Thursday, November 15, 2012

What A Week!

I am humbled and thankful for all of you that supported me on this campaign.  It has been nothing short of amazing running this campaign and being elected as your next mayor of Canby.  Thank you.

We are now in the post-election wrap ups of final numbers being counted, news articles being printed, and last thoughts.  A few things came to light as read over the Canby Herald's coverage of election night; there are also a few corrections I need to state in regards to the paper's coverage. 

I had an interview by Peggy Savage at my election night party at Puddin' River Chocolates.  Her article summed up well my vision and first action items as your new mayor.  I had a problem, though, with the headline on my article:  "Hodson, council candidates a team...."  I am a team with ALL the council members.  It has always been about all councilors and the mayor working together for the good of the city.  Am I thankful for the support and help the 3 councilors who ran with me in this election?  Yes.  But this in no way should come across as "taking sides".  My record for the past 3.5 years as a councilor stands as testament to the fact that I am a proponent of working as a team in the betterment of Canby.

Furthermore, the anonymous editorial seemed to imply that partisanship would play a role in my duties as mayor and in the elected councilors roles.  Yet, the writer also makes a great quote when he/she states that councilors and mayors in the past "have had strong political, fiscal or faith-based views...."  And this is where I fall.  Because some of my political beliefs and convictions are so strong, of course this is going to transcend somewhat to my goals as a councilor and mayor.  In my campaign, I certainly emphasized my belief and platform to be conservative with the city's budget.  Have we forgotten what "conservative" means?  Long before it was so closely tied to one's political views, it simply meant this:

"....cautiously moderate or purposefully low...."

If stating that I want to be "conservative" with city dollars makes some assume something about my political views, then so be it.  This is precisely why I have also emphasized keeping the lines of communication open.  On my campaign, I spoke one on one with citizens about their concerns and my goals.  I would hope that citizens would continue to call me or come before the council if they felt the city's best interests were not being considered.

Furthermore, the paper printed some pictures from my election night party.  Yes, this was MY election night party.  It was not the "Canby Republican Party", as Savage stated with the photos.  People from all parties were in attendance.  I don't believe the word "Republican" was on any literature for my party, nor was it discussed at the party.  It was a celebration of the campaign and the efforts of my supporters.  As the evening went on, it took the shape of a victory party.  She also misidentified the attendees that were pictured.  I also find it slightly odd that the only article I can seem to find on the Herald's online site is the editorial telling us how to run things as a council.  Where's the election coverage?  Where's the picture of myself and Carson?  Where's the "news"?

Let's focus on the positive.  It's a win!  I look forward to serving Canby.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Wow, what a wild ride it's been!  This campaign has been nothing short of amazing.  I pursued a position that I am passionate about and committed to.  I have had the undying support of family, friends, and volunteers.  I have met hundreds of citizens.  I have participated in many events over the past 3 months that have been fun and energizing.  All in all, I am happy with the flow, pace, and the way I have carried myself in this campaign.  I have remained steadfast, honest, and "all in". 

And I am still out there today.  You may see me on a street corner in Canby, waving my sign and American flag, getting the vote out.  I'll be out both for breakfast in town, as well as attending the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  If you'd still like to talk to me, please do!  Please email me, message me on my Facebook page, or arrange to see me.  I am happy to answer any last minute questions you may have.

Tonight I'll be celebrating (win or lose) with my volunteers and close friends.  I'm looking forward to chatting and reflecting on the campaign with them and telling all my supporters and volunteers that they have done an incredible job!  Stay tuned to my Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-the-minute elections updates, results, and photos.

Thank you for following me on this journey, reading this blog, and showing an interest in your community and the election process in general.  God bless.

                


Saturday, November 3, 2012

3 Days

Here we are, 3 days until election day.  I continue to have full days of campaigning, which has been fun and rewarding. 

On Wednesday, I participated in the Halloween kiddie parade in downtown Canby with my children.  We trick or treated at local businesses afterwards.  What a great community event, bringing our families together. 

Yesterday was busy as well.  I was at a groundbreaking for a new business in Canby (Dragonberry Produce) in the morning, then had a Rotary lunch.  In the afternoon, I did my first official "street corner campaigning".  I was with volunteers on 99E, waving to commuters and saying "hi".  One pedestrian was even walking to drop off his ballot and stopped to confirm he had voted for me.  That was great!  Then it was off to First Friday downtown, participating in the Cash Mob at Wallflowers and visiting other businesses.  Thanks for the delicious bacon, Mike!

The weekend holds soccer games, more street corner campaigning, and more door-to-door introductions to citizens I don't know. 

I am proud of the campaign I have run.  Above all else, I have been out there talking with citizens and finding out what is important to them in our town.  As mayor, I truly want to be your voice. 

Thank you for your support.  Turn in your ballots by Tuesday at 8pm!  God Bless!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thankful

Wow, what a campaign this has been!  I am so thankful for so many blessings that have occurred since we began.

First, I am thankful for the love and support of my family.  From the moment my wife and I discussed the idea of running for mayor, to then actually deciding to undertake it, she and my children have supported me 100% and have been my biggest supporters. 

