Tom Ryan, Beverly Cole elected to Roseburg City Council
Voters in Roseburg have decided who will make up their new city council.
Incumbent City Councilor Tom Ryan defeated Marty Katz 67 to 31.9 percent to retake his seat in Ward 2, according to unofficial final results released Wednesday morning.
Ryan is a former police officer, and this will be his 18th year serving on the council. He has served as city council president for 11 years.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Ryan said about his victory.
It was the first time Ryan has faced an election challenger in his tenure on the council. He said he had some nerves thinking about how the election might turn out.
“I’m darn happy the way they voted, and I will do the best I can to represent my ward and the city,” Ryan said.
At the top of his list on the council will be securing more affordable housing in Roseburg. A few weeks ago, Ryan said the city is in a housing crisis, and that the main barrier to economic growth was housing a surplus workforce.
He also wants to work toward addressing the underlying causes of homelessness such as mental illness.
Beverly Cole was elected city councilor in Ward 4, defeating Ruth Smith and Kristi Rifenbark in a close race, according to unofficial final results released Wednesday morning.
She received 35.8 percent of the vote to Smith’s 28.7 percent and Rifenbark’s 34.3 percent. Just 22 votes separated Cole from Rifenbark.
Cole, who is now retired, worked as a parole officer for 46 years with the county and state. She has no prior government experience but has lived in Roseburg since 1961.
“I had some stiff competition,” Cole said.
She said she looks forward to working with the other members of the council.
“They’ve been very helpful. I had a lot of support, so that was really nice,” Cole said.
She will continue to attend city council meetings in the weeks leading up to the new year, when she will assume her role. She said she will be interested to see if the council makes any progress on bringing rideshare services to town in the weeks to come.
Cole said she wants to use her position on the council to foster a more passionate sense of pride in the community. She said the main way to do that is to bring more community events to the city.
Cole also wants to bring more fiscal responsibility to town. She thinks the council has spent money unwisely in the recent past and will work to prevent needless spending in the future.
With more fiscal responsibility and a greater sense of pride in town, Cole thinks the council will be able to focus on bringing more economic opportunities and development to the city.
Incumbent Larry Rich will resume his position as mayor of Roseburg after running uncontested. Councilor Alison Eggers ran uncontested and will maintain her Ward 1 seat. In Ward 3, Bob Cotterell was elected city councilor after running uncontested.