis, and putting home energy scores before voters.

Despite any criticisms, Hogg or Struthers are serious local politicians who probably would do a fine job if elected.

Maughan is our choice, though, in part because he’s particularly well-educated on housing issues, and he wants the city to take a more active role in incubating the development of affordable alternatives. He also wants to bring Corvallis’ bus system in-house, rather than have an outside contractor, and he’s staunchly for mandating energy scores.

We worry about Maughan’s financial acumen to a degree. He hopes to tap into state and federal dollars, as well as grants, to preserve community services. Money doesn’t grow on trees, though, and Corvallis may need to make tough choices if a full-blown recession materializes.

Nevertheless, we believe Maughan will be a decisive leader who will try to push things forward and push back against city staff when necessary. Again, if Corvallis really wants to double down on its liberal values, residents should be bold and vote for Maughan.