Secondly, I have the most amazing campaign team in the world!  I bet a lot of candidates say that, but it is so true.  My volunteers have walked miles and miles, going door to door for the campaign.  They have made phone calls.  They have attended and supported me at my debates and various events.  They have hosted meet and greet events.  They have offered advice and feedback.  I could not have done this without them.

I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to run for mayor.  To serve has always been something I have wanted to do.  I have a lot of passion for my town and for the role as a public servant; I am ready for the role as mayor of Canby. 

I am thankful for you, my friends and the citizens of Canby.  You've given me great ideas and feedback on what you want to see happen in our town.  Please know that you can always talk to me about what is concerning you with our community. 

Again, thank you.  As we head into the final days of this campaign, I hope to see you around town or on election day.  Come by and say a quick "hi" to me at Starbucks.  And don't forget to vote!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Community & Volunteering: Let's All Be Involved

I have always been a volunteer.  Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to give.  It is so important to give back to your school, town, or favorite charity. 

I think politicians, even a small town mayor, have an important role in volunteering and highlighting the importance of giving back.  Volunteering is also a great way to both pay back and be on the pulse of the issues and needs of your community. 

Canby is a small town.  We have schools that parents are deeply involved in.  We have community support in places like the Canby Center.  Community service, I feel, becomes even more impressive and important.  You are directly affecting the lives of your neighbor, your child's schoolmate, your family. 

Over the years, I have been involved in local community and charity efforts, including Operation Snuggle, S.M.A.R.T, the Trost School Clean-Up (a program I initiated), various events involved with my position on the Chamber of Commerce board, and the Metro Toy Drive.  As we near the holidays, a lot of these charitable efforts become important and crucial; I invite you to join me on them!

Is there a community effort that you feels needs to be started in Canby?  Is there a charity you have always wanted to get involved in, but don't know how?  Let me know!  Drop me an email and let's work together to get more involved in our community.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Right To Vote

On my campaign, I have spent a lot of time urging people to get registered to vote.  I have emphasized the importance of voting.  I have drawn attention to historically close races in the history of voting.  Yet, I still meet people who think their vote doesn't count or they simply don't care about voting. 

Let's quickly (and in no way comprehensively) take a look at some historical facts on the history of voting in the United States. 

"When our country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Freed African Americans could vote in four states. Unpropertied white men, almost all women, and all other people of color were denied the franchise. At the time of the American Civil War, most white men were allowed to vote, whether or not they owned property. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, people of color, and Native Americans still could not vote." --- Wikipedia

It's hard to imagine our country denying voting rights to people based on their race, religious affiliation, or the fact that they were poor or a woman.  Women have only been granted the right to vote since 1920!  Many historically significant women, such as Susan B. Anthony, fought for a woman's right to vote. 

There are many other pieces to the historical puzzle of voting in our country.  But one point resonates:  voting has been a hard fought right for many people in our country.  Do not take the ability and opportunity to vote lightly.

So, as I urge you to go the polls and vote, I, of course, ask for your vote.  But I also ask you to take your time and make conscientious decisions on all the candidates and measures put before you.  Pause to reflect on the historical significance of the act of your vote.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Core Platform: The 3 Beliefs

Many of you have received both your voter's pamphlets and ballots.  Some of you have begun reading over the information and filling out your ballots.  I hope you will consider me as your next mayor of Canby. 

I've focused on three core beliefs in my campaign.  Here's a recap of those and how I plan to execute them if elected:

1.  Fiscal Responsibility.  We have a lot to do in our city.  We have improvements that need to be done to 99E.  We have a downtown we are busy revitalizing.  We have police, fire, and other core services to properly staff and fund.  Our URD district is still in place.  We have to balance the needs versus wants of our town.  I am committed to making smart, judicious decisions with the city's budget, with your tax dollars.  I am committed to making sure the needs of Canby are fulfilled first and welcoming the wants as we can afford them.

2.  Safe, Enjoyable Neighborhoods.  This topic is often forgotten by candidates in campaigns.  What could be more important than a town that is livable, enjoyable, and safe for our families?  Having a properly funded police and fire district is key.  Speaking with the community and the neighborhoods is also key to know what their concerns are and what needs to be addressed. 

3.  Strong Economic Engine.  We need to make Canby a welcome place for businesses.  We need to make citizens, both locally and nearby, want to patronize the businesses of Canby.  We need to keep our dollars in Canby, as well as bring in outside dollars.  How do we do this?  We need to make it easy for new businesses to want to open their doors in Canby.  We unfortunately, as an example, have our newest industrial park only 1/3 full.  We need to be driving businesses here!  We also need to make Canby inviting to make people want to stop and stay.  We need more attractive landscaping and signage along 99E.  We need to do a good job of promoting all the wonderful businesses and events that are a part of our community. 

As your next mayor, I promise to address these three key issues.  But above all, I promise to be your voice, to listen to the citizens of Canby, to follow up on your concerns. 

I ask for your vote November 6th.  Thank you and God bless.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time To Vote!

It's Fall.  The leaves are changing, the Northwest weather is turning rainy, and......your voter's pamphlets and ballots are arriving in the mailbox!  I just got my voter's pamphlet in the mail and it is thick!  I am glad they arrive with ample time to read through the important issues and candidate's statements.

