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Troutdale council picks unexpected name to fill seat


In a surprising move at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Troutdale City Council appointed Corey Brooks, a relative newcomer to the city, to fill the council position vacated by Eric Anderson.

While deliberations at the previous council meeting on March 14 led many to believe Brian Sheets’ name would be on Tuesday’s consent agenda, Mayor Doug Daoust instead asked for a different nominee. Following a discussion, the council voted 4-2 to approve Brooks, who serves on the Parks Advisory Committee, for the position Anderson has vacated.

“After the (March 14) meeting, almost immediately there were comments made by councilors and others,” Daoust explained. “I woke up the next morning, and I was uncomfortable with the statement I made the night before. As time went on, I heard more things that made me uncomfortable. I love Brian Sheets. He’s a good man. Other people’s speculations were that it would create another imbalance on the council.”

While Daoust did not elaborate on what he discussed with Sheets, the issue seemed to come back to urban renewal and a perceived alliance with one side of the council.

“I let him know the reason people supported me is not because I’d be a unifier on council, but they saw me in action,” said Sheets, who came to Tuesday’s meeting believing he would be appointed. “I’ve gotten a chance to know several of the councilors, and that’s why they supported me. What was most disturbing last night was that Doug said all those things, and I wasn’t able to defend myself. That was really offensive to me.”

The open seat on the council was created when Anderson tendered his resignation on Jan. 26, effective March 31. He amended that to March 22 during Tuesday’s meeting.

Daoust requested a nominee who would present a “neutral” viewpoint on the council. While describing this person, Daoust was careful not to use gender pronouns or provide a hint to the person’s identity.

“My whole intent with a name that’s going to come up tonight from me or whoever is to have somebody that’s neutral. To have somebody that sits in Eric’s seat to be somebody that has no allegiance to either side of the council,” Daoust said. “This is no offense to Brian, it’s no offense to Josh (Moriarty). I would rather have somebody sitting there that is not swayed either way by the split council. As mayor, I don’t want to keep that going. Unfortunately, (Sheets) was put in that position. He was put in that position by other people and the comments they made.”

That neutral, nonaligned person apparently was Brooks, who was nominated by Councilor John Wilson. Brooks, who has lived in Troutdale for a little more than a year, previously served on Gresham’s Citizen Involvement Committee.

“Having people that might not be as well qualified serve on a committee or council, I think that’s possibly dangerous,” said Sheets, vice chairman of the budget committee, and planning commission member. “I was honestly expecting (Moriarty) to get the appointment if I wasn’t selected.”

Councilor Dave Ripma nominated Sheets, but when the vote pushed on, Brooks won with four councilors’ supporting and two against him. Ripma said he voted for Brooks because he didn’t want Anderson’s prediction that the appointment vote would be a tie to come true.

Councilors Glenn White and Rich Allen were the only votes for Sheets. Both were surprised at the result.

“This is not easy, but I think it’s the best thing we can do as a divided council,” Daoust said. “And I hope you understand that.”

The audience responded with a resounding “No.”

Brooks will be sworn in during the April 5 council meeting.

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