SILETZ — The citizens of Siletz will elected a new mayor this year, with no incumbent on the ballot. John Mosier and William “Willie” Worman are currently vying for votes. Though neither have previous experience governing, both are passionate about addressing the issues facing their community.
Mosier previously worked for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years and currently owns his own business. He said that he was encouraged to run for mayor by other community members, but his personal reason is that he “would like to be the spokesperson for the Siletz community.”
He acknowledges that many are concerned about crime in Siletz and feels confident that his background with the sheriff’s office will be of great help in this area — but crime is not his top priority.
“We need to take care of our infrastructure first,” said Mosier. “Then take care of the rest of the city.”
He also would like more accessibility to city information, stating that the codebook would be available on the counter for purchase at city hall if he is elected. Another aspect of that public access that he is passionate about: city meetings held at a time for “the working man,” which he advocated for on the radio. Mosier said that he is “not afraid to get up and say something to somebody.”
Despite Siletz being a small community in a 400-acre town, Mosier stated unfamiliarity with his opponent.
“I just know what other people are telling me,” said Mosier. “I hear that he’s from GP; sounds like he’s got some good qualities, I hope we can work together and still have a good working relationship — either way, however it turns out.”
Where he does believe they differ is the amount of time invested in planning for after the election.
“I do have an outline; I have talked to the city employees about what they would like to see, what they’d like to do — from what I’ve heard, that hasn’t happened from the other party,” said Mosier. “I have a lot of personal time invested in this, because I want to know, if and when I become voted to do this, that I have a handle on what everybody is looking to do and that I’m going to have people that are going to be able to work with me and be able to do stuff and have an understanding.”
Worman, an employee of Georgia-Pacific, coaches the high school boys basketball team in Siletz, while helping run the Siletz Neighborhood Watch program — which he founded. He says that his reasons for running are his love of Siletz and his desire to see change.
“I have seen what community means to people and how people of all walks of life can come together to bring effective change,” said Worman. “I want to see more of this change and believe that I can help us all get there.”
A few community issues at the front of Worman’s mind include old sewer and water pipes, a lack of communication in the community, outdated digital information and bill pay options and a lack of enforcement of city codes and ordinances.
“In this small community we will not be able to improve our quality of life if all the entities cannot find a way to work closely together as partners,” said Worman. “We have to continue and find new ways to work together so we as a community can take on the big issues that come up.”
Worman specifically advocated for building working relationships with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, as well as ‘different groups around Siletz with similar goals.’ This, he said, will aid in building a safe and strong community.
Like Mosier, Worman expressed unfamiliarity with his opponent, but believes community involvement is a key factor which separates them.
“I know that I am known in the community through coaching, volunteering and through Siletz Neighborhood Watch, and I try and be a part of as many community events as I can,” said Worman. “I don’t recall seeing or meeting my opponent at community events over the years.”
However, he did commend Mosier for being willing to help solve the community’s issues.
“That he is standing up to be a part of the solution is a good thing,” said Worman. “I truly hope that if I win this election, he will be willing to get involved to help solve issues that come up for the Siletz community. I know that I will.”
Positions one and four are open on the Siletz City Council. Position one currently has incumbent Jeff Clark running unopposed, though Tim Shank is running a write-in campaign.
On the ballot for position four are Leslie Button and incumbent Gail Freer.
Freer is a lifelong resident of Siletz who has served on the city’s budget committee for years and was appointed to the council earlier this year. Her reason for running to be elected to a full term: helping to build for the future.
“I was born and raised here in this beautiful community and was fortunate to be able to do the same with my children. Siletz is a great place to live; I want to be a part of helping make it a even better safer and stronger community to raise my grandchildren in.”
Part of making Siletz stronger and safer, to Freer, means making progress in addressing the community’s most important issues. She said that the most pressing issues facing Siletz are “the planning and preparing to upgrade our city water and sewer to help make sure we have safe drinking water, code enforcement and building positive relationships with other entities in our community.”
Button did not return comments to the News-Times by publication time.