Banks, City Council, Government

You could be the next Banks city councilor

Photo: Brenda Schaffer

BANKS – The city of Banks has an empty seat on the council, and it must be filled by appointment, per the city charter.

Who will be the next person to take the seat, held, until recently, by veteran public servant Teri Branstitre?

Well, just about anyone can fill the seat. You must be a “qualified elector (registered to vote),” and have lived in the city for 12 months prior to your appointment, according to the city of Banks. Applications are due by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

If that’s all you need to know, scroll to the end of this page for a short list of what you need to do to apply for the seat. For some more context, read on!

Be warned, though. The position doesn’t pay, and comes with a large level of public scrutiny. Oh, and you’re responsible for making decisions that will ripple out for years to come.

The Banks City council discussed the process by which the seat would be filled at the end of the Tuesday, March 12 city council meeting, and determined that, while the charter specifies a certain process for appointing a counselor, there’s some leeway in just how that process is undertaken.

Here’s what the council settled on—a slight tweak from a proposal submitted by city staff—in selecting a new colleague.

First, applicants to the position are asked to schedule an appointment with city staff and fill out an elections form.

“We are requesting that potential applicants schedule an appointment to pick up the form, as staff will give them a brief overview of what being on City Council entails,” said city recorder Angie Lanter in an email to the Banks Post.

The form, a state-level elections form called SEL101, requires basic contact, address, and background information, and is the same form filled out by anyone running for office in Oregon, from a would-be President down to, well, a city councilor in a small town.

The form is a matter of public record in Oregon, so be prepared to have the info contained therein to be read by anyone who wants to.

(Editor’s note: If you do submit an application, please consider emailing [email protected]. We would like to talk with you!)

Then, they are vetted to ensure they’re actually legally allowed to be a counselor. Applicants must have lived in city limits for 12 months prior to appointment, and must be a registered voter.

From here, the applicant undergoes an interview in front of a two-person committee composed of the mayor, Pete Edison, and the council president, Mark Gregg, who will review applicants and then recommend a candidate to city council, who will either accept the applicant or reject the applicant.

The original proposal called for just mayor Edison to interview the applicants and bring his choice for final approval by the full council, but the council quickly decided to add another person to the interview process.

“It adds some good validity and checks and balances to the system,” said council president Mark Gregg.

Previous Banks City Councilor Teri Branstitre announced that her last council meeting would be in January 2019 due to a planned move to Hillsboro.

Branstitre had previously served as mayor of Banks for one term, elected in 2006, and as a city councilor prior to that.

To apply for the open seat, contact city recorder Angie Lanter at 503-324-5112 or by email at [email protected]. Applications must be received no later than 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

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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