Local citizens interested in serving the city as mayor or city councilor can throw their names in the hat beginning June 1 to appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. All six council seats along with the mayor’s position will be up for grabs.
The filing process, including signature verification, must be completed by 5 p.m. Aug. 18, said Ruth Post, city elections official.
The election process for the city enters a new phase beginning with this next election. In 2020, voters approved a change to the city charter to begin staggering terms for city councilors. As such, councilor candidates can designate their preference for a two-year or four-year term.
“If the election results in six successful candidates with three whose preference was to serve a two-year term and three whose preference was to serve a four-year term, that preference shall be the term served,” the city explained in a news release.
If the 2022 election results are such that the candidates’ preferences do not equally align, or if there is any other disagreement regarding who serves which length of terms, the city said the following method will be used to determine terms:
• The three councilors elected with the highest number of votes shall each serve a term of four years.
• The three councilors with the lowest number of votes shall each serve a term of two years.
At the 2024 general election, three councilors will then be elected with four-year terms for each. At each subsequent biennial general election, the ballot will include positions for three councilors with four-year terms.
Positions are nonpartisan, unpaid volunteer positions with terms that begin Jan. 9 of next year. The mayor’s term is for two years and to reiterate, three of the six council positions will be for two years and the other three will be for four years. Council positions are elected at-large, meaning candidates may reside in any area within the city limits.
Mayor and City Council candidates must meet two qualifications to run for the office. First, candidates must be considered to be a “qualified elector” within the meaning of Oregon’s state constitution, and second, must be a resident of Philomath during the six months immediately preceding the election.
Those interested in running are encouraged to make an appointment with Post to determine if qualifications and residency requirements are met and to learn more about the expectations of serving on the City Council.For more information, go online to the city’s website at www.ci.philomath.or.us/elections.