Who will be your next City Councilor?

St. Helens City Council will interview five residents looking to fill vacant seat

Five St. Helens residents looking to fill the City Council seat left empty by the sudden death of Councilor Phil Barlow in September will be interviewed this week.

The finalists, chosen by city officials after an online application process, have a variety of business and governmental experience.

They have stepped up to fill a void left when Barlow, 39, died Sept. 24 from a heart attack while on a trip to Thailand.

The City Council plans to appoint a replacement soon. When the term expires in 2014, residents will vote to decide who continues to serve on the council.

Here is a look at the candidates:

Warren 'Skip' Baker

Job: Retired; former Community Development Director/Planning Administrator for the City of St. Helens

Experience: Has served on a number of civic committees in Columbia County; received 47 percent of the vote in 2010 against Phil Barlow for City Council; council president for numerous churches

How long lived in St. Helens: 15 years

Written statement: 'I believe that the citizens of the City of St. Helens, present and future, want and deserve qualified and experienced representatives on their City Council...'

Paul Barlow

Job: Part-owner of Barlow Bikes and Boards; Project Construction Estimator for ATG at Intel

Experience: Member of Carpenters Union; served on numerous city committees, including the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission; brother of Phil Barlow

How long lived in St. Helens: 37 years

Written statement: 'With the passing of my brother, Phil, I feel a responsibility to ensure his seat on the Council be filled by someone that shares his same values and vision for the City...'

Susan Conn

Job: Owner of Word for Word Books

Experience: Long-time member of the Columbia County Democratic Central Committee and St. Helens School Board; miscellaneous administrative experience; sat on various local boards

How long lived in St. Helens: 22 years

Written statement: 'I'm a merchant, city resident and long-time advocate for improvement in St. Helens, with experience on many diverse boards and committees.'

Daniel Lee Fosse

Job: Assistant Control Operator at Beaver Generating Plant in Clatskanie

Experience: Board member of the Columbia County chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association; customer service representative for Portland General Electric

How long lived in St. Helens: 3 years

Written statement: None supplied on application

Josefa Hemmingsen

Job: Owner Josefa's Ion Cleanse

Experience: Chair of the St. Helens fireworks committee; member of the St. Helens' Elks; history in sales and merchandising; volunteer with numerous community organizations

How long lived in St. Helens: 10 years

Written statement: None supplied on application