Washougal council taps Boger to fill seat

Vancouver employee picked from 6 hopefuls to replace Russell

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WASHOUGAL — Brent Boger told Washougal council members there would not be much of a learning curve if they appointed him Monday night to fill the council’s vacancy, and minutes after his unanimous selection, he proved his point.

Boger seconded councilman Paul Greenlee’s motion to present all six council applicants with a certificate, leading to laughter among the council and audience.

Prior to his selection, Boger, Vancouver’s assistant city attorney, called being selected to the final two, along with Air Force Lt. Col. Michelle Wagner, as “one of the greatest honors of my life.”

Boger replaces former Mayor Pro-Tem Jon Russell, who left Washougal to take a national coordinator position with an anti-abortion organization in Virginia. Boger will serve out Russell’s term until December 2013.

“It’s probably unfortunate we only have one position available,” Mayor Sean Guard told the audience, speaking to the strength of the applicant pool, before the council whittled the field to two candidates.

Boger was the council’s unanimous top choice each time the elected body voted. Wagner received three second-place votes.

In addition to the two finalists, the field included a retired construction superintendent, Michael Norris; a retired engineer, Morry Secrest; a Washougal Planning Commission member, Larry Wagoner; and a bank branch manager, Randall Ellis.

Moments after Boger nominated her, Jennifer McDaniel won Russell’s mayor pro-tem title with three council votes. Councilmen Paul Greenlee and Dave Shoemaker each tallied two.

While Russell’s council seat was filled Monday, it was clear his influence on the government body lived on.

Greenlee asked the six candidates their views on using their position on the council to address state and national political issues — where Greenlee felt Russell overstepped his bounds on occasion. While their answers differed slightly, they all pledged to focus on affairs that affect Washougal.

Ray Legendre:: 360-735-4517; http://facebook.com/raylegend; http://twitter.com/col_smallcities; ray.legendre@columbian.com.