Lake County Examiner posed the same three questions to both incumbent Lakeview Mayor Ray Turner, and mayoral candidate Darwin Johnson, who will be running against one another in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election. Their responses are below.

Darwin Johnson

1. How do you view your role in promoting the community?

The role of the Mayor is to portray a positive image of the community and what it has to offer to our citizens, our way of life, our strong sense of service and support for our local businesses, law enforcement officers, and families. Understanding the needs of the community and what changes to laws and ordinances are needed which affect the growth of business and increased livability of our neighbors and community as a whole. Working with stakeholders and elected officials to secure state grant funding for community desired programs and facilities. Always being honest and ethical in my behavior, and having integrity in all aspects of my life, being able to adequately research to know and understand the issues before the Town Council and community partners. Participating in community events and being available and prepared to speak on local matters before the community.

2. What makes you qualified to serve as Mayor?

I have a bachelors in Political Science, minor in Business Management, with 14 years of public service in my career as a land use planner. I have served nine years on town councils – five years for the Town of Lakeview. I have been elected to serve on multiple boards, including the Lake County School District #7, High Desert Parks and Recreation District, appointed to and chaired the Housing Authority of Malheur County which also served Harney County working on special housing projects, as well as other committees. I understand the need of transparency in government and will strive to keep the public informed before, during and after town council actions. As a parent of 10 children, coach or league official on various sports programs in our community, I have learned well how to manage my time and use my experiences to help others both individually and collectively succeed.

3. What sort of challenges will the next Mayor be facing during their term?

Staying within the adopted budget, while completing community driven projects in a timely manner. Training of new town employees, and elected council members in duties and responsibilities using state resources available, including those offered by the League of Oregon Cities and State agencies such as DLCD. Continuing to improve the health and safety of our citizens by improving air and water quality, supporting law enforcement, and working with our community partners in cleaning up nuisance and land use violations. Getting community backing in our expenditure of local revenue generated by taxes and fees collected for specific purposes. Communicating our vision and collaborating our efforts in seeing the sustained beautification of our community. Returning to a sense of normalcy, reopening completely and staying healthy, happy and friendly remaining united while embracing our differences; choosing and helping make this the greatest community in which to live.

Ray Turner

1. How do you view your role in promoting the community?

As Mayor I feel that my job includes promoting not only what Lakeview has to offer but Lake County as well. Letting people know what our area has to offer has brought people back to Lakeview.

Each year at the Mayors Conference the Mayors are asked to bring a basket to raffle, these baskets contain items that promote your community. In the three years I have attended with the help of businesses and the Chamber, I have been able to do a different basket each year, with last year promoting the 100 year rodeo.

If you don’t promote your community and the benefits of living here or visiting, it will affect tourism and current as well as new business.

2. What makes you qualified to serve as Mayor?

I am retired, that allows me the time to devote to the community.

I consider myself a working Mayor. I am at Town Hall several times a day, and sometimes called in to speak with residents or tourists that want to talk to the Mayor.

I feel that it is important to communicate with the Town Manager daily and meet with department heads as needed. If you are aware of what is going on then you are able to be more effective in your job.

I have the time to travel to out of town meetings that are beneficial to our community.

I am available by phone anytime and I do return calls.

I have and will continue to work to make our community the best it can be.

3. What sort of challenges will the next Mayor be facing during their term?

Affordable housing, bringing in new businesses, retaining jobs, creating jobs, hiring dispatchers are a few of the challenges.

There are also unfinished projects that I would like to see through to completion. The one that has been one of our biggest challenge is the water. We are, and have worked diligently, to resolve this, but COVID has caused delays with the paperwork.

We also have the cooling water project, the north end water project, and we are working on getting a number of properties cleaned up.

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