Ron Sutherland, special assistant to the president, is running for re-election for the Upland Town Council.
Sutherland is running as a Republican in the upcoming primary election. During this election, those who have registered as Republicans can vote who they want to represent them in the November election.
Those also running for Upland Town Council include John Bonham and Brian L. Hunt for District 3 and Jerry Briles and Kevin R. Webb who are running for at large positions.
Sutherland has served the town of Upland on the Town Council since 2017.
“I believe that serving Upland is a privilege,” Sutherland said. “I never thought that I would ‘run for office.’ However, being able to serve my neighbors in this way has been a blessing.”
There are five members of the Upland Town Council which serve as the legislative and executive body for the town of Upland. A council president is elected by the five members to have the power to sign contracts, ordinances and decrees approved by the council.
Those currently in office include Bonham as president, Sutherland as vice president, Warren Ross as park board liaison, Heath Slain and Heath Crouch as additional members.
Francene Sizemore serves as the Upland clerk treasurer, Adrienne Rines-Hammond as the town attorney, and Jonathan M. Perez as the town manager.
“The role of a town council member is to assist with the planning and execution of the development of our community,” Sutherland said. “I would like to partner with the other four town council members and employees of the town to help the town continue to take strides forward as a community.”
In Sutherland’s five years, the Town Council has received several grants to accomplish a major repair to main street coming in 2023, other general road repairs, trail construction and improving the storm water systems.
In 2015, a master plan was put into place for the town of Upland that included many people, including town members, local non-profit organizations, school systems and Taylor University.
“We want to continue to do the good work of following the master plan, seeking funding for various opportunities and planning for major system (water, sewage, storm water) improvements,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland believes an update to the master plan might need to be considered in the future.
Sutherland has lived in Upland since September of 1989 when he first came to work at Taylor.
He was then approached in 2017 to join the Town Council because he was seen as someone who could bring certain strengths to ultimately help the town of Upland.
“I have lived in this community for over 37 years including my student years which is more than half my life,” Sutherland said. “I have raised my children in this community and believe it is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Now is a time I can give back to those who have blessed me over the years.”
Working both for Taylor and the Town Council, Sutherland devotes himself to two roles simultaneously, balancing responsibilities at Taylor along with the local government.
“From a Taylor University perspective, I have also been assigned the responsibility of working with the town to assist with long term planning and economic development,” Sutherland said. “That part of my role would continue whether I serve in office on the Town Council or not.”
Sutherland contributes all his success to his wife, Judy.
Perez, serving as the town manager, was appointed by the elected town council and has continued to do so since May 2017.
The crux of his responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day management and administration of the town and its employees, economic development, community development and grant writing.
While he does not serve on the council itself, he works closely with the members, including Sutherland.
“During my tenure that has overlapped with Ron Sutherland, I have grown to admire and respect his high level of engagement and advocacy for his community,” Perez said. “It is made evident daily in his work ethic.”
A full 2022 candidate list for Grant County can be found here.
Individuals can vote early in person at the Grant County Courthouse in Marion during regular business hours that has been effective since April 4. The in-person election in Upland will be held on May 3.