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Riffle appointed Scappoose councilor

Richard Riffle will have to run in November election to retain position

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Richard Riffle (left) is sworn in to the Scappoose City Council by Mayor Scott Burge at a Monday, June 16, special meeting.The Scappoose City Council appointed a new member Monday, June 16, during a special meeting.

Richard Riffle, currently a sales associate at Ace Hardware in Scappoose and a member of the Scappoose Budget Committee, will replace former Councilor Donna Gedlich, who resigned from her position May 5 and died only 16 days later due to illness.

While three applied for the position, only Riffle was interviewed by the council as two failed to meet criteria. One applicant applied past the deadline, and the other had not lived in the city for the minimum one year, as is required in the city’s charter for city councilors.

Before appointing Riffle, the council conducted a brief interview.

Asked by Burge why he felt he should be a member of the council, Riffle replied, “As a retiree from government, I have dealt with city councils and public entities pretty much most of my entire adult life. I just felt I have something to offer and I have a desire to be here.”

In a response to a question from City Councilor Jason Meshell, Riffle said he approaches everything with an open mind and is generally willing to have his mind changed.

“I’m willing to listen to all sides of a story and points of view and come up with the best possible resolution I can,” he said.

Riffle said he is also comfortable with holding healthy debates and isn’t afraid to “jump in” when he has something to say. He added that otherwise he is a “quiet kind of guy.”

Councilor Jeff Erickson asked what one issue in particular Riffle would like to focus on. Riffle said he would like to focus on water rates and is interested in touring the city’s facilities to learn more about the issue.

Between 1982 and 2009, Riffle held multiple positions at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, including detective, shift commander and school reserve deputy. From 2008 to 2013, Riffle owned a private investigation and law enforcement agency consultant firm in Scappoose. He also served as police chief at the Adair Village Police Department from 2011 to 2013.

Riffle will fill the position for the remainder of the calendar year. The position will be reopened for a two-year term in the November election. Riffle plans to run for councilor again at that time.