UNION — The city of Union will soon have three new council members and a new mayor.
The Union City Council has three positions up for election, and non-incumbents are running for all three in uncontested races. The mayor’s position is also up for election and has one candidate, Susan Hawkins, a member of the city council for the past six years.
Hawkins will succeed Leonard Flint, who will step down as mayor after serving six years. Hawkins credits Flint with keeping Union on a good stable path and wants to help it remain in this position.
Projects Hawkins will focus her attention on as mayor include the continued development of Union’s old ranger station. Hawkins wants the station to become an additional place where people can stay while visiting the community.
The ranger station, near the northwest edge of Union, was built in 1937 and deeded to the city in 1993. The complex’s buildings include a four-bedroom house, a three-bedroom house, a two-bedroom house, an old oil storage building and two detached garages.
Hawkins wants the city to proceed with converting the three houses into places visitors can stay and adding sites for RVs.
“I want people with trailers to be able to pull in there,” she said.
Hawkins also wants to help the Union Fire Department and the Union Rural Fire Department continue to find ways to work together more efficiently. The departments operate out of the same station and many of Union’s firefighters are members of both departments. She said that in some cases costs for running the two fire departments are duplicated unnecessarily. Hawkins said boosting efficiency would bring greater stability to the firefighting services in Union and help both departments attract more volunteers.
Another project Hawkins wants to help the city council to take on is updating the city’s ordinances.
The three candidates on the city council election ballot include Dick Middleton, who is running for Position 2. Middleton served on the Union City Council for about four years in the 1980s.
“I have no agenda or a grievance. I just want to get back and look out for people,” he said. “I want to add common sense to the process.”
Middleton said that as a city council member he will encourage people to contact him about any issue involving the city.
“I will want to hear from the public,” he said.
Middleton attends many Union City Council meetings and encourages others to also attend. He said that coming to the meetings is the best way for people to find out what is happening in the city.
Middleton also invites people to step forward and help the community.
“If we all work together we can make this town a real nice place,” he said.
The newcomers running to join Middleton on the council are Anita Boyer-Davis, for Position 6, and John Black, for Position 4.
Boyer-Davis, who is running for the city council for the first time, is retired and moved to Union from the Salem area about four years ago.
“I felt a need to step up and do something for the community,” she said.
Boyer-Davis has very positive feelings about Union.
“It is a nice community. It is something to be proud of and I want to keep it that way,” she said.
Black did not return messages seeking comment.