Gresham city councilors unanimously appointed Kirk French to fill a vacant seat on the council during their Tuesday, Oct. 14, meeting.

French, who was immediately sworn in, is taking the seat left empty Sept. 27, when Josh Fuhrer resigned to pursue a job at Gresham City Hall as director of the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Area.

Although the council does not hire city staff, with the exception of the city attorney and city manager, Fuhrer said he felt he had to resign to avoid any impression of undue influence.

French, 64, has served on Gresham's finance committee, which every spring works with the council to pass the city's budget. He also is treasurer for the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce.

He was the first to apply for the seat, and was one of four applicants the council considered.

In his application, French said he hopes to encourage financial stability and provide common-sense, in-depth oversight.

Next spring, the city plans to have residents vote on a levy for police, fire and parks funding. If approved, it would replace a $7.50 monthly fee that the council added to utility bills citywide this February in order to prevent more public safety cuts.

French will fill Position 2 through 2014, when the seat's four-year term expires. The seat will then be up for grabs in the November 2014 election.

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