As I leafed through it and arrived at the mayor race in Canby, I had to stop and pause.  I got a little overwhelmed.  This is really happening.  With incredible support from my family, my volunteers, and my supporters, I am officially "published" and running for mayor.  There is definitely no turning back now.  And I wouldn't want it any other way. 

I ask you to thoughtfully look through your voter's pamphlet.  For the candidates that you are interested in, do not only read their statement, but visit their website, their Facebook page, send them an email.  Invest in your vote and make a well-thought decision. 

I am proud of my endorsements.  Unfortunately, my endorsement list did not make the voter's pamphlet cut (due to word count limits).  So, for your reference, you can access my list of endorsers here

So, have fun voting!  Your vote does count and it does make a difference.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Rock the Vote" Event

Are you registered to vote? Are you new to the voting process and want to know more? Do you want to connect with other new voters? Brian and the Place To Be Cafe are hosting a fun afternoon event of live music, talking about the campaign, and getting people registered to vote. I will be setting up my drum kit for those that would like a lesson!

The Place To Be Cafe is located at 190 NW 2nd Avenue in Canby, Oregon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Republican: It's My Party In A Nonpartisan Race

We are in full swing with election season.  The election is but a month away.  Campaign signs are up, debates are about to start, special events are taking place.  I'm feeling good about the race. 

I am proud to be a registered Republican.  I am both socially and fiscally conservative.  I am a Christian and a believer in God Almighty. 

But I am running in a nonpartisan race for Mayor of Canby.  My opponent is also a Republican.  This inevitably brings up some interesting conversations as well as some conflicts and issues to consider. 

All voters have their criterion for voting.  For some, it may be one issue that is most important to them and that is the decision-maker in terms of who to cast their vote for.  For others, party affiliation is very important and they vote based on that.  And still for others, it is a wide sweeping range of characteristics and beliefs about a candidate that decides their vote.  All of these are valid and important ways for citizens to make their decisions. 

As we drive around town, do our runs or walks, or pick our kids up at school, you will more than likely see a campaign sign along the way.  With a nonpartisan race with 2 Republicans, the sign landscape has taken on a new look that may not be seen that often.  Republicans are displaying my sign.  Republicans might be displaying my sign with other Republican candidates.  There have also been a few cases in town of Democrats displaying my sign as well with other Democratic candidate signs.  Isn't this an inevitability?  If you are a dedicated voter and you think it's important that as many people in town get out and vote, isn't it good that people are researching their candidate's backgrounds, voting records, and party affiliation?  Isn't it good that all parties are stating an opinion?

Unfortunately, some people are not doing their homework.  Some citizens have assumed because my sign is in the yard with opposing party signs, that I must be with that party.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Republicans and Democrats voting across party lines is nothing new.  I am even married to a Democrat who is walking every street of this town to tell you about me!

Ultimately, what I am trying to say here is to do your research.  Talk to your neighbor about the candidate they have a sign for.  Look up their record online.  Email them, send them a message on their Facebook page, go talk to them!  As a candiate for mayor, this is what I am urging citizens to do.  Come and talk to me at work.  Let's meet for coffee.  Let's talk on the phone.  That is what it is all about when you are speaking of small town politics. 

On that note, if you would like a sign, I appreciate and welcome your support, no matter what your background.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Canby Area Transit (CAT): New Fares and Service

We've all seen the CAT busses around town.  The Canby Area Transit system is our main public transit system in town.  It assists citizens in getting around town, as well as to and from Woodburn and Oregon City.  We are required by the state to have this transit system.  Years ago, city staff and council made the decision to have our own transit system versus using Tri-Met.  Service would be better, coverage would be better, and ideally better service.  This also allowed the money that local businesses were paying into Tri-Met to be kept locally.

When it was born, it began with no working capital and has had to play catch-up every since.  BETC (Business Energy Tax Credits), which had been funded by businesses and helped fund CAT, has been dramatically decreased.  A budget shortfall thus ensued. 

October 1st, a $1 fare is being added to the service, to help cover the rising costs of operating the service.  I was on the council that approved this fare in lieu of raising the taxes that businesses pay for the service.

Is the system working well?  Is it providing the services our citizens need?  Are improvements needed?

At a recent luncheon at the Canby Adult Center, I spoke with citizens regarding the service they rely on.  There were concerns regarding the 24 hour advance notice needed for the Dial-A-Ride option.  What if someone need to get to a doctor and had no other means of transportation? 

I think we need to be creative on how we fill such a gap.  Solutions definitely need to be proposed for our disabled and senior population in regards to transportation.  For example, Kathy Robinson at the Canby Adult Center is trying to spearhead a volunteer dial-a-ride program where drivers are "on call" to provide immediate service to those that need transportation.  As a councilor and if elected mayor, I would welcome and support such efforts to make our system work. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Safety & Livability of Canby

I've spoken a lot about the heavier issues of this campaign:  economy, development of the city, the library.  But above all this, the main concern and feedback I am receiving from citizens is the livability of Canby and safety of our town. 

Nothing could be more important.  At the end of the day, we want a quiet, safe neighborhood that we can feel safe in.  We want our children to be protected and safe as they walk home from school.  We want a well-staffed police and fire department.

