At 23, Rory Bialostosky, will fill the role as interim mayor until a special election is held in May.
WEST LINN, Ore. — West Linn City Council appointed 23-year-old Rory Bialostosky as interim mayor on Tuesday by a vote of 2-1. Making him the youngest in the city’s history.
“There is a point where the weight of office kind of hits you, kind of ‘wow this is happening.'” said Bialostosky.
At only 23, Bialostosky is like any other Gen Zer — someone who was born in the early 21st century.
“I like to watch the news. I like to play golf. Spend time with friends and family and travel.”
His travels these days are through the halls of West Linn City Hall. He graduated from West Linn High School in 2018 and recently graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in international relations. Despite his young age, he’s no stranger to West Linn politics.
“I got involved in some city issues in high school, that’s when I kind of fell in love with government if you will,” he said.
His passion won him a seat on the city council in 2020 at the age of 21. And in 2022, he was appointed city council president.
Bialostosky is now in charge of a $70 million budget and 27 thousand residents. He’ll hold the title until May — until then his focus will be on some big projects impacting the city.
Among those: getting the police oversight board up and running, working with city planners to find solutions to alleviate traffic on city streets once the I-205 tolling project happens and figuring out a way to secure funding to pay back a loan that the city paid to the Oregon Department of Transportation to replace a water line along I-205.
“We don’t have any money to pay the loan back, so we’re working on figuring out where to get that money.” Bialostosky said.
He said the city is currently paying down that loan using money from the capital maintenance budget, but in doing so the city has had to cancel other projects.
Bialostosky said he doesn’t think he can make a big difference in the next five months, but he does hope his role as mayor can inspire others, despite their age.
“My goal is to show that young people can do politics and get involved and be successful and that age really is not the qualifier that folks should look at when they’re evaluating someone in politics.”
Bialostosky is leaning towards running for the official position of mayor of West Linn in May, but hasn’t officially decided yet.