Incumbents on park and recreation boards across Central Oregon appeared to be defending their seats, according to early results in Tuesday’s special district election.
In the only local race without an incumbent, Ariel Mendez appeared to have defeated Travis Davis for the Position 1 seat on the Bend Park & Recreation District Board. Mendez had 72% of the vote, and Davis had 27%.
Mendez, 40, is a political science instructor at Oregon State University-Cascades and board president of Bend Bikes. He also serves on the park district budget committee and Bend’s Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee. Working with the various community groups has prepared Mendez to serve on the park board.
“I’m happy to get to work,” Mendez said Tuesday night. “Working on better trails, affordable programs and inclusion and access to the park district.”
Davis, 41, is an insurance broker at PayneWest Insurance and serves on the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board.
Gary Gordon, a La Pine Park & Recreation District Board member since 2015, likely defended his Position 4 seat with 55% of the vote against Deren Ash, a software developer who had 45% of the vote.
Gordon, 71, a retired attorney who owns Fish with Gary Tackle Co., wants to keep serving on the park board after helping the board balance its budget and update its comprehensive plan in the past four years.
Gordon plans to help the board through its new challenge: Developing a 145-acre parcel on Sixth Street that was donated by the U.S. Forest Service.
Ash, 38, spent most of his adult life in Maui, Hawaii, where he served on the boards of four nonprofits.
Peggy Tehan, who has held the Position 5 seat on the Sisters Park & Recreation District Board for the past 10 years, appeared to have won with 60% of the vote against 40% for Rosemary Vasquez, who retired to Sisters after a long career in social work, family mediation and teaching in Seattle and Northern California.
Tehan, 62, is a certified public accountant at Campbell & Tehan in Sisters. She plans to use her background as an accountant to help keep the park district financially stable.
Vasquez, 76, a frequent participant in the park district’s fitness classes and programs, wanted to use her experience as a social worker and family court mediator.
Steve Webb, a Madras Police sergeant who has served on the Madras Aquatic Center Recreation Board for the past six years, was defending his Position 3 seat with a 65% to 34% lead over Rob Galyen, manager of Deschutes Basin Farms.
Webb, 48, wants to create more family-friendly activities in Jefferson County, and is looking forward to working with the district’s new executive director, Jim Weyermann, who was hired after former director Joe McHaney was fired for allegedly stealing money from the aquatic center and Jefferson County Kids Club.
Galyen, 46, is a member of the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District and is on Oregon State University’s Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center Advisory Council. He saw his candidacy as a way to bring new leadership and a new perspective to the board.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, firstname.lastname@example.org