La Grande City Councilor Justin Rock has decided to file for a second term and hopes to continue providing a fair and balanced approach to those who come in front of the city council.

“I believe I have been a very consistent conservative,” Rock said. “One thing I try to do every time is listen to everybody. My mind isn’t set until I hear both sides of the story.”

Rock said he always seeks what is best for the community.

“I don’t focus on just individual groups,” he said.

Born and raised in La Grande, Rock owns his own business, Rock & Sons. He served on the city’s planning commission for two terms plus a partial term before he joined the city council in 2015.

“I bring that aspect to the council,” he said of serving on the planning commission.

He said the commission taught him valuable information about the restrictions and policies the city has in place and how to implement them.

“If you don’t know that information, then it’s hard to follow (the regulations),” he said.

Rock said he will continue to ensure the city budget stays balanced and that the city watches what it spends. His conservative approach to the city’s finances has led him to be a vocal opponent of rushing into funding a Quiet Zone.

“I don’t think this is the time,” he said. “I don’t think we have the funding to do that right now. We’ll likely have to cut programs.”

He believes it is important that the city continues to provide the same level of services.

Currently, the council is revising the city’s ordinances. Rock said he would like to stay on the council partly because his input in this process is beneficial to the city.

“With my background in the planning commission, I do have the knowledge and can help ensure that the rules and regulations we keep are strong for the entire community. That’s what really bothers me sometimes, that we pay attention to just a few in the community rather than the community as a whole.”

Rock said he has served the city in some capacity for 13 years now. His introduction into the local political scene was when his business was passed up for a towing bid by the city, despite offering the lowest bid.

“I decided to fight for my company and fight for a good deal (for the city),” he said. “I didn’t like how it was and ran for city council the first time.”

Rock did not win, but that didn’t stop him. He chose to go for the planning commission and spent his time there learning the ins and outs of the system.

The incumbent, who is 42 years old, said he wants to be part of the city’s future, noting that a lot of those who are currently serving are getting older and will be stepping down.

“We need younger (yet) experienced people to serve,” he said. “I want what I’ve done to speak for itself. I’m a very honest person, and I don’t try to hide anything. I believe in transparency.”

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