Chair Bowerman forwards names of three candidates to fill open County Council seat in District 5

Battle Ground resident Dick Rylander, La Center resident Peter Silliman and Yacolt resident Thomas Schenk named as final candidates to replace Eileen Quiring O’Brien

VANCOUVER – Councilor Eileen Quiring O’Brien yesterday submitted a letter of resignation from her position on the Clark County Council. Her last day of service will be on March 1. Councilor Quiring O’Brien was elected countywide as chair of the council in November 2018, and served in that role from Jan. 1, 2019 to Feb. 2, 2022. Prior to that time, she served as councilor representing District 4 from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018. 

After voters approved changes to the County Charter in 2021, she became the representative for the newly added District 5.  With Councilor Quiring O’Brien’s resignation, a resident from District 5 will be selected to serve the remainder of her term through Dec. 31, 2022.

Battle Ground resident Dick Rylander, La Center resident Peter Silliman and Yacolt resident Thomas Schenk named as final candidates to replace Eileen Quiring O’Brien.
Photo by Andi Schwartz

Chair Karen Dill Bowerman stated, “We are indebted to Councilor Quiring O’Brien for the service she has given to Clark County over the years.  I know personally that she has found great pleasure in serving, as she says, ‘the great people of Clark County Washington.’”

Chair Bowerman solicited candidate applications and has interviewed interested candidates.  She has selected three nominees who will now be interviewed by the county council, scheduled for March 2.  Yesterday, she sent information on the three nominees to the County Council. 

The three nominees, in alphabetical order, are Richard (Dick) Rylander Jr, Thomas Schenk and Peter Silliman. 

Rylander, a Battle Ground resident, stated in his interview that his number one goal is “to assure our community is safe, comfortable and an affordable place to live and raise families.” Since January 2014 he has served as president of BioPharmaceutical Strategies LLC, and since September 2016 he has volunteered as executive in residence at Oregon Health and Science University to assist researchers, physicians and faculty in assessing the commercialization potential for technologies including diagnostics, devices, drugs and digital products. 

Schenk, a resident of Yacolt, stated in his interview that it is his “earnest hope that I can bring a perspective to the position that helps to manage the burgeoning growth of Clark County in a fiscally responsible way yet with an understanding of the need to review and address the issues plaguing our society.” Prior to serving as a contract employee to oversee Federal Agency seizure processes, Schenk was a criminal investigator and senior special agent with the United States Customs Service and a Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division beginning his career in Los Angeles and retiring in Portland; his specialties were financial crimes and money laundering.

Silliman, a La Center resident, emphasized in his interview that he believes “in honest and open discussion.  If chosen to fill this vacancy it would be my goal to represent the county in a professional manner.” Silliman owns his own business to complete telecommunications work requests requiring the rearrangement of copper pairs or fiber, drawing from his experience such as technician, construction manager, splicing manager and senior engineer.  From 2014 to 2016, he served as research analyst in Clark County, representing the County Council or individual councilors in their oversight of county government.  He was elected to serve on the Home Rule Charter Board where he volunteered as a Freeholder for Clark County in 2014.

Chair Bowerman said that it was difficult to select just three nominees for the council’s consideration from the qualified and enthusiastic group of applicants. She said that she hopes each applicant remains integrally involved in county governance because from so many different perspectives, they have much to give. This, she feels, is testimony to how much Clark County residents appreciate their community and wish to give back.

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.

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