Elections, Environment, News

Four seats up for election on Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District Board

Four positions on the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors are up for election this year, and there will be several familiar names to western Washington County readers on the ballot on November 8. 

The Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District is divided into five zones, each of which is represented by a distinct elected board member, and two additional members are elected to serve as at-large directors for the entire county. All positions are four-year terms.

This year, one at-large position is up for election, and Zones 3, 4, and 5 are up for grabs. 

Voters in the district, regardless of the zone they reside in, will vote for all zones and at-large positions. 

Zone 3—representing parts of Gales Creek, Glenwood, Hillside, Forest Grove, Manning, Buxton, Hayward, and the northwest portion of the county—is currently represented by Thomas Dierickx, a Banks-area farm owner. Dierickx is running for another term, and will likely win the seat, given that he is the only candidate who filed to run for Zone 3. 

Zone 4—representing south Hillsboro, Cornelius, and the south-central portion of the county including Midway, parts of Scholls, and more—is currently represented by Forest Hills Farms Vice-President Anna Jesse, who will seek another term. Jesse is challenged by Olivia Duren, a former member of the Oregon Legislature-created Oregon Invasive Species Council and a Restoration Program Manager with the environmental nonprofit The Freshwater Trust. 

Zone 5—representing Banks, Mountaindale, Verboort, Helvetia, and portions of Cornelius and north Hillsboro—is currently represented by longtime elected official (and Manning-area resident) Matt Pihl. Pihl declined to file for reelection, leaving an open seat now contested by two candidates, Norie Dimeo-Ediger and Luke VanderZanden. 

Dimeo-Ediger is a familiar name to many in Banks, having lived in the area for more than three decades and serving on the Banks School Board, the Banks Planning Commision, and more. Dimeo-Ediger works for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute as the director of K-12 education programs.

VanderZanden’s LinkedIn page notes he grew up working on his family’s grass seed farm between Hillsboro and North Plains, and he currently works at Sunset Farm & Nursery.

In the At-Large 2 position, current Director Dean Moberg is running unopposed to retain his seat. Moberg, according to his website, has an extensive background in agriculture, and holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Oregon Health & Science University.

Editor’s note: Look for more in-depth stories on these candidates in October as the election draws closer.

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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