Joshua Poling appointed Monday to finish out term of former councilor Rich Riffle

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Josh Poling (far right) shakes hands with Scappoose City Councilors Patrick Kessi (middle) and Megan Greisen (left) after being sworn in to serve as the newest city councilor.After interviewing three candidates, Scappoose city councilors voted to appoint Josh Poling as the newest member of the council.

Poling received near-unanimous approval from the council Monday evening. Councilor Patrick Kessi recused himself, because one of the candidates is a rental tenant of his.

Poling is one of three people who applied for the position on the council vacated by Rich Riffle at the beginning of the year. Riffle announced in December he was moving out of state. He was appointed to the council in 2014.

Poling currently works as the store director and assistant district manager of the St. Helens Market Fresh grocery store.

During an interview process with city councilors Monday, Poling said his nearly 20 years of retail experience in highly public-facing roles made hime a good fit for the council.

"My customer service experience is, I think, an important piece to working with the public," Poling said. "I get to hear the good, the bad, everything."

Poling said he took interest in applying to serve on the council because his children go to school in Scappoose.

The candidates were each asked what they see as the biggest challenges facing Scappoose.

"Growing in the right direction, and with that growth, dealing with the traffic flow is going to be a huge concern," Poling responded, adding "affordable housing" as the next biggest challenge.

"Definitely with the way the housing market has been, Scappoose is gonna be unaffordable for some families, so that's unfortunate," he said.

In addition to Poling, the council interviewed Pavel Macholda and Kevin Freimuth. Freimuth said he learned after applying for the position that he lives just outside Scappoose city limits.

"I understand that I don't fit into the rules of the charter, but I understand you guys can make an exception as well," Freimuth told the council. Councilors said they were deterred from making any exception after hearing from the city manager that two other applicants refrained from applying because they didn't meet the residency requirements.

Poling will serve the rest of Riffle's term, which expires this year.

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