Woodland mayoral candidates have wealth of experience

first_imgJohn ‘J.J.’ BurkeOccupation: Semi-retired business owner and computer technician.Age: 59Background: Woodland City Council, 2002-presentFunds raised: Not available (less than $5,000)Endorsements: None providedwebsite: jjformayor.webs.comGrover LasekeOccupation: Cowlitz County emergency managerAge: 58Background: Retired 30-year law enforcement officerFunds raised: $5,000Endorsements: Building Association of Clark Countywebsite: groverformayor.blogspot.comTwo candidates with long experience in local government are vying to succeed Woodland Mayor Chuck Blum, who chose not to seek re-election. John “J.J.” Burke has served nine years as a member of the Woodland City Council and lost narrowly to Blum in the 2007 mayoral race. He is a member of the Downtown Revitalization Committee and several other civic groups. Grover Laseke, Cowlitz County’s emergency manager, has worked in law enforcement for 30 years, including eight years as Woodland’s police chief. He served as mayor of Toledo from 1988 to 1993 and has served as a volunteer with Medical Teams International.Laseke finished first in the four-way August primary race for mayor, with about 44 percent of the vote. Burke finished second, winning 27 percent of the vote.The candidates agree that addressing city traffic issues and working to improve communications between the mayor and city council are among Woodland’s most pressing needs.Burke also calls for development of an aggressive strategy to attract and retain more businesses. If elected, he said, he will work directly with the council, the Port of Woodland and the Chamber of Commerce to develop that strategy and will meet monthly with interested business owners to hear their concerns, involving the city’s entire public works team in those meetings. He promises to use his veto power to kill any measure that would hurt existing businesses and to consider changing the city’s sign code to accommodate larger businesses looking to attract new customers.last_img read more