I have three children attending Canby schools.  With the reduced bus scheduling, my children, as well as many others, are walking and biking to school more than ever.  We need to ensure that safety is our number one priority as we make this transition.  Superintendent Steach has made this a top priority, too.  Stop signs and cross walks have been added.  More families in neighborhoods are doing "walking school buses" to school.  If elected mayor, I will stay well tuned and aware of safety issues and the maintenance of safety for children getting to school. 

Speeding has become an issue on certain thoroughfares in town (SE 13th Avenue, 99E, Territorial Road, to name a few).  Many of these thoroughfares are on bus routes and close to schools.  I will work closely with educators and the police department to make sure this is taken care of and if safety measures need to be installed.

I personally know and speak with the firefighters and police of our town.  I am friends with them.  I make sure they have their coffee!  But most importantly, I know the importance of maintaining and nurturing the incredible team we have working for us in Canby to keep us safe.  I will continue to work with them and hear their concerns.

At the end of the day, our citizens want a town to call home, a town they can have fun in and feel safe, a town they want to patronize.  I have spoken about additions to our town that would improve livability and the economy:  a water park, a dog park, improved boat ramp access, and better bike paths and trails.  We want a town that has good, well-maintained parks.  We want to be able to welcome touraments to town to our soccer, baseball, and other sports facilities.  We want that perfect balance of doing the things we love while our local economy benefits from such activity. 

I am committed to keeping Canby livable, thriving, active, fun, and safe.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Biography, Activities, & Community Service

About Brian

I am currently a City Councilor in Canby, Oregon and have held this position for 4 years. I would be honored to be your next Mayor of the City of Canby.
I would be honored to be your next Mayor of Canby. I will be your voice. I will set and provide direction after listening to all the voices of the city--citizens, businesses, and public servants. Our city deserves strong leadership and I am dedicated to that cause.

A vote for Brian Hodson is a vote for leadership and commitment. A vote for Brian Hodson begins the next great chapter in Canby's legacy.

Family
Married to Meg Hodson
Three children, all attending Canby schools
Family attends Canby Alliance Church
Education Info
College:
High School:
Work Info
Employer: Starbucks
Position: Store Manager
Time Period: February 2006 to present
Location: Canby, OR

Employer: Starbucks
Position: District Manager
Time Period: October 2003 to February 2006
Activities
City councilor, President (Canby Area Chamber), Board Member (Canby Area Chamber), Operation Snuggle, Clackamas County Coordinating Committee, Trost Elementary School Clean-Up, Metro Toy Drive, S.M.A.R.T. Volunteer

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

99E: The Heart of Canby.....Let's Make It Better

HWY 99e travels through the heart of Canby and is home to nearly 24,000 cars daily, yet sadly a great many of them never stop within the city limits. Despite being the main thoroughfare for our city, it doesn’t always give the best first impression of what we have to offer, causing many businesses to suffer and ultimately our town loses as a result. When I talk with business owners along this corridor, the general consensus is that we as city leaders haven’t treated it as a unified issue that needs to be resolved. It is often broken up into areas such as 99e, Downtown, 99e by Fred Meyer, or 99e by Safeway and while we can complete projects by doing this, we are ignoring the larger issue. This method of improving the existing highway causes areas to be forgotten, inconsistent infrastructure is created, and ultimately the average passerby is left scratching their head about how or why things are being done.  I believe this has diminished the ability of our city to effectively create a strong, attractive, and cohesive avenue of travel that will make people slow down and eventually stop to see what we have to offer.

I am convinced that ALL of Hwy 99e needs to represent the pride that our citizens and business owners show on a daily basis. It can’t be just about the ‘Big Box’ strip malls or the downtown corridor and I am prepared to take action that will turn this problem around. Sidewalks, bike lanes, street front signage, and façade renovations from one end of town to the other are all areas that city and public committees have identified as major areas of opportunity and I couldn’t agree more. I would love nothing more than to see safe sidewalks and bike lanes that cover the length of 99e through town and provide an enjoyable experience for families and commuters alike. Business owners need foot traffic and that starts with people slowing down and ultimately stopping to shop. I will ensure that bright, lively, and functional signage is visible to all the commuters that pass through both morning and night. These are untapped customers who need to know the value of our town and I am confident we can attract them with the right visual message. The last thing is to encourage business and property owners to bring their buildings into the 21 century. Canby is a town rich with tradition and history and I have no doubt we can help street front properties renovate and beautify without compromising those values. This combination of visual and physical cues will encourage every traveler through town to finally take notice of everything we have to offer.

So where do we start?

My plan is a straight forward approach to the following projects:

·        Vibrant and meaningful signage along the entire 99e corridor
o       Cohesive signs defining major shopping districts
o       Draw attention to established event areas
o       Showcase those businesses that are unique to Canby

·        Improve and maintain sidewalks and bike lanes
o       Repair existing sidewalks
o       Create walkways in those areas where there are none
o       Clearly mark all crosswalks
o       Improve or install landscaping for better curb appeal

·        Bring many of the buildings up to current code and visual standards       
o       Review existing codes on a city, county, and state level
o       Promote city incentives for renovations
o       Create a feeling of community and caring

I understand this will not be an overnight process and I am committed to working with citizens, business owners, as well as city, county, and state officials to ensure we are all communicating in a clear and concise voice towards a common goal. This is going to be a process that isn’t just ABOUT the people, but is truly FOR the people. At the end of day, my goal is to present a highway corridor that is thoughtfully created, well maintained, and a positive reflection of all the great things Canby has shown me it can be.
 
