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Two vie for Ward II seat in Albany

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Incumbent Ray Kopczynski and challenger Larry G. Martin are both seeking election to public office for the first time as they vie for a Ward II seat on the Albany City Council.

Kopczynski has served on the council for three years, having been appointed to replace Ralph Reid Jr. when Reid died in office in 2011.

Kopczynski had been a Reid appointee to the advisory board for the Central Albany Revitalization Agency, the city’s urban renewal organization.

He grew up in Corvallis and spent 24 years as a manager for J.C. Penney, some of it out of state.

He’s been in Albany for 19 years and said his time on the CARA board enabled him to get his “feet wet as to the ‘process’ for city boards, government, etc.”

“I believe Albany has an excellent and very enviable financial record that has consistently received high marks for accuracy and transparency,” Kopczynski said. “I believe Albany's business climate is much improved. I will further improve Albany by helping to acquire the necessary funding for our much-needed new fire and police stations.”

Kopczynski’s opponent has no political experience and “would like to become a strong voice in City Hall, advocating in the recruiting of new businesses to Albany, businesses that will create high-enough-paying jobs that families can actually live on.”

Martin is also concerned about municipal taxes.

“I would like to find ways that the city can be more responsible with taxpayer’s money,” he said. “All I hear is tax, tax, tax. City government should re-examine the tax burdens being placed on our communities and work to lighten this load.

“I believe if we can provide strong businesses into our community and in doing so provide higher-paying, family-wage incomes, we will have the tax income needed to do the things desired in our community,” Martin said.

Martin has degrees from the University of Oregon, Oregon State and the University of Oregon and like Kopczynski is an Army veteran.

The office they seek has a four-year term.

Follow Steve Lundeberg on Twitter, @AnyGivenLundy, or email him at steve.lundeberg@lee.net.

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