The deadline has come and gone for those who want to fill a vacancy on the Newport City Council. Two of the candidates have served before; former councilor and mayor Bill Bain and former councilor Jeff Bertuleit.
Three others, however also thrown their “spare time” into the ring. Oly Olson, Jr., a well known civic activist, who is involved in trying to find an alternate route for logging trucks to once again drop off logs for foreign export from the Port of Newport Terminal. Olson is already a member of the City’s Budget Committee. If appointed Olson said he would like to help shepherd discussions and cooperation between the city, county and Port of Newport to produce more economic activity in Newport and the region. Olson is retired from the National Park Service with duty stations in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Wawona portion of Yosemite National Park.
Another well known local Newport resident vying for a spot on the city council is Mark Saelens who is Lincoln County’s manager for Sustainability and Materials Management. As for why he’s applied for the job Saelens wrote in his application; “I have been thinking about the Newport City Council for a couple of years, but until now did not feel that the time was right for me to pursue such an endeavor. But with recent changes in the city council I believe the time has come for me to utilize my extensive background in science, government, policy, decision-making, consensus building and service to the community in a way that will greatly benefit the Newport City Council.” Saelens says his government experience will help in Newport’s budgetary challenges, policy development, regional and local resource management and law enforcement issues.
The fifth applicant was filed by someone who obviously had other intentions than seriously applying for the job. When asked why “Diana” (no last name) wanted to serve on the council the reply was what appeared to be a tearful farewell to friends who belonged to a fan club. Clerk-Recorder Peggy Hawker said another aspect she found “interesting” was the return e-mail…from Japan. You never know what you’ll get for a filled-out application form when it’s available on the internet.
Former mayor Bill Bain said he wanted to put his 14 years of service to Newport back to work for the city. Bain said consensus on an issue may not always be possible or in the best interest of the city. Bain said that most decisions are made by consensus and the city continues to move forward. But in those instances where consensus cannot be reached “The resulting decisions must still be fully supported without efforts to derail or otherwise counter the decision, overtly or covertly.”
Former city councilor Jeff Bertuleit, who was defeated by incoming Mayor Sandra Roumagoux for the job, says he knows his way around the city and its more pressing issues and wants to be a positive force in moving the city forward. As for consensus building he said “A consensus decision is one that has given everyone a chance to express their opinion and facts and consider everyone else’s input to reach the best possible outcome. It may not have been the total choice you or others may have wanted, but choices have to be made to move things along.”
The vacancy on the council will be filled by a vote of the city council when it convenes its first meeting of the new year next Monday night, 6pm.