EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a two-part series where the Hermiston Herald is printing responses from a questionnaire to candidates running for City Council. Look for part two in the Oct. 31 issue.

Three incumbents are on the ballot in the race for seats on the Hermiston City Council on Nov. 6.

All candidates for council seats were asked to fill out a questionnaire as a way to reintroduce themselves to voters.

Some of their answers have been shortened due to limited space. Their profiles represent how fully they answered each question.

Candidates vying to keep their spots for at-large city councilor are Rod Hardin, Joe Harn and Brian Misner. Here are their responses:

Hardin, a 32-year resident, moved to Hermiston in August 1980. A native of Milton-Freewater, he is a graduate of Eastern Oregon University and Portland State University.

Hardin and his wife, Sheila, have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. Hardin served as a city councilor since 1992 and is currently principal of Hermiston Christian Center and School.

When asked why he is running for re-election, and what he would accomplish if elected, Hardin said, to “provide an avenue for citizens to communicate their concerns with the council.” He also plans to “Continue to support the recently appointed advisory councils to the city and work to bridge any gaps that exist.”

When asked for three important issues if he is elected, Hardin focused on the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center and livability issues.

Hardin called the EOTEC facility a “win-win situation for the city, school district and the county. I feel this can become a great economic driver for our region.”

Hardin also expressed a need to work with Blue Mountain Community College and Eastern Oregon University to develop educational programs at the EOTEC facility.

“This will also serve as a tool for economic growth by training people for future jobs available in this area,” Hardin said.

Hardin also said he wants to “continue to provide (for) the livability of Hermiston which includes well-maintained streets and properties, public safety, good educational opportunities and a place where families would not only want to visit, but come here to live, work and play.”

When asked why economic development is important for Hermiston, Hardin said, “without economic development our community will not continue to grow.”

Hardin stated three reasons to vote for him on Nov. 6: “My commitment to Hermiston and its citizens, my only agenda is to see our community thrive,” and he added: “I am a team player.”

Joe Harn, a 20-plus year Hermiston resident, said there are 14 people in his immediate family. Harn attended Columbia Basin College and received a certificate in electronics.

He is a Biomedical Technician at Good Shepherd Medical Center.

Harn has served as city councilor since he was appointed on Jan. 1, 2005.

When asked why he is running to keep his seat and what he plans to accomplish, he said: “It matters what the people want not what I want.”

When asked for three issues important to him if elected and for three reasons to vote for him, he also said: “It matters what the people want not what I want.”

When asked to define economic development and why it is important, Harn said: “Without growing our local economy we will not continue to grow. That is economic development.”

Misner, a 13-year Hermiston resident, grew up in Eugene, Ore., and spent 20 years in central Oregon. He has two daughters and a stepson.

Misner attended Lane Community College and works for the Oregon Department of Corrections at Two Rivers Correctional Institute. He has served as a city councilor since 2004.

When asked why he is running for re-election, Misner said: “The council has unfinished business that I think is important moving forward,” he said.

Some of his concerns include: “the move and development of the EOTEC property, fair, rodeo, and event center development,” “the waste water treatment plant,” and “ensuring the higher education center develops some four-year college degree programs that will benefit students here.”

When asked to provide three issues important to him if re-elected to a council post, Misner said: “Neighborhood watch groups and neighborhood advisory groups should be promoted and supported to make a strong Hermiston,” Misner said. Misner also sees a need to “promote and strengthen” cultural ties in the community. “We have Hispanic, Filipino, Blacks, Caucasians, Chinese and Thai. These should all be recognized and honored and have events and have festivities highlighting those cultures,” he said. More affordable housing was also a concern for Misner.

“There is a real shortage of rentals some entities in town have difficulty placing new hires in housing locally.”

When asked to provide voters with three reasons to vote for him, Misner referenced business developments in Hermiston such as Pioneer Hi-Bred  as well as the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center.

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