Central Oregon Daily▶️ Madras mayoral candidates tackle policing, growth in forum

▶️ Madras mayoral candidates tackle policing, growth in forum

▶️ Madras mayoral candidates tackle policing, growth in forum

▶️ Madras mayoral candidates square off during forum

Madras will pick a new mayor in the Nov. 8 election. Monday night, all five candidates squared off in a forum held at the Madras Performing Arts Center.

The candidates met with the public before the forum, and soon after, the questions began.

Some asked their stance on combining the police department and sheriff’s office.

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“If we were going to do something together, keeping our own identity, sharing an identity becomes even more difficult,” said candidate Brad Johnston.

“If you contract that out then it is very difficult to start up all over again if you are not happy with the product you are getting from the sheriff’s office,” said candidate Mike Lepine.

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Other candidates had opposing opinions, such as managing growth and what say the voters have.

“You have to grow. It’s managing that growth, it’s preparing for that growth. From a city standpoint, that would be making sure the infrastructure and things like that, that you are thinking ahead of what the next thing is going to be,” said candidate Travis Montgomery.

“It’s been a while since I have heard that comment that you have to grow or die,” said candidate Bill Atherton. “People know when they’ve hit that sweet spot. Not to little, not to many, just right. The trick is how to find that.”

Some questions centered on solving the biggest problems while working with police and the county.

“Being there listening and actually working to listen to others and work through their problems is going to be a big step in working together with everyone,” said candidate Austin Throope.

Nine questions were asked in total to the five candidates, with the forum lasting close to two hours.

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