Elected Officials

  • peterson_2011

    Randy Peterson


    A lifetime resident of St. Helens, Mayor Randy Peterson has served on City Council since 1989. He was elected as mayor in 2003 and continues to serve in that capacity today. Peterson attended college at Southwestern Oregon Community College and Western Oregon University, where he obtained his advanced fire officer certificate. He was hired as a firefighter with Columbia River Fire & Rescue, working for 28 years before retiring as captain in 2007. Peterson was also president of the local firefighters’ union.

    In his free time, Peterson volunteers with the Booster Club and is a member of the Hunting Retriever Club. He owns a Boykin spaniel that he has trained for hunting tests which take him and his dog across the western United States and Canada. He also enjoys fishing.

    Peterson’s goal as Mayor is to make sure the City provides the best basic services it can. He is particularly interested in economic development and public safety. For Peterson, economic development in St. Helens will involve bringing clean, family wage jobs to the city. His other goal is to ensure that people feel safe and know that if they have a problem and need help, they have a trained police force ready to assist them. He believes that St. Helens was ahead of its time in implementing a no smoking policy in public buildings and improving the quality of life for residents by instituting a backyard burning ban. Currently, Peterson is assigned to the City’s Administration Department and Communications.

    Assignments: Administration Department, Communications, Tourism Committee

    Term expires: 12/31/2016

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    Douglas Morten

    Council President

    Position #1

    Raised in St. Helens, Councilor Doug Morten moved back to the city in 2004 before being elected to City Council in 2007. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education which he used in his career as a teacher before retiring from Portland Public Schools after 31 years of service. Morten taught Journalism, Fine Arts, and Photography at the high school level, in addition to supervising the yearbook and coaching swimming, tennis, football, and soccer. He is fully certified as an alpine ski instructor and currently teaches at Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline.

    Morten served in Vietnam as an infantry soldier and special services. He is a lifetime VFW member and was instrumental in the make up of the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza in McCormick Park. Morten has been recognized as District and State Coach of the Year several times and was selected as National Coach of the Year in 1994. He was also selected regionally to teach, coach, and play chess in Russia with the American-Russian Presidential Teacher Exchange Program in 1993.

    When he moved back to St. Helens in 2004, Morten restored an 1889 family farm house where he has planted an orchard of 100 Asian pear trees. He enjoys gardening, yachting, golf, and tennis. Besides his hobbies, Morten participates in several volunteer organizations. He is a member of Rotary and the St. Helens Sailing Club and is a board member of the Oregon Joint Use Association (OJUA), the Regional Organized Crime & Narcotics Task Force, Columbia Learning Center, Columbia County Economic Development Team, and United Methodist Church. For the past four years, he has also been involved in the League of Oregon Cities.

    Since becoming a City councilor, Morten has strived to create checks and balances between the Council and City staff. He has worked on authoring the current governing policy, and supported the Waterfront Plan Update, expansion of Grey Cliffs Park, and establishment of Nob Hill Nature Park, Dalton Lake Nature Park, and an overlay district for the Boise property.

    Morten is interested in promoting transparency of communication to citizens through efforts such as televised Council sessions, updates to the City’s website, and use of alternate media communication sites. He hopes to build a trusting relationship with department heads and initiate team-working strategies between the Council and staff. Morten is currently assigned to the Public Works Department, Parks Commission, and attends meetings of the Chamber of Commerce and the St. Helens Economic Development Team.

    Assignments: Public Works Department, Parks Commission, Columbia County Economic Development Team, Regional Organized Criminal Narcotics Team (Alternate), St. Helens Economic Development Corp (Alternate)

    Term expires: 12/31/2018

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    Keith Locke

    City Councilor

    Position #2

    A fifth generation Oregonian, Councilor Keith Locke has consecutively served on City Council since first being elected in 2000. Locke attended Chemeketa Community College and Portland Community College, where he took classes in electronics and computing. He worked at Boise Paper Mill in the paper test lab for 22 years before retiring in 1998. For part of that same time period, Locke was also the owner of the St. Helens Computer Center. He sold the business in 2003 after 9 years of ownership. Since first being diagnosed in 1997, Locke has survived three types of cancer and is currently in remission.

    Locke spends the majority of his free time volunteering with various organizations. The South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce named him the 2011 “First Citizen” of St. Helens in recognition of his community involvement. In addition to his contributions to the 4th of July fireworks, 13 Nights on the River concert series, and Christmas ships, Locke is a Kiwanian and board member of Community Action Team (C.A.T.) and the United Way Food & Shelter subcommittee. When he isn’t volunteering, he also enjoys walking his dogs—he owns a poodle and two labradoodles—and spending time with his granddaughter in Salem.

    While serving on City Council, Locke has been instrumental in moving forward with Sand Island improvements, organizing the 13 Nights on the River concert schedule, and the expansion of Grey Cliffs Waterfront Park. His vision for St. Helens is for it to become an exciting, vibrant city with a great sense of community pride. Toward that end, he is focused on economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and promoting tourism. Locke is currently assigned to the Police Department, the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission and the Regional Organized Criminal Narcotics Team.

    Assignments: Police Department, Community Development Dept, Builders Board, Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission, Regional Organized Criminal Narcotics Team, Columbia Pacific Economic Development Council (Alternate)

    Term expires: 12/31/2016

  • Conn 2014

    Susan Conn

    City Councilor

    Position #3

    Appointed to City Council in January 2012 and elected in 2015.

    Conn is the owner of Word for Word Books, a used bookstore in Olde Towne St. Helens. She has lived in St. Helens for 22 years and has sat on several local boards, including the Columbia County Commission on Children and Families, St. Helens Library Board, Riverside Industries Board, Columbia County Citizens for Human Dignity, Rural Organizing Project and St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO). She also served on the St. Helens School Board for seven years.

    Assignments:  Library Department, Library Board, Arts & Cultural Commission, Columbia Pacific Economic Development Council, St. Helens Economic Development Corp

    Term expires:  12/31/2018

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    Ginny Carlson

    City Councilor

    Position #4

    Carlson has worked at Riverside Training Centers for the past four years as a Direct Support Activity Specialist. She is a current Community Ambassador for the Ford Institute for Community Building and previously served on the St. Helens Tourism Committee and the Entrance Sign Committee.

    Carlson hopes to increase community connectivity and bring people together so that everyone can be a part of the local government process. A few of the projects she would like to promote include building better parks, inclusive community events, growth for local businesses, and job growth for everyone.

    Assignments: Historic Landmarks Commission, Planning Commission

    Term expires:  12/31/2016