COLLEGE PLACE — One of two candidates running for a seat on the City Council got a head start Monday.
After interviewing three candidates, council members voted unanimously to choose Julie Scott to fill the Position 1 seat vacated in May by Steve Dickerson, who had to resign after moving out of the city.
Council member Alexander Scott abstained from the vote.
The Position 1 seat is up for election this year and Scott and a second candidate, Wesley Bernal, have filed to run for the post. Because they are the only two candidates running, they will face each other in the Nov. 5 general election. Bernal also applied to fill the vacancy and was interviewed Monday along with a third applicant, Bob Frye. The winner of the November election will serve a full four-year term.
During the interview process, Scott fielded a number of questions on topics ranging from business development to the role council members play in managing city government to dealing with city finances.
Councilman Larry Dickerson asked Scott what she felt about the role of council members in managing the city and what boundary lines they should draw.
“I see it as a form of representative government,” Scott replied, where council members need to look at all interests and “constantly try to get input and weigh it for the greater good.”
In response to a question from councilman Bernie Yanke, Scott said she could see situations where due to the economies of scale and scope for projects, there would be a need to work with the city of Walla Walla and other entities on projects. But in other areas, she said, “College Place needs to continue as an independent entity.”
Councilman William Jenkins asked Scott about dealing with the competing demands on the city budget and how she would feel about setting aside reserve funds for items such as equipment, facilities upkeep and other needs at the cost of other funds.
Scott indicated she would be strongly in favor of holding funds in reserve to deal with preserving the city’s infrastructure and meeting needs for services.
“Making sure we save is important,” she said.
After interviewing the candidates, the council met in executive session to discuss their selection, then reconvened in open session to vote. After the vote, Scott was sworn in by City Attorney Charlie Phillips and immediately took her seat on the council.
Andy Porter can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8318.