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Familiar faces rejoin council

Chamberlain, Schmidt new Madras councilors

by: Photo by Holly M. Gill - Walt Chamberlain


   Two familiar faces will return to the Madras City Council in the new year -- former councilors Walt Chamberlain and Charles "Chuck" Schmidt.
   Chamberlain, who won a seat on the council with 11 write-in votes in the November election, will fill the seat vacated by Kevin O'Meara, while Schmidt was selected by the council to fill former Councilor Jon Young's seat. Young resigned when he moved outside the city limits.
   Chamberlain, the pastor of the Madras Christian Church, previously served on the City Council from 2007-2010.
   "I've been feeling like it would be good to get back on," he said. "There are several things still going on that I'd like to be a part of: the trail system, construction projects in the city, and find money to get streets paved."
   Additionally, Chamberlain wants to make Madras a safer place. "I think we've become more unsafe traffic-wise," he said. "There are lots of different ways Madras is becoming more unsafe. I really want to help the police department be as effective as they can be."
   Another issue that has concerned him is the fact that 911 dispatch has moved from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to Condon, as a result of a consolidation of dispatch centers from four counties.
   "Dispatch helped with Aid to the Needy," explained Chamberlain, referring to a fund set up by the Jefferson County Ministerial Association, which helped citizens who needed emergency help at night.
   "That's gone now," he said. "Plus, the sheriff's department helped make sure the system didn't get abused. The whole process has been hurt badly (by the move); I'm really sorry that piece is gone now."
   Chamberlain looks forward to doing the research necessary "and making good decisions," for the community. "I enjoyed being on it," he said.
   Schmidt, facilities manager at the Madras Aquatic Center, formerly served on the council from 1990-92, and submitted his name to the council for consideration.
   Several attempts were made to contact Schmidt, but he did not return calls for comment.