City of Wilsonville narrows down applicants for vacant council seat
The City of Wilsonville is close to deciding who will assume the council seat Susie Stevens' vacated.
The City received 10 applications for the open position and Mayor Tim Knapp and Council President Kristin Akervall, who interviewed the applicants, narrowed down the list of candidates to five last week.
The candidates they selected are William Amadon, John Budiao, Olive Gallagher, Katherine Hamm and Joann Linville.
Budiao narrowly finished third in a race for two open council spots during the November 2018 and is a volunteer in the Wilsonville community, Amadon serves on the City's Budget Committee, Linville serves on the City's Development Review Board, Gallagher is on the Wilsonville-Metro Community Enhancement Committee and Hamm has been a part of Non Toxic Wilsonville, a group that has lobbied the City and the West Linn-Wilsonville School District to stop using pesticides while maintaining public properties.
The City plans to schedule the interviews for the remaining candidates, which will be open to the public, for the Aug. 19 Wilsonville City Council meeting but hadn't yet confirmed if the candidates are available that evening. The council is also tentatively scheduled to make the selection at a Sept. 5 meeting.
In late May, Stevens announced her decision to resign from the council because she wanted to spend more time traveling.
During a City Council work session Monday, Aug. 5, City of Wilsonville Public Works Operations Manager Martin Montalvo told the council that the City could have declared a state of emergency during the March fire at a condominium building in Villebois that damaged nearby homes.
Montalvo said he did not tell Mayor Tim Knapp that he or City Council had the option to declare the emergency. In retrospect, he said he should have at least presented the option.
"I will take the blame for not presenting that as an option because I didn't see the impacts warranting the declaration of emergency," he said.
The state of emergency would have provided the Council powers to divert funds and resources to emergency operations, initiate a mutual aid agreement with other jurisdictions and would have provided more legal protection for actions taken during the emergency.
City Manager Bryan Cosgrove and Montalvo said that declaring the emergency likely wouldn't have made much of a difference other than providing the council with more legal protection for entering private property during the fire.
"The reality was we weren't first responders on that scene. That was a fire incident. Had they (Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue) made any intimations to us that we needed to do something bigger than what was going on we probably we would have," Cosgrove said.
Knapp felt that the City handled the fire appropriately.
"I was on scene and we talked about response protocols. I did not sense that there was any lack of clear direction going on or (lack of) appropriate steps being taken so I didn't feel the need to ask any more pointed questions and certainly valued the expertise of the staff on scene and the emergency responders," he said.
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