Freeholders consider a successor for Ogden

Her husband would be board chairwoman's pick

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

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The death of Val Ogden, a former legislator and Democratic activist, left a hole on the Clark County Board of Freeholders that its members plan to fill Tuesday.

And they may not have to look too far. Front of the line is Dan Ogden, Val's husband of roughly 70 years, who was also heavily involved in politics.

Dan Ogden attended every meeting his wife was at before she became too sick to show up, said Nan Henriksen, chairwoman of the freeholder board. The freeholders make up a 15-member group tasked with writing a new county charter, with the goal of putting it to voters later this year.

"I think it's fitting that Dan be allowed to fill out Val's seat," Henriksen said. "She believed so much in the passage of this charter."

Dan Ogden's nomination for the seat would fulfill a loose requirement that the appointee live in the same district, in this case, District 3. The board will also accept nominations for other people who live inside District 3.

Val Ogden's presence will be missed on the board, Henriksen said. Although the elder stateswoman of the Clark County Democrats wasn't physically capable of attending the recent freeholder meetings, she would review minutes and provide input.

Henriksen said she'd prefer not to have to fill Val Odgen's seat so soon after her death — she died April 9 at the age of 90 — but the decision to do so followed a recommendation of the board's legal counsel. The board will also vote on naming Temple Lentz, also of District 3, as the board's new secretary, which was Val Ogden's position.

Tuesday's meeting will also represent a last, significant step for the board. It will review the draft charter in its entirety for the first time. The final proposed charter will go to voters, likely in the fall general election.

Because of the importance of the meeting, Henriksen said the public input period will be extended from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

"This is people's last chance to impact any substantive changes to the charter," she said.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.