Aurora City Council appoints new mayor
Following Kris Sallee's sudden resignation as mayor of Aurora last month, the city once again has a new leader.
City councilors voted unanimously on Tuesday, Oct. 8 to appoint fellow councilor and sole applicant Brian Asher as mayor.
He will finish out Sallee's term that ends in January of 2021.
"I'm honored to serve the people of Aurora in this role," Asher said. "I look forward to continuing working with council and staff to increase volunteer involvement and citizen participation and ensure that the city is responsive to their needs."
According to City Recorder Scott Jorgensen, Asher's community involvement includes 22 years as a member of the Aurora Historical Society Board of Directors, serving also as the group's treasurer and president. Asher is also the current chair of the Aurora Parks Committee and has served on the McLoughlin Historical Society and Rose Farm board of directors.
Asher was appointed to the council in April of 2017 and was elected to a full term in November 2018, city records show.
His appointment comes after the former mayor, Sallee, resigned on Sept. 11 amid accusations of misconduct as mayor.
Jorgensen had written a three-page letter to the city council, noting he had filed a formal complaint against Sallee with the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry. The complaint had partly to do with communications between Jorgensen and Sallee during his paternity leave. The letter also brought up incidents with other staff members.
The City's finance Officer Mary Lambert had also sent a letter to the city council, citing that Sallee created a hostile and uncomfortable work atmosphere.
"[Sallee] feels she can unilaterally make demands of and reprimand staff," Lambert's letter read. "I do not believe she has the authority to do that."
The council held an ultra-short meeting in September to accept Sallee's resignation, then quickly filled the role a month later with Asher's appointment.
Now, Asher's council seat is vacant.
Jorgensen said the City is accepting applications for the vacant council term, which expires in January of 2023. To qualify as a candidate, one must be a registered voter who has resided within city limits for at least six months.
For information, visit the city's website at ci.aurora.or.us.
Justin Much and Carol Rosen contributed to this story.
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