Randy Wright has been part of local government in Woodburn for decades, with his latest stint as mayor stretching from 2000 on. His father, Robert Wright, was the Woodburn mayor too before him. The tradition will end this coming election.
“I’m retiring from that job,” said Wright. “I’ve been on the council or mayor 30 or 35 years. I want to do something different.”
Wright’s wife, Teresa, is also stepping away from her seat on the Woodburn City Council. They still run their business, Wright Fertilizer, located on the east side of town. As to the moving rumors that have been circulating? It might happen in time, he said, but they’re not leaving just yet.
Newcomer Greg Markey is the only mayoral candidate on the ballot.
“My girlfriend and our five children moved here in June,” said Markey. “We love it. It’s quiet.”
The 30 year old moved to the area to work for Altec. The Altoona transplants quickly sprouted roots.
“We found a house in Woodburn that we are buying. It’s big enough for the whole family, and it comes with 14 acres for horses and cows in the future,” said Markey. “Everyone I have met are great people and will help with anything. My family do the same.”
Residents will also vote on one two-year city council appointment and three four-year appointments.
James Williams is running unopposed for the two-year term.
Vickie Brown is the only name on the ballot for the three four-year terms. A local EMT, Brown has already served more than 10 years on the council.
“It was only supposed to be for two,” she said, but every time her position comes up, people talk her into staying.
Locals have the option to write in names of people they’d like to see elected, though the winners have to agree to take the positions. If no candidates win, the seats will have to be filled by appointment.
“Really, I don’t care who gets it as long as they love our town and will stick up for our town,” quipped Brown, who said making the effort is worth it.
“I love the people and the small town life,” she said. “They’ve stood by me during the toughest times in my life.”