Editor’s note: The Pilot recently submitted a series of written questions to all seven candidates seeking election Nov. 6 to Brookings City Council. The following was submitted by the candidates.

Name: Ron Hedenskog.

Age: Still younger than Karl Popoff

Spouse/partner: Yes

How long have you lived in Brookings: 50-plus years

Education: Some

Employment status (if retired, from what): Retired Army, timber industry worker, construction, and surveyor.

What inspired you to run for council?

I originally ran for a council seat in 2007 and won hoping to make changes to administrative policies that restricted development and to make administration more responsive to council goals.

What do you hope to change?

Huge changes were made over a 10 year period, more can be accomplished, but oversight is more important.w

Where do you see Brookings in five years?

Five years from now Brookings should look much the same with more improved streets and sewer debts reduced, and parks improved.

Name your top three priorities.

Law enforcement, infrastructure, and parks are high priorities.

What can you bring to the council that’s different from other candidates?

I offer experience, sound advice, and long term stability.


Name: Dennis Triglia

Age: 64

Spouse/partner: Widowed

How long have you lived in Brookings: 5 years

Education: B.S., Biology, Fordham University; M.A., Biology, Hunter College/City University of New York

Employment status (if retired, from what): Retired biological research scientist in both academia and industry, most recently in the field of cancer immunotherapy

What inspired you to run for council?

When I retired from my previous general manager position at a startup biotech company in Portland, I chose to make Brookings my new home. In January 2016, there was a vacant City Council seat formerly held by Councilor Kelly McClain. I applied and was subsequently interviewed and appointed by a unanimous vote of the council (coincidentally by the same four councilors/mayor in office today).

I will have served on the council for three years when my current term expires in January 2019. During this time, I’ve seen the growing frustration by many of our town’s citizens that their voices are not being heard and their opinions are being ignored by City Council. My campaign slogan “Standing up because of you, for you” grew directly out of that frustration.

There is wisdom to be gained from the past, and new insights and energy that come with fresh eyes. Both are critical to the economic and social vitality of a community. All segments of our population need to feel that they have a hand in their own governance, even if that means re-thinking the ways we’ve always done things.

I am not afraid to represent views and concepts which are “outside the box.” My Number 1 concern is that the voice of the people is not only heard loud and clear at City Hall, but also heeded. This beautiful city belongs to all of us, and it’s not only advisable, but necessary that we all feel included in the vision of what we are.

I work for you the people. Your City Council works for you the people, and your city staff works for you the people. It’s our job to represent you. It’s challenging, and I take that challenge very seriously.

What do you hope to change?

I hope to continue to improve the way business is being conducted at the city level, to ensure that more comprehensive information about impending issues are available to the citizen committees as well as the City Council. This information is critical to making good informed decisions that involve spending your hard-earned tax dollars.

We all need to understand the issues before making those decisions. While the extra time and effort involved in that approach may at first appear cumbersome, it is nevertheless critical. The alternative is to merely rubberstamp staff recommendations, which is not what the process was designed to achieve.

Brookings is not the same little logging town it was back in the 1950s. Time passes, and things change. Trying to go backwards doesn’t work. We need to focus on ways to move forward without sacrificing the things we love about this beautiful place. We need to keep up with our changing demographics and economy.

Change is unavoidable, but, any significant change must be well-researched, unhurried, with appropriate feasibility studies, and must receive buy-in from all segments of our population. I seek to make Brookings more small business-friendly by offering incentives (financial or otherwise) to potential business owners who are considering relocating to Brookings.

I also support additional free, family-friendly events especially for our children and young adults. Such events can be funded in part by TOT funds via our citizen-run Tourism Promotion Advisory Committee (TPAC), currently severely underfunded by the city, receiving only a mere .22 percent of the FY2018/2019 total budget. Tourism is a significant boon for our local economy, and that income, especially during summer months, is often what keeps a small business here afloat during the winter. Brookings is a destination that the world is starting to recognize and appreciate and it must be further promoted.

Where do you see Brookings in five years?

My wish list within the next five years would include the following: (a) reduced SDC’s for affordable housing developers and individuals; (b) greater incentives to recruit new business owners to Brookings; (c) monthly joint meetings of the City Council and all stakeholders in a citywide effort to discuss and act on various ways to help the homeless and the less-fortunate residents of our city; (d) a covered, swimming pool/aquatic/rec center, which could be used by residents and non-residents, with facilities/activities/options for water therapy for youth to seniors, fit and disabled, all year-round; (e) an increased graduation rate from Brookings-Harbor High School resulting from increased interaction of the city with the school district; (f) additional STEM-related education as well as more hands-on vocational training for our youth; (g) a modest performing arts center, which could be used by several non-profit music, dance and theater groups. We are blessed that Brookings has a plethora of artistic talent and we need to continue to promote the arts and our local talent; (h) more family-friendly, free admission events for all age groups; and (i) an aquarium, a butterfly pavilion, city-wide pollinator gardens, and a more inviting eco-friendly fountain at Bankus Park.

Please realize that I cannot make any actual promises here as I am only one of a governing body of five members. I strongly urge our citizens to research diligently every one of the council and mayoral candidates, their qualifications and their willingness to represent your concerns. The results of this year’s election could very well change the chemistry of your City Council and, in my view, that’s a good thing.

Name your top three priorities

a) Greater public input at City Council meetings regarding upcoming votes as well as at project-specific planning of future projects. Greater civic involvement…remember, your council works for you.

b) Encourage inclusion and diversity in our community. Let’s start listening to those who may be different from us and – together — let’s be civil, respectful, and try hard to find common ground. I sincerely believe that we can work well together, as we have proven last year during the Chetco Bar Fire, to make Brookings an even better city for all of our residents. Regardless of differing political viewpoints, we all want many of the same things and we can all learn from one another.

c) Create a proactive environment that promotes better health care, better education and lower crime.

What can you bring to the council that’s different from other candidates in the running?

I have been told that I have a great sense of humor, an open mind and a caring heart, that I am a good listener who is ready to lend a hand where needed, and that I have a genuine love for the community.

I am a person of the people. I am not afraid to get out there in the rain and work to rejuvenate our native azaleas. My interest and scientific knowledge of the natural world makes me a valuable asset to the City Council. From people to monarch butterflies to trees, I care deeply about living things and I volunteer for several local organizations and donate regularly to local nonprofit charitable groups.

I have an extensive background in scientific research and am not in this race for personal financial gain or aggrandizement. I seek no higher office; I am merely a humble guy looking to make life better for Brookings’ citizenry.

What I bring to the council is an extensive background in data collection and analysis that serves the council and the city well when considering the consequences of actions the council may plan to take. More often than not, I am the only councilor who insists on thorough examination of an issue before voting.

The City Council needs more members who ask “Why?” instead of simply saying “We’ve always done it this way.” I have also been told that I bring “fresh eyes” as well as critical thinking to the Council.