Three candidates are running for two four-year at-large positions in the Mt. Vernon City Council.
Incumbents Jan Lowry and Mitchel Wilson and newcomer Bryan Montague are running for the two seats. Incumbent Kenny Delano is running unopposed for another two-year term as mayor.
Lowry has been on the council for more than four years. She won election to the council after being appointed. She also has served as the city’s assistant city recorder for 17 1/2 years.
Lowry said she worked “at everything” after graduating from high school — as a waitress, driving trucks and tending bar. She’s lived in Grant County since 1971 and has numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to keep her busy.
After many years working for the city, Lowry said she knows the “ins and outs” of Mt. Vernon and believes she can be an asset to the city. She said she’s cautious but not afraid to speak out and say no.
Montague was born and raised in Mt. Vernon. After graduating from Grant Union, he attended job-related seminars and trade schools. He now owns and manages Frontier Equipment in Mt. Vernon.
As a long-time resident, Montague said he believes in Mt. Vernon and wants to help make it a better place. He said he’s motivated by a sense of community spirit.
This would be his first elected position. Montague noted that he has no agenda and cares about the community. He said he attends Mt. Vernon City Council meetings regularly, and his wife serves on the city’s budget committee.
Wilson was appointed to the council and has served about three years. He grew up in the John Day area and took welding and fabrication classes at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario.
After seven years in the welding industry in Prineville, he moved back to Mt. Vernon where his wife’s family owns a ranch and opened up his own welding and fabricating business. He served on the board of the swim team at Gleason Pool in John Day for two years.
As a younger city council member, he hoped to bring fresh ideas. The experience has been good, he said, with several city projects under development and his service as council president for the past year.
Small cities like Mt. Vernon have limited funds, Wilson noted, and city leaders must be crafty in finding ways to get things done. He said he’d like to see the city grow, with new homes and buildings to increase the tax base.