Art Marine appointed to Canby council
During a special April 27 city council meeting, Canby councilors interviewed seven candidates to become the next city councilor. A seat opened earlier this month when David Bajorin stepped down from the role, citing over commitment to serve on council.
This is the third time in the election cycle that this seat has been up for grabs. Bajorin served for six months after replacing Jordan Tibbals in October last year.
After hearing from the candidates, the council voted 3-2 to appoint Arthur Marine to the council.
Marine has lived in Canby for nearly 35 years and works as a branch manager at a mortgage banking company. His five children went through the Canby School District, where he has served as Trost Elementary Parent-Teacher Association president and Booster Club president.
He also served as chairman of the campaign committee for the 2004 bond that allowed the school district to construct Baker Prairie Middle School and has served various volunteer positions for the Clackamas County Fair.
"I feel very loyal to this community," Marine said during his interview before council. "This community has done a lot for me, and I want to give back."
When asked what some of his goals for city council would be, he noted that inclusion of minority groups is a top priority, given that about one fifth of the population identifies as Hispanic.
"The citizens need to be represented, and there are lots of ways to do that," he said. "I feel like it would be really beneficial to create some kind of task force or outreach to the underserved citizens of this city."
His appointment sparked some debate, however, among the councilors. Councilors Greg Parker and Sarah Spoon referred Marine to the position and moved to appoint him.
Councilor Shawn Varwig, on the other hand, supported Herman Maldonado, a self-identified Hispanic candidate. Although Maldonado had less experience than other candidates, he said he felt as though he could represent that portion of the population.
"I want to see our Spanish- and English-speaking neighbors come together and talk. It'd be a heck of a cookout, I can tell you that," he said during his interview.
Varwig argued that to appoint Marine seemed like a "predetermined decision."
He added that the council had been saying for many years it would like to see the Hispanic community represented. "And then to have someone step up to the plate and say, 'I would like to serve,'" then to choose someone else, "seems very hypocritical to me," Varwig said. "Something that drives me absolutely insane is hypocrisy."
Spoon responded, ""you will not find a bigger advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging on this council than me." She added that appointing someone to council because of their race could be harmful "tokenism."
She touted Marine's volunteer, civic engagement and financial management experience.
"To me, (Marine) is the candidate that most matches the policy needs that we have and he has some experience working with policy," she said. "That's why he's my preferred candidate."
Parker echoed Spoon's sentiments.
Marine will be sworn in during the May 4 city council meeting and serve out the rest of the term through December. He will have an opportunity to run in the November election should he choose to do so.
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