Jim Mattis wrote a letter of support published in the West Linn Tidings on March 19, 2015:
As a former city councilor, I can attest that there is a learning curve for new councilors to both understand their legal role in our council manager form of government and to become fully engaged in that role. For a mayor it is critical, that he or she understands that mayor is truly only first among equals in setting policy and is one of five who collectively oversee policy implementation by the city manager and give the manager direction.
We suffered through two recent previous mayors who did not appreciate the powers and limitations that go along with that office under our charter. Further, getting up to speed on the issues, the processes, liaison responsibilities, gaining a perspective on staff, and attending the various meetings, to name a few important aspects of being on council is no small task.
For these reasons, I urge us to retain Russell Axelrod as councilor to give him more time to get seasoned into that role to which he was just recently elected and to vote for Thomas Frank, the candidate with council experience needed to step up to being mayor.