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Troutdale council extends application process to replace Anderson

With five Troutdale City Council position applicants in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting, councilors debated and ultimately compromised on how to go about replacing outgoing Councilor Eric Anderson.

An edited draft resolution determining the appointment process for the Position 2 seat had candidate interviews scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, with a council decision expected the following Tuesday.

Since Anderson submitted his resignation Jan. 26, effective March 31, the remaining councilors have argued about how to best fill his position.

At the Feb. 9 meeting, Mayor Doug Daoust proposed that applications would be accepted starting the next morning until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, with interviews taking place that evening. However, the interviews didn’t happen.

At Tuesday’s meeting, some councilors debated about whether to just send applicants to the next election. Eventually, a compromise was made that included numerous revisions.

When it came time to discuss Daoust’s proposal, some councilors said they were unaware the application period had already closed, particularly Councilor Dave Ripma.

Daoust, however, reiterated what he proposed at the earlier meeting.

“It was made clear two weeks ago that applications would be accepted according to what’s written right here,” Daoust said. “Tonight was to discuss a selection process.”

Before application dates and interviews could be finalized, however, the issue of Anderson’s participation was revived. The council has been split on whether it wants Anderson to participate in the selection process for his replacement. As Anderson will still be a councilor during the process, he is allowed to participate — and vote — for his replacement.

“My fear is it’s going to be a 3-3 gridlock,” Anderson said earlier this month. “I’m not going to do something that’s going to have poor optics, but I’m certainly not going to sit back and watch this thing deteriorate and we have a knock-down drag-out.”

Ripma said he wants Anderson to step back from the process so the remaining six councilors can pick someone they can all agree on — and in theory — work with. Councilor Glenn White felt stronger about the issue.

“It looks like election engineering,” White noted. “I just don’t want to see Councilor Anderson leave this way.”

Further discussion landed on an apparent compromise. The application date has been extended until March 4, with interviews scheduled for Monday, March 14, and a decision expected at the March 22 meeting.

So far, Zach Hudson (who ran against Councilor John Wilson in 2012), Josh Moriarty (who ran against Ripma in the 2014 election), Brian Sheets, Randy Lauer and Bruce Wasson have applied for Position 2.

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