Banks, City Council, News

Another vacancy opens on Banks City Council

The Banks City Council now has two vacancies after former councilor Mike Rainey recently stepped down and Erica Harold-Heine announced her resignation in early May.

Banks Mayor Stephanie Jones said Rainey told her he “just doesn’t have the time with his new business to devote to it.”

Harold-Heine told the Banks Post she decided to resign over what she described as bullying from City Councilor Pete Edison and what she perceived as a lack of leadership from Jones.

City Council President Mark Gregg asked city staff during the council’s June 14 work session if an announcement about the two open positions could be added to that evening’s city council agenda so that the city might begin receiving applications from interested citizens as soon as possible.”

“It has to be done by resolution,” City Recorder Angie Lanter said. “(If the councilors wanted to), they could take a 10-minute break so I can go whip up a resolution.”

Jones said the council has not received any applications to fill Harold-Heine’s former position and that she hoped at least two citizens would apply so that there is enough interest to fill both vacancies.

Lanter said she could begin putting the word out without an official resolution at the request of the council.

“Hopefully, I will hear more than the crickets I’ve heard currently (for the position opened by Harold-Heine’s resignation),” she said. “Starting right after the Fourth of July is when I (traditionally) do my big push of information out to the community. (I can announce) that we have three (elected) positions open.”

She said it was her hope that the city received four applicants for the original open position so officials can appoint whoever is not elected to it into the position newly opened by Rainey’s resignation.

City Attorney Dan Kearns said good people are not found just through broadcasting and advertising a vacancy. It takes networking and speaking to people one-on-one and providing a personal touch, and advised the city council to take such an approach.

The term for Banks city council position CC3 expires this November but the term limit of the seat left open by Rainey’s resignation doesn’t end until the end of 2024.

There are several openings on the boards of the city’s various commissions and committees, which are run by citizen volunteers and community business owners, including two vacancies on the five-seat Banks Planning Commission board, one opening on the Parks and Recreation Committee, and four positions on the 10-member Banks Economic Development Commission board.

Applications to serve on a city of Banks committee, or commission board can be downloaded on the city’s website by clicking here.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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