Vacancy remains on Scappoose City Council, pending next month's election results

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Scappoose City Councilors listen to a speaker at a March 2020 meeting. The Scappoose City Council officially has a vacancy.

Following the resignation of Patrick Kessi, the city councilors elected Megan Greisen as council president on Monday, Oct. 5.

Greisen will finish out Kessi's term as council president, which ends when new councilors are sworn into office in January.

If the mayor is absent from a meeting or unable to perform their duties, the council president acts as mayor.

The city charter allows the council to appoint someone to fill any vacancy on the council.

Mayor Scott Burge said he doesn't expect to appoint anyone, at least until after the election.

In November, voters will elect three candidates as city councilors. Megan Greisen and Peter McHugh are up for re-election, and four other candidates have entered the race. Mayor Burge is running unopposed to retain his seat.

Elected councilors are sworn in at the first meeting in January, meaning there are likely only five meetings left under the current council.

To fill a vacancy, the council would typically solicit applications from the public, review those applications, interview candidates, vote, and then appoint a new councilor. The council went through that process when Natalie Sanders resigned last year.

As with Kessi, Sanders resigned because she was moving out of the city. It took more than a month to appoint Peter McHugh as Sanders' replacement.

Burge said he expects to leave the position open until after the election. If one new councilor is elected, they could be appointed to the vacant position, essentially starting their term a few weeks early. If multiple new councilors are elected, Burge said the council would likely leave the seat open, rather than picking one to let in early.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.