On Dec. 27, during a regular Hood River city council meeting, members took under consideration the best approach to filling the now-vacated seat of fellow councilor Ann Frodel.
Frodel recently advised council members of an impending move outside of city limits. As a result, she also gave her notice of resignation.
The council, after some deliberation, decided to open up the seat for public application. This decision followed review of an existing potential replacement for Frodel's position.
Planning Commission member Kate McBride, who was a recent applicant for the council seat vacated by Dawna Armstrong in October, had notified City Administrator Bob Francis of her interest in being considered for Frodel's seat.
Francis advised council of McBride's letter of interest. He also noted that council could exercise an option to appoint McBride directly into Frodel's seat. This option existed because of McBride's still-valid application and council's favorable interview with McBride for Armstrong's seat. Ed Weathers was selected over McBride in that first open process, but all councilors agreed she was an excellent candidate.
The decision to return to an open process however was agreed upon by council with a shared desire to make sure the public was offered the opportunity to serve.
"I'm not comfortable not opening this up. I'm more comfortable by putting this up as an open process," said Councilman Jeff Nicol.
New Councilman Ed Weathers also reminded the group that he was not part of the original committee who interviewed McBride.
"I wanted to be in all the interviews, but you wouldn't let me," laughed Weathers (who was in fact a candidate himself at the time).
Applications from residents within the city limits are now being taken and are due Jan. 6 by noon. Interviews will be scheduled for the evening of Jan. 9.
For more information, citizens may log onto the city's website at ci.hood-river.or.us/ to download the one-page application. Click the button on the main page listed as "City Council Vacancy."