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Steve Dickson, left, and Alex Poythress, candidates for Medford City Council Ward 1.

Dickson, Poythress face off for Ward 1 in Medford

Ward 1

Four men are running for the Medford City Council seat in Ward 1, currently held by Tim Jackle, who is not seeking re-election. Here are responses by candidates Steve Dickson and Alex Poythress to a Mail Tribune candidate questionnaire.

David Dobrin did not respond. Curt Ankerberg, who has a long history of posting profane and demeaning attacks against community members online, has threatened to file a harassment complaint if contacted by the Mail Tribune.

Steve Dickson

Age: 39

Occupation: Human resources

Education: Doctoral candidate, Business Administration

Political experience: Medford City Budget Committee, 2011 to present; Medford Urban Renewal Agency Budget Committee, 2011 to present;

General Fund Grants Subcommittee, 2015 to present

How would you help alleviate problems caused by homelessness in downtown Medford?

I believe the city can do more to help the homeless population through community engagement with agencies such as ACCESS. Community education to increase opportunities for success, mental illness training for city emergency services, partnerships with community reintegration services, and increased accountability and efficiency of general fund grant awards.

What can Medford do to increase the availability of affordable housing?

I believe the city can do more to help facilitate viable housing solutions. Assessment of the current urban growth boundary, continuous solution-based engagement with community partners, evaluations of supply chain management, and process improvement of the construction requisition requirements can increase builder engagement and supply availability of affordable housing opportunities.

What would make downtown Medford a cool place to be?

Expansion of arts, commerce and community activities. Festivals, community markets and restaurants to increase regional activity in the center of Medford.

Alex Poythress

Age: 29

Occupation: Small business owner

Education: Samford University, Business Management and Entrepreneurship, 2007-2010

Political experience: Medford Planning Commission, 2017 to present; Medford Parking Commission chair, 2016 to present, Medford Urban Renewal Agency Budget Advisory Board, 2017

How would you help alleviate problems caused by homelessness in downtown Medford?

In the short term, investing in initiatives like the “Clean Sweep” project and a Livability Team to increase patrols of the Greenway and downtown areas would help improve the city center. Long term, we need to work with the county to build the new jail and strengthen our mental health services.

What can Medford do to increase the availability of affordable housing?

We should ease restrictions for homeowners who want to build additional dwelling units on their properties, and streamline permitting and system development charges to allow for lower-cost housing developments. We can also modify code and parking restrictions that disallow mixed-use facilities downtown, allowing us to build apartments over businesses.

What would make downtown Medford a cool place to be?

Increased parking and walkable, well-lit access to fine dining, food trucks and entertainment would make the downtown area an exciting and attractive place to be.

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