Like another candidate hopeful for Vancouver City Council, Sarah Fox made it to the final appointment round in February for Position 1. The seat, now held by Councilor Laurie Lebowsky, required council appointment as the voters’ choice, Scott Campbell, had died before the November election.
Fox, 44, was one of six finalists interviewed by the council from a pool of 56 applicants.
“I felt a need to contribute more meaningfully to our city, to give back in the only way I thought it would be the most beneficial,” Fox said.
Fox served in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War before returning to Vancouver to work for a local business, and later the city of Portland and the Portland Development Commission. For the last 13 years, she’s worked as a senior planner for the city of Camas, a position she thinks gives her an important skill set.
“We don’t start with knowing the answers,” Fox said of her daily duties working with businesses of all sizes. “You need to ask the questions, you need to be open to listening.”
She would bring the same approach to the city council, she adds.
“I know there’s often frustrations with the speed of government,” Fox said. “It’s because we need to ask questions. It’s not responsible to make all the decisions representing a community.”
Fox described herself as a Vancouver native, “literally born on our Main Street,” she said. Rather than focus on a single issue, Fox wants to look at the city as a whole to balance resources, time and energy representing the entire community.
“If you focus on one group you have another group that’s suddenly disenfranchised,” she said.
But it’s impossible to talk about the future of Vancouver without mention of the Interstate 5 Bridge.
“It seems everyone nowadays can freely talk about something needing to be done with our bridge,” Fox said. “I am also very aware it’s not something the city of Vancouver can come up with on its own.”
She wants Vancouver to have a leading seat at the table.
“We’re not just any city,” Fox said.