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Troutdale council unsure of replacement procedure

As with most issues in Troutdale, selecting a process to replace City Councilor Eric Anderson — who recently resigned from council, effective March 31 — sparked debate among the councilors.

When Anderson informed the council of his decision during council comments Jan. 26, there was brief mention of sending the matter to voters, or selecting a replacement via an interview process. But that decision was pushed to the Feb. 9 council meeting.

Councilor Glenn White said he prefers giving the decision to the voters. Councilor Dave Ripma said it would be better for the remaining council to pick the replacement — as long as Anderson didn’t participate in the discussion or ultimate decision.

State law doesn’t require Anderson to participate in the process, even though he will still be on the council when it takes place.

“My fear is it’s going to be a 3-3 gridlock,” Anderson said. “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.”

With the meeting already running long, Mayor Doug Daoust proposed delaying a final decision until the Feb. 23 meeting, giving council members additional time to review their options. Applications, however, still became available as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10.

“Knowing who applies may simplify what we want to do,” Daoust said. “On the 23rd we can decide which way we want to go. We can say, ‘Ok, we got a good crowd of people, let’s interview and go with it,’ or we can go to a public vote.”

For those applying by the Feb. 23 deadline, the selection process could either consist of interviews with the city council, or a public vote in the May election.

Applications are now available on the city’s website, ci.troutdale.or.us.