 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Campaign Promotional Items

Would you like a yard sign, campaign button, car sign, or palm cards? Simply email our campaign manager, Meg (wbfavors@gmail.com) and we will get you set up!

My Campaign Focus: Clear Direction, Stronger Economic Engine, Growth With A Small Town Sensibility

While running for Mayor, I have voiced my strong desire to serve and provide the leadership that Canby deserves. As I walk around town and talk to people, they always want to know the main issues that I intend to focus on and as a result I thought I’d elaborate on those for you.

Clear Direction
I will strive to be a mayor with a clear and precise vision for the city. Whether it is downtown, 99E, or our neighborhoods, I will consider every aspect of these important components of our town and make my decisions wisely.  For example, with the recent improvements and rejuvenation of our downtown core, I don’t want to see the rest of downtown left behind. I believe all of downtown must look, feel and work together in order to thrive. 

We’ve begun slowly improving aspects of HWY 99E.  Beautiful banners were added to telephone poles and clearly visible signage that marks downtown can now be seen. Despite those efforts we still have crumbling sidewalks and non-existent landscaping.  A clear vision is needed to finish these projects on time and on budget..

When we speak of quiet and safe neighborhoods, once again vision is the key.  How will changing traffic patterns, bus schedules, and truck routes affect everyone?  We have to think of all these things as puzzle pieces that must intricately fit together make a complete picture.

What I am ultimately speaking of here is planning AND execution.  Mayor, city staff, councilors, and citizens must all work together to ensure proper planning and completion of projects is taking place.

Stronger Economic Engine 

  1. Further promotion of our infrastructure and our industrial park.  The addition of industrial parks over the past few years has been an incredible and lucrative addition to Canby.  However under the current mayor’s term, it still remains at only 25% capacity with no signs of improving.  This must change.  We must make sure we are attracting not just any business, but the right businesses to Canby, strengthening our place in the market as a desirable location for business.
  2. Connecting Berg Parkway to I-5.   Completing this project will increase the transport of goods and services in and out of Canby and will once again add to our desirability as a destination for business.  We must make it easier for people to get in and out of our city if we ever hope to succeed in our goals.
  3. Building Our Retail Base.  I live and breathe retail every day.  I run a local retail business and I shop at local businesses.  ‘Shop Local’ is something I hear from citizens on a daily basis.  But all too often, we must travel out of town to have a nice dinner or to do our errands.  We need to show retailers and restaurants how wonderful Canby is for them and at the same time continue to promote those businesses that are already here. This is a huge area of opportunity for Canby and I am confident we can succeed under my leadership.  If we have a desirable business district to keep Canby residents shopping locally, we feed our economy not just from inside our city but from surrounding areas as well.
Growth With A Small Town Sensibility

Naturally we want to grow, but we need to do that without compromising the small town feel and sense of community that makes Canby the place you and I want to raise our families in. The obvious question is how do we do that?  It comes down to community involvement plain and simple.  Growth decisions that we make impact a multitude of people in our community including business owners, families, and anyone else who comes to our city.  I would ensure that citizens play a large part in serving as a guide for city staff and the council and to keep us grounded and aware of what is important to them for Canby as we grow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why Am I Running For Mayor?

It was 4th grade.  A fellow student, Holly, and myself, with various assignments, Mrs. Cohen would refer to us as “President and Vice President”.  We had an innate ability to command presence in the classroom, we always volunteered to take on projects and extra credit, and we were always willing to help other students with their homework.  This memory always stuck with me.

As I grew older, this childhood memory grew into a “heart for service”.  I had a desire to help people.  My parents were (and still are) incredible role models of service.  My older sister has multiple disabilities and they have been her primary care provider for 42 years.  You don’t do this unless you have extreme love but also a desire to serve, to care. 

I come to you today with a strong desire to serve.  To serve as mayor means to boldly take the reigns as a leader.  To lead is to inspire others, empower others, and ultimately, see them become leaders.  It would be an honor to serve Canby.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Vision For the Library

The library in Canby is an important issue for many voters, as it should be.  Our library needs improvements and I am looking forward to what will be a beautiful addition to downtown.  I am still receiving a lot of questions about my vote on the library and what my idea for an alternate plan would have been.

I published a complete response in regards to my "no" vote on my blog.  The reasons for my "no" vote included:  the debt load we would incur with the proposed plan, the lack of community involvement with the plan that was approved, and the location of the library tying up prime economic real estate that is close to 99E.  I urge you to read my full post.

In reality, I did come to both Mayor Carson and our city administrator, Greg Ellis, with my idea for a plan.  The library fought hard years ago for their current location on Holly and 3rd, adjacent to Wait Park.  This is Canby's living room.  It makes sense to have the library in this location.  There was structural research done on the current building and it was found to be structurally sound and could be remodeled and added onto.  There is also additional real estate directly behind the current library; I offered the idea that these properties could be acquired by the city and we could build and extend the library back.  It was also found that you could add a second level to the library. 
The most enticing part of such a plan is that we would save a significant amount of money!  We still get our new library, still take advantage of historically low construction rates, yet have a lower debt load that we can payoff quicker in the future. 

