PENDLETON - Gary Tague has lived in Pendleton 62 of his 66 years, and after serving the city the last 11 he believes he's ready to be mayor.
Tague, who lives on Southwest Athens Avenue, is a real estate broker. He and his wife Patricia own and operate ABC Realty in Pendleton.
"I've been here forever," Tague said. "I know Pendleton. Pendleton has been tremendous to me and my family and I want an opportunity to give back to the town.
"I think my years here give me the history of Pendleton, which gives me the perspective to help me make the decisions for the future that the citizens of Pendleton will want and deserve," he added. "I also have the time to devote to the position."
2-cent fuel tax
"I am in total agreement that we have to do something with our streets," Tague said. "And I understand that the reason we are behind in street repairs is due to increased costs in materials and labor, and declining revenues."
As a citizen, Tague said he would vote to reinstate the 2-cent-per-gallon fuel tax to support city street maintenance. As a City Council member, he said he would support referring the matter to city voters, but he would not vote to reimpose the tax without a vote of the people.
On a one-to-five scale, Tague rates City Manager Larry Lehman a four.
"I think he has Pendleton at heart," Tague said. "I think he has an excellent background as a manager, but I always think there's room for improvement for everybody in everything."
Tague believes family-wage jobs are one of two things the city should focus on in the coming year. The other is public safety, "our fire, police and medics," he said.
Bringing in more family-wage jobs, he said, depends upon the city developing Barnhart Road and extending it to the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, where the city has some industrial land.
Regarding public safety, Tague said, "It's a continuing situation that's always going to be before the city and before the council. We just need to monitor and stay on top of public safety and maintain the integrity of those positions."
Next four years
Tague said the top issues will remain the same as time goes on, industrial development and maintaining adequate public safety departments.