Banks, City Council, Elections

City Councilor Stephanie Jones files to run for mayor

Stephanie Jones (right) and husband Kelly Jones (left). Photo courtesy Stephanie Jones

BANKS – City Counselor Stephanie Jones, 45, has filed to run for the post of Banks mayor, and current Mayor Pete Edison has filed to run for Jones’ position 4 on the city council. 

It’s a game of political musical chairs that leaves just one empty position, held currently by City Councilor Michael Nelson in position 2. Nelson has not said if he will run for reelection. 

Jones filed to run on Wednesday, August 12, and Edison filed to run on Thursday, August 13.

In an email to the Banks Post, Jones said she spoke with Edison about her interest in his position before filing. 

“Mayor Edison and I have known each other since serving on the first Arbor Village [Architectural Control Committee] together,” Jones said. 

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Jones, who is at the tail end of her first 4-year term on the Banks City Council, said she moved to Banks in 1999, and lives in Arbor Village with her husband of 24 years, Kelly Jones, a soon to retire Commander of the Investigations Division at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The Jones’ have two children; William, who will enter his senior year at Banks High School this fall, and Maddie, who will be in 5th grade at Banks Elementary School. The family is rounded out by two cats and one kitten that Jones says is not popular with the other two cats. 

“I want to be more involved in our city and I have the time to devote,” said Jones, when asked why she wanted to run for mayor. “It certainly isn’t the $600 the mayor is paid for a year,” she added. 

If elected, Jones’ immediate priority would be to weather the current global crisis, she said. 

“Right now the priority is to weather Covid-19 and keep the city in a positive fiscal state. I also want to make sure the huge water transmission line is completed.”

In Jones’ nearly four years as a councilor, she specifically called out her work in leading the creation of Banks’ Urban Renewal District and her chairing the Budget Committee for the last two years. 

Jones, a Hillsboro High School graduate, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education and interdisciplinary studies from Western Oregon University in 1997, and followed that up with a master’s in teaching science from Portland State University in 2003.

Jones has served since 2004 as fair director of the Northwest Science Expo, a state science fair serving 5th through 12th grade students. As the only paid staff of the expo, Jones said she works from home and manages a network of volunteers each year to organize the event. This year, COVID-19 forced the expo into becoming a virtual event, and the plan, Jones said, is to do the same in 2021. 

Jones also serves as the president of the Friends of the Banks Library, and helped complete the Jane Moore Community Room at the library, among other responsibilities. 

“I have a strong passion for reading and making sure everyone in our community has access to books and technology,” Jones said. 

Jones said how her mayoral campaign will take shape depends on if she ends up with a rival vying for the mayoral spot. “I am the saver in our family so don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to,” she said. When she ran for city council in 2016, Jones used handmade signs as part of her campaign, a close, three person race that saw Jones beat her leading rival, Gene Stout, by just 20 votes, according to data from the Washington County elections archives. She might hold outdoor “meet the candidate” events at Greenville City Park, and plans to submit a statement in the upcoming voters’ pamphlet.

Last week, political newcomer Mike Rainey filed to run for city council position 6, a seat held currently by Mike Lyda, who said he does not plan to run again.

The window to file for office in Banks closes at 1 p.m. on Monday August 17. Visit the city of Banks website for more information.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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