The White Salmon City Council appointed its newest member last Wednesday, bringing the council back to full strength after the departure of former Councilor Amy Martin.
The council appointed resident Jim Ransier, one of three candidates being considered for the role. Ransier has been a resident of the White Salmon since his move here in 2018. Ransier currently works from home as the director of client delivery for Connecticut-based Logicbroker.
Ransier, in responding to interview questions during Wednesday’s meeting, said he saw the economic recovery of the city during the coronavirus pandemic as the top priority to address during his time in office.
“I think 2020 has definitely brought into focus how we help our community during uncertain times. I’m motivated by a desire to help and a desire to be curious about all points of views and knowing that our city has plenty of opportunities ahead as we emerge from this crisis,” Ransier said.
Ransier also argued that in more certain times, the city should be focusing on managing growth and diversifying its economy.
“This is a casual observation, but our economy seems to be driven by the aerospace industry … as well as tourism,” Ransier stated during an interview with the Columbia Gorge News, saying that the city would benefit from partnering with a business incubator to launch new businesses off the ground. He also said the city would benefit from having the highly-educated residents work in town as opposed to the city being a commuter town.
Ransier said he believes success in this role will from come from his experience in customer service and project management, saying the most important role for a councilmember is to listen to their constituents and to represent the needs and will of the people they represent.
The appointment marks the second time Ransier applied for a position on the city council, the first being earlier this year after then-Councilor Marla Keethler vacated her position after being elected to the mayorship. Ransier said he was first inspired to run after the council ran into controversy last year amid the failure to pass a resolution recognizing June as Pride month inspired by then-recent demonstrations.
Ransier assumed former Councilor Martin’s seat, which is set to expire Dec. 31, 2021. Councilors receive a stipend of $83 per council meeting, which is held every first and third Wednesday of the month. Councilors are also appointed to committees and serve for one year on such appointments.