Jonathon Boyer, courtesy of Jonathon Boyer
In the only city electoral race in Banks with more than one candidate in November, Jonathon Boyer, 38, is running for mayor, with current city councilor Stephanie Jones facing him in the election.
Boyer moved to Banks nearly three years ago, and lives in Banks with his wife and three children, and said that his mother, his younger brother, and three cats also live in the home that he rents in the Arbor Village development. .
Boyer graduated from Yucca Valley High School in Southern California, and attended California State University, Fresno for two years without completing a degree.
“Family has always been more important to me and my wife, and just kind of happiness has been more important to me, and us, than money. At the time when I was finishing my degree, we were living in just a disgusting apartment,” Boyer said.
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Ultimately, Boyer opted to get out of the situation and ended his college career to jump straight into the workforce. Presently, Boyer works for Intel as a manufacturing equipment technician. “That’s just a fancy way of saying that I work on maintaining the machines that polish the wafers, those wafers that end up getting turned into the computer chips,” he said, adding that he’s worked for Intel for a year and a half.
“Now is just the right time,” Boyer said when asked why he was running for mayor. “I’ve seen what’s happening in our nation today. Just the inability of our politicians and our leaders to be able to communicate in a healthy way – it’s scary, because I feel like we need to be able to look to our leaders for mentorship, for guidance, for counsel.”
Boyer said that the only way he saw a way to combat that perceived inability to communicate in a healthy way was to start by running for public office in Banks.
“I don’t want to be another one of those voices though, where it’s just all about conflict, where it’s about “Here’s what I stand for, I’m going to tear down the other side,” he said.
Boyer rattled off some current issues and projects the city is facing — COVID-19, the water transmission line replacement project — but said that these priorities can change year to year, and that he is more focused on the underlying values that drive priorities.
Boyer said that the stability, happiness, and strength of a family is especially important to him.
“For me, that means leading with empathy, and compassion, and kindness. And when you’re a leader who holds those traits, has those kind of values, then all of the other decisions that come from that, whether it be about balancing the city’s budget, deciding where it is where that we’re going to put funds, and what projects are going to be selected from and things like that,” Boyer said.
“The city’s priorities are clear thanks to the Vision 2037 Plan. What is not clear, are the city’s values. I feel that it’s fair to say that while we are not divided, here in Banks, there are strong opposing voices within the community about what the city stands for. About what its values are. I have no interest in imposing my own values on the city. I simply feel that now is the right time for me to use them to help guide this conversation about what it means to live in Banks. What we stand for. It’s important that we all feel at home,” Boyer added in a follow-up email to the phone interview.
If he had to choose one thing to focus on first, Boyer said he’d like to lead in the arena of mediating in conversations between the more conservative residents of Banks and the more progressive residents of the city, and said he hadn’t seen that sort of leadership from the mayor or city council.
As far as campaigning goes, Boyer said he’s planning on a few signs in the city center, but other than that, his campaign will largely consist of social and personal outreach to individuals in the city.
Boyer hinted at larger goals in the region — perhaps a congressional run in 6 or 8 years — when it comes to elected leadership in Oregon, but emphasized that his focus right now is in Banks.
“The end goal for me is to start here, in Banks, do amazing things for this community, because that’s what my life will be,” said Boyer. “The focus of my life now is community. And in the short term, the way that I view it is simply expanding my family publicly.”
“It means that I would view our community as my family. And I would dedicate my time and energy to solving our problems, to talking with the community, and building our community with the same level of priority and importance as I would give to my own family.”
The general election will be held November 3, with ballots mailed to residents in mid-October.