Banks, Government, News

Recalls, resignations, elections: Numerous positions are open in local government

Recalls, resignations, elections and open positions mean that local governments are trying to fill a number of open spots, including seats on the city council, the fire board, and several boards and commissions. 

Elections for four city positions will be held in November

The city of Banks has begun to promote the upcoming November 8 election, where four city positions must be filled, including the position of mayor and three city council seats. 

Currently, Stephanie Jones is mayor, a two-year term, Marsha Kirk holds council seat 1, a four-year term, —Kirk plans to run again—council position 3 was vacated by former councilor Erica Harold-Heine and is up for election for a four-year term, and position 5, held currently by Council President Mark Gregg, is also up for a four-year term. All positions are elected “at-large” under Banks’ charter. 

Candidates must have resided in Banks city limits for at least one year to run and be a registered voter in Oregon. 

The city encouraged those who wish to run to contact City Recorder Angie Lanter at [email protected] or by phone at 503-324-5112 to obtain election filing forms and learn more about the procedure to run for office. 

Those who wish to run for any of the open offices must have their paperwork filed with the city recorder no later than 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 24. Those wishing to submit candidate statements to be included in the Washington County Voters’ pamphlet must do so with the county elections office by Thursday, September 1.

Appointment to open seat on city council

The Banks City Council has yet to formally announce the vacancy for Mike Rainey’s seat, who resigned earlier this month, but given that his term expires December 31, 2024, the position is expected to be filled by appointment. No process has been adopted by the city council to fill the seat yet. 

Banks Fire District Board position opens

With the recall of former Board Chair Mark Schmidlin, the Banks Fire District Board must appoint a new board member to fill the empty spot.

Interested applicants in the district—Banks, Timber, Buxton, Manning, Hayward and vicinity—have until June 24 at 5 p.m.to put in an application. If the board doesn’t get three applicants by then, the deadline will be extended. 

The Banks Fire District did not immediately return an email seeking information on how many applications have been received in advance of the 5 p.m. deadline. Read the full story here

City of Banks volunteer positions

The city of Banks and the State of Oregon announced that there are several volunteer positions open on citizen committee boards and they encouraged the public to apply.

Democracy doesn’t work without the participation of citizens, and the city of Banks is seeking individuals to join its economic development commission, park, recreation and tree board, and planning commission.

The Banks Economic Development Commission has four openings. Applicants are required to have tangible business connections to the city and its economic development, and while it’s preferable for board members to live in the city of Banks it is not required as long as the individual has a solid connection to the city’s economy. Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms and can serve for two consecutive terms.

The economic development commission is responsible for making recommendations to the Banks City Council on issues like marketing strategies and products, enhancing communications with business owners and companies, building relationships between the city and the private sector, and developing strategies for economic growth using available resources for the community and its businesses. 

The city is trying to fill all nine positions on the board, which currently has just five members, including one who lives out of state but still has business ties to Banks. Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month in the evening, and the positions are unpaid. 

The Banks Planning Commission consists of seven board members and two positions are open. The planning commission is one of the more high-profile, impactful citizen positions within the city as board members make recommendations to the city council about land use, construction and development, and on quasi-judicial zone changes, and any amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan or to its land-use regulations as required by the state legislature.

The commission meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the evening. Commissioners are appointed for a term of three years and no individual is permitted to have a seat on the board for more than two consecutive terms.

The Banks Park, Recreation and Tree Board consists of five voting members who are required to live within the city limits. Citizens are appointed for two-year terms and are responsible for studying, reviewing, and recommending to the city council enhancements to city parks “for the sporting, cultural, and social enjoyment of the citizens,” a city of Banks press release said.

The board meets on the third Monday of each month in the evening.

For more information or to learn how to apply for any of the open board positions email City Recorder, Angie Lanter, at [email protected], or call Banks City Hall at 503-324-5112.

A very recent development as of Tuesday night (see next week’s newspaper or Bankspost.com for the full story) will see another position open, this time on the city council, where another councilor has announced their resignation. That seat will eventually need to be filled. More details to come.

Opportunities to shape state of Oregon public policy

The office of Gov. Kate Brown issued a press release calling on Oregonians who are interested in serving the state to apply for membership to any one of Oregon’s 150 state boards and commissions that actively are recruiting new members. This includes two new councils that need board members — the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council and the Local Government Emergency Management Advisory Council. 

“State board and commission members are dedicated Oregonians who bring a diverse set of backgrounds and life experiences to address a wide range of issues facing our state,” Brown said in a press release. “They are vital participants in statewide decision-making and have the opportunity to participate in developing a wide variety of important governmental policies. I encourage all Oregonians with interest in serving our great state and helping make it better for all those who call it home to apply.”

Public board members are not required to have ongoing experience with the topic of any state board but are expected to have a general interest in a board or commission’s focus area. 

Major issues run from economic development, education, and consumer protection, as well as conservation and health care, “all of which are critical to the ongoing success of the state,” the press release said.

A complete list of boards and commissions with one or more vacancies is available at https://bit.ly/3b59Oak. To submit an application visit the state board and commissions website at https://bit.ly/3HqFrqG and follow the instructions to apply.

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