“Let Seaside Keep Its Mayor,” read lawns signs throughout the city. Voters got their request, as Jay Barber defeated challenger John Chapman, owner and operator of KSWB Productions LLC/Radio Clatsop.
After unofficial results, Barber held a 64 percent to 34 percent lead.
“I really appreciate the faith the voters have expressed by voting for me,” Barber said Tuesday night. “I look forward to working with our council, which stays intact as well for the next four years. We live in a great city, and we’ve got a future ahead. I’m honored to be able to serve.”
Barber, a former city councilor who filled the vacant seat of former Mayor Don Larson, has lived in Seaside for 11 years. The former president of Warner Pacific University and pastor of a community church in Red Bluff, California, Barber and his wife, Jan, have four grown children and five grandsons. Barber was appointed mayor in 2017 to fill the remaining term of Don Larson, who died in December 2016.
During his time as mayor, Barber has worked with the Seaside School District to provide infrastructure for the new campus outside the tsunami zone; presided over creation of a South Seaside Urban Renewal Area; and helping to oversee a $15 million Seaside Civic and Convention Center remodel.
Barber hopes to advance affordable housing by bringing builders, developers and nonprofits together, not just in Seaside but in cities throughout the county. “We’ve got some ideas but we have to work together. That’s why continuity is so important.
Barber touted his work as a member of the board of directors Helping Hands Re-entry Outreach Center’s to battle homelessness. “We’ve seen a change in the face of the homeless,” Barber said during the campaign. “It’s young women, children, elderly. We’re doing something about it and we’re going to continue to expand.”’
Was he nervous before the results?
“My attitude was one of peace,” Barber acknowledged Tuesday night. “I felt peaceful about it, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking, we can never be sure about the outcome.”
Councilors Steve Wright, Tita Montero and Dana Phillips each ran unopposed in Ward 1, Ward 2, and Ward 3 and 4.
Montero, a councilor since 2010, touted council accomplishments during the campaign, and cited the need for continued work on the areas of workforce housing, homelessness, city infrastructure, emergency preparedness and overall quality of life.
Dana Phillips, who was elected in 2010 and 2014, said she was proud of opportunities to assist local citizens when they have had issues and raised concerns, citing her advocacy for those seeking available parking access for people with disabilities.
Steve Wright moved from Gresham to Seaside in 2014. He worked 35 years for an international grain exporter, retiring as chief financial officer in 2013. Wright served on the Seaside Planning Commission and now serves serving on the Seaside City Council Ward 1, the Budget Committee, the Improvement Commission and the Transportation Advisory Commission.
Wright said he will continue to work with the mayor and other councilors to achieve the goals set by the council in early 2017.