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Candidates: Budget issues, commercial development in Providence

October 20th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Manda Perkins

PROVIDENCE – City residents will have the chance to meet mayoral and city council candidates Thursday. Meet the Candidates night will be held at 7 p.m. at Providence Elementary School, giving voters the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about each candidate before the general election on Nov. 5.

Mayoral Candidate: Don Calderwood

Don Calderwood

After four years of service on the Providence City Council, Calderwood said he was planning on retirement. But after being approached by fellow citizens, sharing their concerns for the city and suggesting he run for mayor, Calderwood listened, and submitted his candidacy. As stated on his self-funded campaign site, www.doncalderwood.com, his experience on the council and a career in business management have prepared him well for this office.

“My Providence City Council experiencehas given me the opportunity to learn the workings of city government and familiarize myself with the city’s employees, its departments, resources, challenges and successes,” he said.

As mayor, Calderwood promises honest communication between citizens and city officials; an impartial evaluation of all opinions with no special interest on obligations to any one person or business; a balanced budget; a positive balance between existing neighborhoods and future development;  decisions made by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the city council will be printed in the city newsletter; agendas for all city meetings will published several days before the meeting in its correct form for facilitate more informed decision making.

Calderwood and his wife, Dianne, have lived in Providence for 33 years. He enjoys hunting, fishing and taking his dogs hiking. 


Mayoral Candidate: Ronald Liechty

Ron Liechty

Ronald Liechty,  current mayor of Providence is running for re-election. “We’ve done some incredible things in the past four years, and they can expect that to continue,” said Liechty.

Liechty said he believes that the city is doing very well, but his main concerns are matters of infrastructure, particularly road quality and protecting water. These are issues he said he had a hand in addressing this term, and would continue to address if elected for another.

“We’ve really cleaned up a lot of the problem areas,” he said. “This last year the city council put aside revenues to put aside and fix so many roads and hopefully they are going to continue to do that from year to year.”

Liechty also said that, if elected to serve another term, he would continue working to uphold the standards of living that the city is known for, making life more comfortable for its citizens. An example of this he said would be encouraging commercial growth on the west side of the city, instead of in the residential areas.

“I want to keep the quiet, rural hometown feeling of Providence in the residential areas. We’re a walking community, an agricultural community, a nice and quiet community.”

Liechty, who currently lives a block away from the home he grew up in, said he is “as local as it gets. I’ve been here all my life in Providence. Most of the residents know me; they know what I stand for. I will not jeopardize my reputation on anything. If the citizens want me to [serve as mayor] again, I will.”


 City council candidate: John Drew

John Drew

John Drew found his commitment to Providence affairs five years ago, upon reading a Herald Journal article about a significant property tax increase proposed by city officials. He then found himself in a council meeting with standing room only, and has been a regular attendant of all city meetings since.

“I care about what goes on in Providence,” he said.

Drew was recently appointed to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission. He organized and spearheaded the reinstatement of the city’s production and selling of sauerkraut at the annual Sauerkraut Dinner, recruiting local growers and volunteers to assist in the effort. He said that his commitment and personal involvement in the community is an attitude he’d like to spread if elected.

“It’s not about sauerkraut− it’s about getting people involved in what’s going on in the community and it has to start somewhere,” said Drew. “You hear people gripe and complain about how things that are or aren’t. You look at them and ask, ‘What are you doing about it?’ It starts with me. You have to inspire people. I’d like to see more of that happening in Providence.”

As a councilman, Drew said his first and foremost priority would be the best interests of the city as a whole, and never individuals or businesses. This includes holding the line on keeping small businesses out of residential areas; opposing the construction of a new city hall, on the grounds of it being an unnecessary expense and a poor use of tax payer’s money; ensuring that ordinances are always followed, and the counsel of city staff is given its due consideration.

Drew and his wife Annette have lived in Providence for the last seven and a half years. He received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from California State University Northridge and completed his master’s degree at the University of Southern California.


Attempts to reach City Council Candidates Steven Liechty and Jeff Baldwin were unsuccessful.

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