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WANTED: Prineville City Councilor

City seeking candidates to fill vacant council seat
In the wake of Prineville City Councilor Tim Harris' resignation near the beginning of his four-year term, the council is looking to fill the position quickly, but with the best person to serve the city.
   "The city charter says it will be filled by appointment of the council," said City of Prineville Administrative Assistant Pat Hepperle. She added the council will determine their appointment by a majority vote.
   The city is asking potential candidates to submit a letter of interest to city hall. Letters need to be in by May 17 at 5 p.m.
   Candidates must be 18 years of age or older, registered voters and must have resided for at least one year in the city of Prineville.
   "There are no other qualifications required," said City Manager Robb Corbett. "Anything like qualifications and personality traits would be objective criteria set out by the individual councilor or the council as a whole."
   Current council member Betty Roppe said the position is time intensive, but the rewards are many.
   "[Council candidates] need to be willing to devote quite a bit of time," she said. "It takes more than two meetings a month."
   Roppe explained the council receives information and reports before the meeting that they must review. Attendance and participation in committees and the budget process also require extra meetings.
   "It's pretty time intensive," she said. "But there are lots of rewards. You have the opportunity to help the city grow in the manner you wish it to grow. You are helping it grow with a pre-planned agenda rather than just letting it occur."
   Roppe was voted into a four-year term that will expire in 2008. She said she plans to run again at that time.
   The council member added she believes it is important for citizens to take responsibility for how the city of Prineville grows and where it grows.
   "Our goal is to keep the small town atmosphere," she said, "While adjusting to the growth."
   She added, "[Councilors] feel it is a very rewarding position to hold."
   Roppe said the current council represents the whole spectrum of age and position and Wendell agreed.
   "This job is for anyone who wants to help their community," Wendel said. "I think we have a good council right now. We are pretty well balanced right now, so we can look at a wide range of backgrounds. I would love to see a large pool of candidates for us to choose from."
   Potential candidates should send letters of interest to The City of Prineville, City Hall, 387 NE Third St.