Would you still have wanted the current library project at a price tag of $8.1 million if you knew $500,000 is pulled from schools every year the URD is in place? Such funds are also pulled long after the URD ends as we still pay off the debts incurred by the URD program. 

When I brought these ideas to Mr. Ellis, he did say these could be considered.  Mayor Carson essentially had no response and did not offer the idea for consideration or push it forward in any way. 

It's also important for the citizens of Canby to understand that the mayor and city council positions are not full time, paid positions.  Yes, we have influence and we make decisions.  But our city administrator, planner, and outside consulting agencies (consultants that often do not even live in Canby) are the ones formulating the plans and policies that we then meet on and make decisions on.  While we as a council will contribute, shape, mold, and determine what is right for our community, it is important to know that there are others involved in the process.  Communication and open dialogue is crucial, so educated decisions can be made.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Your Vote Is +1

We hear it all the time in elections:  "Why should I vote?  My vote doesn't count really."  Nothing could be further from the truth!  For me, there are many ways that your vote and position has power.

1.  Historically Close Elections.  Remember the Bush and Gore presidential election?  There have been many races that have been decided by a marginal amount of votes.  While most presidential elections will not be decided by that close an amount, the scenery changes when we speak of state, county, and city elections.  It doesn't get any more personal than an election, such as mayor, in your hometown.  In my opinion, every vote does count in Canby, Oregon.

2.  Your Influence On Others.  Let's face it, some people do rely on others to help direct them to what candidate might be the best person to vote for.  People have influence.  The president himself will often support and rally for fellow candidates in the hopes of influencing people.  Everyone has an opinion on something, even if that opinion is "I don't vote".  Even your neighbor putting a campaign sign in their yard will at least make you pause and take notice.  They might even think, hey, they are trustworthy, so I suppose I should vote for that candidate.  Maybe you'll ask them why they are voting for that candidate.  Maybe you will delve deeper.  This leads me to.....

3.  Endorsements.  I take pride in the endorsements I have collected so far in this campaign.  Thank you!  With that being said, I sincerely hope people do not vote for me strictly based on endorsements.  My hope is that instead you take an endorsement and investigate deeper.  "Why are the firefighters choosing to endorse Brian Hodson?  I wonder what their issues are?"  Or, "Wow, that's a close, personal friend of mine and I didn't know they supported Hodson for mayor.  I need to talk to them."  These are the kinds of questions and conversations that we need to be having. 

Your actions speak much more than just your one vote.  Your vote is most definitely a +1.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Endorsements

I submitted materials on Monday, September 10th, to be included in the voter's pamphlet for the November 6, 2012 general election.  I diligently prepared my statement, materials, and endorsements.  For two weeks, I felt like I was on a whirlwind tour of Canby, seeing old friends & community members and meeting new people who were supporting me on my campaign.  I am truly blessed to have the support of the following citizens (an "*" denotes official endorsement filed with Clackamas County Elections):

Canby Area Chamber of Commerce*
Canby Firefighters*
Wayne Scott, Scott Investments*
Jeff Scott*
Tom Scott*
Mark and Dawn Depner*
Michael Vissers*
Paul & Stefani Carlson*
Traci Hensley*
Shawn Hensley*
Nancy Perman
Bob Backstrom*
Karelyn Backstrom*
Kate Murphy, Degrees of Chic*
Derek Hill, Advantage Mortgage*
Gary and Terri Jones*
Tim & Deb Dale*
Rick Reid*
Larry Boatwright*
Holly and Matt Meredith*
Liz and Bill Chapin*
John Savory*
Lisa Zurcher, Park Avenue Salon
Bricks and Minifigs*
Kevin & Loretta Tolson
Teresa and Scott Sasse, Pudding River Chocolates*
Olive Photography
Scott Miller
Robert Hopkins
Kris & Todd Rocha*
Pam Thomas*
Doug Thomas*
Tim Stewart
Burt and Judy Aus
Judd Palmer
Ryan & Kerrie Oliver
Tim & Cam Davis
Sean Joyce
Christie & John Schwary
Chris German
Keri Morris
Cindy Atkins
Jason & Karen Hewitt
Carmen Ralls
Amy & David Westom
Lonna Bruener
Becky Unger
Lora & David Pittman
Carole Risley
Eric Saub
Renee Stricker
Dr. David Dewar
Dan & Lisa Trisler
Russ & Kaci Hall
Pastor Tim & Heather Barton
Karen Dietz
Dawn Anderson
Jill & Brian Chambers
Nikki & Paul Douglas

The campaign is still thriving and growing; as more endorsements come in, we will update this list!

Voter's Pamphlet Statement

The rules and regulations for voters' pamphlets limit you to a very small submission to be included in what voter's see as your "mission statement".   Below is the full version of what I would have liked to be printed in the upcoming voters' pamphlet:

My fellow citizens, I, Brian Hodson, would be honored to be your next Mayor of Canby.  As Mayor, I will be your voice.  I will set and provide direction after listening to all the voices of the city – citizens, businesses, city staff and the Council.  Our city deserves strong leadership and I am dedicated to that cause.  “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams.

