News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Evans takes the helm as Gates mayor

Gates Councilor Ron Evans has been elected by his fellow council members to serve as the city’s mayor.

Evans, who was elected and sworn in at the November meeting, replaces Brian Gander, who resigned Oct. 12 amid a contentious recall petition. 

Evans, 81, told The Canyon Weekly that his key goals involve recovery from the 2020 wildfires.

“We are working on several programs to help Gates recover from the fires and will continue with these efforts,” Evans said.

Evans also serves as treasurer and one of the two Gates representatives on the North Santiam Sewer Authority, which is working to bring a sewer system to the Santiam Canyon communities of Mill City, Gates, Detroit and Idanha. Evans has lived in the area since 1951 and attended Santiam Canyon public schools. 

Evans’ elevation to the mayoral position leaves the council one person short.  

Evans said that “we have announced the vacancy and also are canvassing folks looking for volunteers.”

Also on the council are Tonya Chamberlain, who serves as the council president, Donald Mann, Emily Scofield and Patrick Rahm. Scofield serves as the other Gates rep on the  sewer authority.

Gander moved from councilor to mayor in January as a result of the Sept. 29, 2022, death of Ron Carmickle. 

Carmickle was running unopposed for a second two-year mayoral term but remained on the Nov. 8 ballot after his passing because the ballots already had been printed.

Gander was the top write-in vote-getter, easily besting Carmickle and more than a dozen other write-in candidates. 

Gander also was on the ballot to retain his council seat and was elected there as well. 

Gander was the subject of a recall petition by Gates resident Mark Barnes filed Aug. 22. The petition accused Gander of harassing a city employee, ill treatment of those speaking at council sessions and intimidation of and discriminating against “a specific local business,” the Camp Benadoo RV Park on Highway 22. 

Petitioner Barnes is a resident of Camp Benadoo. Key issues in the dispute are whether the RV park has exceeded its permitted 17 units and whether its septic systems are in compliance.

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