Air Force pilot fills Washougal council vacancy

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The Washougal City Council on Monday night chose Michelle Wagner, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, to fill its open seat.

Wagner, 45, has spent most of her working years as a pilot flying aircraft including C-130 and C-5 transport planes on missions in such places as Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Since moving to Washougal four years ago, she’s worked as an admissions liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Outside her job, Wagner also serves on the citizen advisory committee for the Camas School District. In her application letter to the city, Wagner said she takes great pleasure volunteering in her two young children’s classrooms.

Wagner contended with four other candidates for the position. After narrowing the field to two, the councilors voted 5-1 for Wagner, with Councilor Connie Jo Freeman casting the sole vote for Jason Dodge.

The seat opened in late May, after former councilor Caryn Plinski stepped down, preparing to move to a house outside city limits. Wagner will fill the position through the end of 2015, when the seat will go up for another vote.