·         Clear Direction:
o    Our direction and goals needs to be re-established.  What do we want and need as a city?  With citizens, businesses, city staff, and the council, we will work as a dedicated team to accomplish this. 
o   One-on-one commitment to discussing the needs of our city’s future with families and business owners.

·         Stronger Economic Engine:  Canby is the crown jewel of business and economic growth in the County.  To capitalize on this, we must:
o   Be fiscally focused, making sound decisions with a clear vision.
o    Spur new small business growth.
o    Improve transportation within and through our city.  This will draw investment, create jobs, and make our local economy thrive.

·         Growth With A Small Town Sensibility: With direction set and the engine roaring, where we take Canby is crucial.
o    Sensible yet innovative planning of homes, parks, local and county roads, and businesses.  I have worked with businesses and their challenges, like design codes.  I will continue this direct involvement.
o    Work to maintain our tight-knit community as we grow.

Will it be easy accomplishing these goals?  No.  Can it be done?  Yes.  As a retail manager and city councilor, I have listened directly to the community and made tough decisions.  This kind of leadership, stewardship, and dedication is what Canby deserves. 

A vote for Brian Hodson is a vote for leadership and commitment.  A vote for Brian Hodson begins the next great chapter in Canby’s legacy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Impressive Community Center in Ohio

I am wrapping up my family vacation visiting family in Ohio. We are spending our last day at a wonderful community center in Middleburg Heights. It offers so much: indoor pool, outdoor pool, indoor track and workout room, 3 basketball courts, the chamber of commerce, community information, baseball and soccer fields, and a playground/ picnic area. There is also the library next door, police station, and meeting space. It's self-contained, central, and impeccably kept.

I think back to when voter's voted down Canby's park and rec district. Was it about cost? Was it about proper planning and vision? It's hard to say. I am not sure how this center is funded, but it is certainly an asset to the community.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Campaign Kickoff Party & Fundraiser

Today, I announced that my campaign will be hosting a Campaign Kickoff Party and Fundraiser.  It will be held Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 7-11pm. It will be held in the heart of downtown Canby at The Place To Be Cafe.  Light appetizers and refreshments will be served.  It's going to be a fun evening.  I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces, as well as new ones. I will be available to answer your questions and will speak to the attendees as well.

The event is open to the public and there is no charge for entry.  Guests are encouraged to extend invites to friends and family that would be interested in attending. 

Donations collected that evening will be given to the Friends of Brian Hodson.  Funds will be used for my campaign for mayor. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chamber of Commerce Endorsement

On August 22nd, the local Canby Area Chamber chose to endorse me as their candidate for Mayor.  Here is a summation of their letter:

"As a candidate for the position of Mayor of Canby, thank you for taking the time toshare your views on business with us.  We appreciate our openness in discussion of these issues.

The Canby Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse you in yoru candidacy for Mayor.  We believe your views parallel those of the Chamber, and look forward to continuing to work with you in this position."

I am proud of this endorsement and look forward to showing the business community my commitment to them during the campaign.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thanks, Oregonian!

Here is a link to a good, succint, balanced article regarding the Urban Renewal Agency's decision in Canby to move forward with the proposed plan to build a new library.  I was happy to contribute to the article and feel Stark outlined the outcome fairly.  I was happy to see coverage on an important issue in Canby.  Canby is often ignored in coverage of the Portand metro area and so this is refreshing to see. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Urban Renewal Passes the New Library Project: My Statement

On Wednesday, August 22, the Urban Renewal Agency board voted to move forward with the most recent plan for a new library, city hall/offices, and additional parking downtown.  As a member of this board, I was part of the meeting, heard the presentation, and listened to feedback from various citizens.  After many months of studying this plan, looking at the statistics, and strategizing sustaining this project for the long term, my vote was “no”.  Please let me be clear:  my vote was “no” to the plan presented.  I did not vote against the library. 

As an agency, we approved the funds for the library project.  But much like any undertaking of this size and impact, careful planning must take place.  Do you think every blockbuster film that has made millions of dollars was perfect with one take?  To use an old, but tried and true, cliché:  was Rome built in a day?  No plan will be 100% perfect, I understand that is a reality.  Let me outline some of the key parts of the plan that, after thoughtful and careful consideration, I had questions and concerns with.  These points are what provoked my vote of “no” and to explore addendums and improvements to the proposed project.

  1. The Vision of Downtown.  I love our town and am passionate about Canby.  I patronize the downtown businesses on a regular, weekly basis.  My family visits the library many times in a given week.  If the true purpose of urban renewal is to “relieve blight” and “stimulate economic growth”, a library alone will not do that.  What are the other plans and foresight for the rest of downtown?  Are there plans for economic stimulus incentives for new businesses?  Will the façade improvement program be revamped?  All of these issues are supportive parts of the picture to truly make urban renewal successful.  If the citizens of Canby elect me as mayor, these are some of the main questions I will address and programs I will consider to help support the evolution and success of downtown.

2.    Sustainability of the New Library.  One concern of mine is how will we pay for the operations of the library once it is built?  This last budget cycle, the city cautiously added $70,000 to the library to meet their short fall in operating costs.  There is a high probability that the city’s budget will not afford this next year or in year’s to come.  The city budget is tight.  It’s my concern that we will either have staffing issues or other departments in the city will suffer due to the staffing needs of the library.

