SEASIDE - Ballot boxes are ready for vigorous voting this fall as four positions on the seven-member city council open for election.
Incumbents have confirmed they will run for three of the four seats, including the position of mayor. The Ward 2 position held by Council President Kathleen Wysong will inevitably have a newcomer, as Wysong has decided not to seek a third term.
Wysong, 75, said she determined roughly a year ago that she would step down at the end of her eighth year on the council.
"I decided this ought to be the end of running," she said. "I'll see if I can help in other ways."
She said she intends to continue serving as president of the local chapter of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Association, and hopes to emulate former Seaside Mayor Joyce Williams in maintaining involvement with the community involvement and volunteer activities long after holding elected office. She is eager to see councilors follow thorugh efforts including the library building expansion and performing arts center development, she added.
Although the work can be challenging, Wysong urged residents to consider running for office. "If you care about the community, it is rewarding."
Ward 2 covers an area of town north from Avenue G and west of the Necanicum River.
Councilor Larry Haller, the Wards 3 and 4 representative who was appointed last spring to complete the term of fomer Councilor Doug Ray, has reconsidered previous plans to not seek re-election.
"I've decided to throw my hat in the ring for that council seat," he said this week. "I thought I might try it again."
The Wards 3 and 4 position covers neighborhoods primarily on the east side of the Necanicum River.
Councilor Diana Schafer, who has represented the Ward I position west of the river and south of Avenue G for nearly four years, said she will run for another term. While councilors have different opinons they are able to respect each other and they all care about the future of the city, she said.
"It's a tremendous learning experience," she said.
Schafer also encouraged residents to consider running for the council, saying more candidates will offer voters choices. "It's a unique opportunity to volunteer and to serve the city."
Mayor Rosemary-Baker Monaghan, who has served on the council nearly eight years - one term as council president and another as mayor - previously announced plans to seek re-election.
Councilor Don Larson is also running for mayor. He has two years remaining on his four-year term representing Wards 1 and 2, west of the Necanicum. If he were elected as mayor, the council would be charged with appointing a successor, city officials said.
To qualify as a candidate, residents must have lived in Seaside for a full year prior to the election, according to the city charter. With the exception of the city-wide at-large position of mayor, they must live within the wards they seek to represent.
Prospective candidates must collect 20 valid signatures from voters as part of their filing petition. Applications are available at city hall, 989 Broadway, and the Clatsop County deadline for completed petitions is Aug. 27.