Village president candidates participate in forum

The Oregon Area Progressives held a candidate forum Friday, Jan. 8, so the public could get to know the candidates for Village Board president, who include trustees Jenna Jacobson, Randy Glysch and Jerry Bollig.

Around 40 people attended an Oregon Area Progressives candidate forum last Friday to hear from the three people seeking the Village Board president seat.

The candidates, board trustees Jenna Jacobson, Randy Glysch and Jerry Bollig, each discussed the most pressing issues Oregon faces, based on questions on topics from Municipal Judge Beth Cox – the forum’s moderator – and audience members. Topics mainly included the pandemic, affordable housing, the new administrator, open trustee positions, the inclusion of underrepresented voices, building the new library and how each candidate would govern.

The Progressives held the event live on its Facebook page for an hour, with participants able to leave comments and inquiries in real time. The intent, Cox said during the forum, was to help voters decide which candidate best represented them by the Feb. 16 primary and April 6 election.

Jacobson, Glysch and Bollig agreed on some topics, and offered differing opinions on others.

The candidates found common ground on navigating the village through the COVID-19 pandemic, making sure they showed the new administrator the ropes of their role and appointing new trustees for their vacated seats.

They also agreed that the new administrator should be someone who has an extensive background with managing government budgets and finances, also having a high level of emotional intelligence. When an audience member inquired about hiring an administrator who is a woman or a person of color, all candidates agreed that should be a goal.

But while Bollig said his intention as president would be to maintain what is outlined in the capital plan, keeping the debt at “responsible levels” amid the health crisis, Jacobson and Glysch said they would do that while also envisioning Oregon’s future, starting with ensuring the new library is built.

“An investment in the library is an investment in Oregon’s future,” Jacobson said.

They had varying answers to an attendee’s question about what each candidate would bring to the table.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Bollig said. “I want to make sure (the village) stays the way it has been.”

Glysch said he’s a “pretty humble guy” who will “hit the ground running” and will lead the village in a way that is community-oriented.

Jacobson cited her dedication and commitment to the various committees she sits on, saying if she’s going to be making policies, she needs to understand various village roles.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.