The former city planner and mayor said he has no immediate political aspirations, but isn’t done with public service
BATTLE GROUND — After 13 years in city government, Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro has announced he won’t be running for reelection this year.
“Kind of term limiting myself, if you will,” the 40-year-old Dalesandro told Clark County Today this week.
Elected to the city’s Planning Commission in 2009, Dalesandro eventually won a seat on the council in Nov. 2014.
He served as the city’s mayor from 2018 to 2019 before stepping aside, allowing the council to appoint Adrian Cortes to take over.
“It’s been a great ride, I really enjoyed it,” Dalesandro said. “It’s just time to let someone else take the seat and bring a different perspective to the table.”
Two names have already popped up, both current members of the city’s Planning Commission.
Neil Butler ran in 2019, coming up short against current Councilor Shauna Walters. The other, Josie Calderon, was on the committee overseeing the 2018 community visioning process, and now serves on the Planning Commission.
Three other council terms expire after this year, including Cortes, Cherish DesRochers, and Brian Munson. None of them have announced yet whether they intend to file for reelection.
During his time as mayor, Dalesandro helped start the long-term visioning process, which is still ongoing. He also helped to secure funding to refurbish South Parkway Avenue, and bring the annual tree lighting ceremony back.
“You never quite get everything you want to get accomplished,” he said, “but I feel pretty good.”
Battle Ground became something of a flashpoint in 2019 after the passage of gun control measure I-1639, when Joey Gibson and others pressured the city to take a stand against the law. Ultimately, the council settled for sending a concerned letter, but chose not to directly oppose the measure.
In 2017, Dalesandro and several other council members ran unopposed. The controversy over I-1639 brought out several new candidates in 2019, with Shauna Walters winning a seat left open by the retirement of Steven Phelps, while Philip Johnson held off challenger Josh Van Gelder.
Dalesandro, who ran for the Clark County Council chair in 2015, losing to Marc Boldt, said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for what comes next, but he’ll be plenty busy for the remainder of this year.
He was elected this week to co-chair the Home Rule Charter Review Commission, a term that runs through this year, and also selected to be chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party earlier this month.
“I still have a fire in my belly to be involved,” he says. “So it’s just a question of, after this year, kind of just analyze work, life and all that. It may not be anything anytime soon.”
Even though parts of his term, especially the past couple of years, have been stressful, Dalesandro says that didn’t factor into his decision not to run again.
“Just letting someone else kind of have a chance at this,” he said. “It’s good that way, I think, you know, healthy turnover.”