Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro won’t seek a third term


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.

Battle Ground Councilor Mike Dalesandro talks about the city’s revisioning process in 2018. Photo by Chris Brown
Battle Ground Councilor Mike Dalesandro talks about the city’s revisioning process in 2018. Photo by Chris Brown

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.

Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro in early 2020 at a swearing-in ceremony for Mayor Adrian Cortes. Photo by Chris Brown
Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro in early 2020 at a swearing-in ceremony for Mayor Adrian Cortes. Photo by Chris Brown

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.

Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro shows off a ceremonial gavel he received commemorating his time as mayor. Photo by Chris Brown
Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro shows off a ceremonial gavel he received commemorating his time as mayor. Photo by Chris Brown

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.”

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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