Seven people have applied for the vacant Position 2 seat on the Ocean Shores City Council, including three who have applied for previous vacant positions.
Position 2, which also is up for election this November, became open when former Councilman Jeff Daniel was killed in a surfing accident just prior to the Feb. 25 Council meeting. Several of the applicants made reference to the tragic loss of Daniel as an inspiration for their desire to fill his seat.
Those who have applied in the past include Richard Willis, Kathryn Sprigg and David Linn. New to the application process, which is set and voted on by the remaining six members of the City Council, are Eric Bejella, Tanya Roberts, Sara Sharp and Brian Ferguson.
Here are excerpts from the application letters from each of the candidates in alphabetic order:
• Eric Bejella, currently employed at the Bank of the Pacific, an Ocean Shores Pirate and active in stage productions and community organizations: “I am a versatile and seasoned professional who adapts well to rapidly changing environments. I believe I’m a strong team player/leader who excels in mediating among multiple divisions of large organizations and maintains productive relationships with staff, peers, and management. My written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills can be an asset and I’m a positive, optimistic, well organized self-starter who excels under pressure and meets deadlines.”
• Brain Ferguson, former Air Force response force leader who has had several local jobs: “An exquisite individual who constantly proves to perform remarkably in all areas of duties. Always prepared and ready for upcoming challenges and tasks. Able to make difficult decisions in stressful situations.”
• David Linn, former manufacturing engineer, college instructor and real estate investment manager, and wildlife/environment advocate: “I moved to Ocean Shores more than 10 years ago because of its quiet, peaceful atmosphere and its closeness to nature and wildlife. I have greatly enjoyed my life here and have been able to accomplish a number of my goals. I feel that this opportunity would allow me to become more actively involved in the community and contribute to its success. I think there are important issues that face Ocean Shores and I believe that I could be helpful in working with the mayor and the other Council members to deal with them.”
• Tonya Roberts, local realtor and yoga instructor: “As a realtor, that is what I tell clients about our city. I love promoting Ocean Shores because I truly love this town. Because I love living here so much, I feel a responsibility to give back. And I have a lot to give. As an environmental professional for the State Department of Ecology and now the University of Washington, I bring a breadth of experience to the city and its council. I have over a decade working on land use, stormwater, public health, and many other issues at the nexus of local government.”
• Kathryn Sprigg, current volunteer for the North Beach Senior Center and former education researcher with a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy at Seattle University: “I have excellent communications skills, having taught Business Communications and Computer Applications classes for Central Washington University for four years. I can bring my strong written and oral communication skills to the Ocean Shores City Council and contribute to the goals and vision as Council makes decisions about the city’s direction over the coming years.”
• Sara Sharp, after a career in the Army, earned a Doctor of Education from Walden University, now a substitute teacher for the North Beach School District: “As I sat ‘quarterbacking’ issues on homelessness, drugs, mental health, Levies, Taxes, Community, and Veteran resources from my chair the other day, I realized that’s not making any changes. And I want to be a part of the solution. It is important to me to find a way to serve the community I live in not just today but in times to come.”
• Richard Wills, former Army First Sergeant with degree in computer information systems and member of the Planning Commission and Ocean Shores Fresh Waterways Corp.: “The city lost a valuable, ethical, knowledgeable, fully engaged, contributing citizen as a result of Jeff Daniel’s tragic accident. I can not replace him. However, I can bring my own honesty, critical thinking and decision-making skills, ethics, knowledge, and proclivity for researching issues before making decisions to the City Council to finish out this council term.”
The Council on Monday April 8 will hear all the applicants, ask them a series of questions that are the same for every applicant, under the following process:
• The applicants will be asked to wait outside the Council Chamber.
• The applicants will be called in one at a time selected randomly by placing all names in a container and selected one at a time.
• Applicants may sit in the Council meeting and listen to subsequent applicants.
• When all available have spoken, the Mayor will recess into executive session.
• Mayor and Council will discuss qualifications in the executive session.
• Mayor will reconvene the regular meeting.
• All Council members’ names will be placed in a container, and the mayor will pull a name, and that Council member may nominate a person for the open position. If the Council member passes, the mayor will select another Council member to nominate a person.
• The Council will vote on the person nominated. If there are four yes votes, the applicant becomes a new Council person. If there are not four yes votes, then the mayor will select another Council member to place a nomination.
Council members may only vote once per round; the mayor may not break a tie during the first round.
• If all Council members have either nominated or voted for someone, the Council will move to round two.
The process will start again, however, the mayor may vote to break a tie if three Council members are voting positive for an applicant.
• If appointed, the new Council member may be sworn in and takes his or her seat.