  1. Community Input.  With previous projects of this size, we have had a more involved and planned community input.   We sought the advice of property owners, business owners, fire chiefs, and community member’s input on plans like First Avenue and the police station.  My hope was that we would have this same level of input from citizens with the library.  This was not the case.

  1. Parking and Loss of Viable Economic Real Estate.  Mr. Ellis shared with me the statistics of a parking study that showed Canby had ample parking, even with a new library added.  Why build a parking lot when we have a prime piece of real-estate that could be used for businesses to further enhance our 1st Avenue development and draw people from 99E?  Parking lots do not provide economic growth or revenue.  They don’t provide jobs.

In my opinion, it was evident at the meeting that everyone had a passion for our community and the library.  I do not disagree that a library, of all the public buildings, can help with economic development.  I am a library fan!  My family are fans of the library.  If you asked my daughter, “Should we build a new library, sweetie?”, her immediate answer would, of course, be “yes”.  That is the emotional side of the debate.  We cannot forget the financial and execution side of the debate either.  Although citizens’ taxes will not be affected by this project, it is taxpayer money that we are spending. 

Furthermore, I had concerns with the "cart being before the horse" in this plan.  We haven't secured all the land that the proposed library will be built on; that lands still belongs to Canby Utility.  This is just one example of possibly not being as prepared as we can be to make sure this is the best project it can be.  I would hate to see things unravel due to technicalities.

Moving forward, I support what is going to be a beneficial and integral library in our downtown community in Canby.  As mayor, it would be my intent that we build the best library that we can and the rest of downtown is not left behind.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Campaign 2012 Issues: Railroad Quiet Zones

Another issue that is being debated by the City Council and Urban Renewal Agency is the instigation of quiet zones at specified railroad crossing here in Canby.  A quiet zone is defined as railroad grade crossing at which trains are prohibited from sounding their horns so that the noise level is reduced as trains move through a community.  Under the city’s plan, according to the Canby Herald, quiet zone crossings would be installed at Elm, Grant, and Ivy. 

I have several issues and concerns with instituting such a policy.  First of all, in my tenure as city council, only once has someone come before the city council to complain about the noise pollution of the railroad. 

Secondly, I put the ultimate judge of safety in the hands of Union Pacific Railroad, who owns the lands our trains operate on through town.  In their opinion, Union Pacific believes “quiet zones compromise the safety of railroad employees, customers, and the general public.”  The Federal Railroad Administration rule states that communities that wish to implement such a program must equip proposed crossings with adequate safety measures to overcome the decrease in safety created by silencing the train horns.  Why should we install anything that from the onset produces a decrease in safety?

Furthermore, city staff concur that the money allotted for this program was a “place holder” in the budget, in case we get to a point where we can move forward with it.  When we take a closer look at the up front costs, as well as the maintenance, it gets expensive.

  • $500,00 for new gate systems
  • $400,000 for active warning system
  • $15,000 for Basic Inter-Connect
  • $10,000 for annual maintenance
The city would be responsible for covering 100% of these costs. Again, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, evidence has shown an increase in accidents when horns are not used.In my honest and best judgment, I cannot endorse moving forward with the quiet zone plan.  Our city’s budget is tight.  I see this as an overextension of our Urban Renewal funds.  I want to see safety as the prime reason for keeping the current system we have in place.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Passionate About Canby

I am passionate and enthusiastic about the town I live in:  Canby, Oregon.  Can you say that about your town?  I moved here 8 years ago with my family.  I didn't know much about Canby at that time, except that it was a small, tight knit community with a strong agricultural base and a great county fair.

I work for Starbucks Coffee Company.  I soon took the healm of the local Starbucks store here in town.  Management in a fast-paced coffee shop has it's challenges, but it is also a great way to see your community one-one-one.  I slowly got to know my customer's, their backgrounds, and why they worked or lived in Canby.

Starbucks believes in strong community ties and support.  It was because of this that I initially got involved with the local Chamber of Commerce.  That soon led to a position on the board, a vice president position on the board, and ultimately president, the position I hold today.  I have become even more attune and in touch with the business community because of this position.  I have come to have a keener understanding of what it means to "buy local" and support your neighbor.  It is truly evident in this community. 

Political aspirations have always been that pie-in-the-sky dream for me, that "maybe someday" goal.  As I become more and more involved with businesses in the community and as I continued to build ties with friends in the community, the opportunity arose to run for city council.  It seemed a natural fit for me.  I had a good understanding of the town and what was truly important to the community; I knew I would maintain my integrity and focus in the position; I would also learn more about the political animal that is local city government. 

I was appointed to the position of City Councilor in the Fall of 2009.  I ran for re-election and won in the Fall of 2010.  I have been honored and blessed to be able to serve as a councilor in this town.  My decisions as councilor are always made honestly and with the city's best interest at heart.  My decisions are based on what I feel are the best choices and directions for the city, tax payer money, and the livability of the community. 

As I turn to running for mayor, I am guided by these same principles:  community passion, fiscal attentiveness, and having an "open book" attitude when it comes to the issues of the city.

I heart Canby.
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