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Wednesday, May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023

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18 apply to fill Vancouver City Council vacancy

Vacancy created by Alishia Topper's election to county treasurer seat

By , Columbian politics reporter

For the second time in 2018, the Vancouver City Council has solicited applicants to fill a vacancy. This round, 18 candidates have applied.

The vacancy was created when Councilor Alishia Topper was elected Clark County treasurer in November. She was required to resign from the council before assuming her new position today.

The previous council vacancy just wrapped up with the November election. Councilor Laurie Lebowsky was elected to serve the remainder of the term after being appointed from a pool of 56 to the position in February. The vacancy Lebowsky filled was necessitated by the death of Scott Campbell, who was elected to replace Jack Burkman in 2017.

The city council will meet at 4:15 p.m. Jan. 7 to select candidates to interview. Selected candidates will be interviewed starting at 4 p.m. Jan. 14. Once the council makes a selection, the new councilor will be sworn in Jan. 28. Whoever is appointed will need to run for the seat in the November 2019 election if they want to serve the full four-year term.

Here’s a look at who applied:

Adam Aguilera

English teacher Heritage High School.

Board member Evergreen Education Association, Washington Education Association board Ethnic Minority at Large, serves on Community Roots Collaborative board .

“I want to reflect the diversity of Vancouver on the city council.”

Reference from Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz: “He has proven his ability to expand opportunities for residents, work with underrepresented communities, and build a sustainable future through his governance and small business experience.”

Nicholas Alexander

Starting law firm in 2019 with focus on elder justice.

Chair of bench section of Clark County Bar, works as volunteer lawyer for homeless/low-income population and veterans in Clark County.

“In this position, I can direct change in Vancouver for the better and have lasting change on people’s lives.”

Reference from Elizabeth Fitzgerald, executive director of Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program: “His work with people living unhoused offers him a unique perspective on the unmet needs of people in poverty.”

Gina Baker

Director of client services for Instructional Technologies.

Volunteer with Landmark Worldwide.

“To me, city council is an opportunity that would allow me to have a big impact for all citizens.”

Reference from James Voorhees, founder of Instructional Technologies: “Gina is a problem solver and very competent in dealing in the groups skills that are critical in the Client Services arena.”

Larry Cabler

ESL trainer for Cartus Company, retired business instructor in Poland.

Volunteers with Clark College Transitional Studies Tutoring Center.

“I seek the city council appointment to try and facilitate improvements in various civic areas of responsibility.”

No reference letters submitted.

Sarah Fox

Senior planner for city of Camas.

Chair of Clark County Historic Preservation Commission, finalist for Position 1.

“I want foremost to serve and represent Vancouver’s diverse citizenry, provide good leadership and ensure that the future that we are planning for will best serve our grandchildren and generations beyond that.”

Reference from Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver: “She has a humble, thoughtful, and forward thinking approach that is rooted in finding new ways to envision Vancouver, collaborative ways to find solutions, and considering who in the community is affected but not heard.”

John Jacobs

QA engineer for Interject Data Systems.

Member of Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

“I believe that my broad educational and vocational background will give me a unique perspective to bring to city government.”

No reference letters submitted.

Erika Laws

Executive director of Impactful People NW.

Board member A Caring Closet.

“My ability to look at all situations objectively, and in a fair manner, would make me an excellent addition to council.”

No reference letters submitted.

Audrey Mattoon

Director of delivery for Improvisations.

Serves on Vancouver Planning Commission, incoming vice chair of Clark County Democratic Party.

“I am seeking appointment to the Vancouver City Council as a further opportunity to serve my community and use my business and educational background to help solve the challenges that our city faces.”

Reference from Michele Wollert: “Audrey Mattoon’s deep professional and volunteer experience and her genuine interest in supporting Vancouver’s progress and its responsiveness to all constituent needs, make her a valuable addition to this strong city council.”

Mark Monroe

Western regional manager for Vaproshield.

Volunteer with local candidate campaigns, applied for Position 1.

“I would be a voice for many frustrated voters who are concerned with the direction of Vancouver’s development and growth.”

No reference letters submitted.

Maureen Montague

Executive director of Columbia Springs.

Served on city’s Strategic Plan Oversight Committee and participated in review of Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan.

“As an advocate for education, arts and heritage, I’d like to be a voice on city council for those things that give our community its identity and heart.”

Reference from Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey: “Her professional work experience and extensive volunteer work provide her with the skills and perspective to very quickly be a very effective council member.”

Dean Montgomery

Electrical engineer with PacifiCorp.

“As an engineer I enjoy problem solving. Finding both traditional and creative solutions by looking at issues from multiple perspectives is a skill I’ve learned and put into practice throughout my life.”

No reference letters submitted.

Ophelia Noble

Founder of the Noble Foundation, community organizer.

Past board member of NAACP Vancouver.

“I can positively impact the social, environmental, and economic growth of Vancouver in both equitable and sustainable ways.”

Reference from Bridgette Fahnbulleh, president of NAACP Vancouver: “She is dedicated to the community she grew up in and is a person of the highest integrity.”

Jessica Patterson

Manager Killer Burger.

Volunteer with Love Local, Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary.

“I have a deep sense of pride in our community, and I feel compelled to further involve myself in meeting the needs of our citizens.”

No reference letters submitted.

Erik Paulsen

Senior vice president of wealth management strategy for U.S. Bancorp Investments.

Chair of Vancouver Planning Commission, finalist for Position 1.

“This is my home and I want to do my part to ensure that it is a place that others will proudly call home for generations to come.”

Reference from Planning Commission vice chair Marjorie Ledell: “It is evident from the way he prepares for meetings and the questions he asks that he has a deep understanding of the many wide-ranging issues facing the city and its citizens.”

Diana Perez

USDA Forest Service employee, current position is talent acquisition specialist.

Commissioner for Washington State Parks and Recreation, state director of League of United Latin American Citizens, founded local LULAC chapter, Stronger Vancouver board member .

“I believe I can make a positive impact for a broader range of communities at the local level by providing a unique voice and different perspective that is inclusive and diverse during a significant time of city growth and expansion.”

Reference from former Mayor Tim Leavitt: “She has worked tirelessly with other community leaders to increase awareness for all citizens of Vancouver of the importance and value of a diverse and welcoming community.”

David Regan

CEO of Regan Bail Bonds.

Volunteer with Giving Grace Ministries.

“I feel duty-bound to make this city a great experience for its residents.”

Reference from Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins: “He clearly has shown how he can collaborate with all segments of society while maintaining a professional service that holds him to strict standards.”

Russell Schultz

Construction foreman, most recently millwright journeyman with Precision Castparts Corp.

Member of Patriot Prayer.

“I have always felt a need to contribute to the community, to serve in a capacity to help and inspire others.”

No reference letters submitted.

Amberlyn Storey

Freelance casting director.

Volunteer with Vancouver Public Schools.

“I am eager to participate in upcoming issues that are important to the city of Vancouver’s continued growth and viability.”

No reference letters submitted.

Columbian politics reporter