Eight apply for seat vacated by Tualatin councilor
Eight residents have applied for a vacated seat on the Tualatin City Council. The vacancy occurred following the May resignation of Councilor Joelle Davis who left to take a job in the human resources department at the King County Sheriff's Office in Washington.
Davis' term expires on Dec. 31, 2020.
Applicants who applied for the seat before the June 19 deadline include: James Burchill, who is retired; John Casebeer, who is retired; Brandon Gill, an information technology manager for the city of Milwaukie; Christine Kirk, who works for the Oregon Youth Authority; Mike Livermore, who works in sales and marketing; Troy Noland, an insurance agent; Valerie Pratt, a financial controller, and Alex Thurber, who works in tech sales.
On Monday, the council determined it would conduct interviews of the eight beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at the Tualatin Police Department.
A decision on who to appoint will likely be made during the council's July 22 meeting.
In other news, the council:
• Discussed the merits of having PGE own and maintain all the city street lights and polls. That option would save the city the costs of having to replace numerous street lights and poles as they near their useful life. At the same time, the city is moving away from high-cost high-pressure sodium lights, which are being phased out by many manufacturers, to LED lights, which are more energy efficient.
Currently, the city owns 87% of its street lights, which are currently maintained by PGE. Under that agreement, PGE does routine maintenance while the city replaces poles and fixtures when needed.
While city staff has recommended having PGE take over all operations, several council members also suggested looking a hybrid option as well. The issue was discussed during a work session and will return to the council later for a decision.
• Heard a report of the progress of Tualatin 2040, which among other things, includes a detailed analysis of current housing needs along with interviewing a variety of stakeholders (both homeowners and renters) about their housing situations. Among the main priorities stakeholders mentioned that were important to them were housing and livability issues as well as transportation and parking throughout the city.
A snapshot of income ranges also provided some surprises as well, showing that 46% of Tualatin households fall in a range between those making a low income (15%) to those making an extremely low income (16%). In the middle of those are residents is the very low income category, which represents 15% of the Tualatin population.
"The big takeaway … is these folks cannot afford market-rate housing," said Karen Perl Fox, a senior long-range planner. Those in middle-income households (15%) can generally afford market-rate housing, according to the analysis and the remaining of residents (39%) fall into high income brackets.
• Approved a $130.8 million city budget, finalizing what the Tualatin Budget Committee agreed to during a May 20 meeting.