Members of the reviewal body will look at possible changes to the Home Rule Charter
CLARK COUNTY — The newly elected members of the Clark County Charter Review Commission were sworn in via Webex Monday morning with the help of the county manager’s office.
The Home Rule Charter for Clark County was approved by voters in 2014 and laid the groundwork for the commissioners to become elected officials after five years. The group of 15 contains representatives from each of the four County Council districts and the county at-large.
In 2021, the group will evaluate what, if any, changes or adjustments need to be made to the charter in a number of areas. The charter is not dissimilar to a constitution, and acts as the governing guidebook for county government.
Under the charter, the county was split into two branches of government: legislative and administrative. The current five county councilors is a result of the charter, as is the position of county manager.
Among those sworn in were faces new and old in the arena of local policy making. Former mayor and current councilmember of the city of Battle Ground, Mike Dalesandro, was one of the first to be sworn in for position 3 at-large.
“The County Charter is our roadmap to self governance,” Dalesandro wrote in his voters pamphlet bio. “The is (sic) our opportunity to pull over and ask for directions. What’s working? What’s not working? How can we improve efficiencies? My top priority is to ensure the Charter upholds and protects the values of good governance.”
Also sworn in for an at-large seat was former County Council candidate Eric Holt, who ran against current Council Chair Elieen Quiring O’Brien in 2018.
“I believe that fair representation is the foundation of a strong democracy and a strong governing home rule charter is the key to good governance,” Holt said in his bio. “I don’t want to return to the days of old when special interests controlled all aspects of the County board.”
Former County Treasurer Doug Lasher was also elected to the group for the at-large position 1 seat. He was not in attendance at the swearing in ceremony.
In councilor district 1, Anthony M. Vendetti was sworn in for the position 1 spot. He has worked at CRESA and the U.S. National Forest Service, as well as a county public health department.
In the position 2 seat, Kim D. Harless took the oath. Harless has spent the last eight years at Clark County, and is currently an environmental operations specialist for Clark County Public Health doing waste and recycling system planning, as well as contracts oversight.
In the position 3 spot, Chris Goodwin will take the job. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He too currently works at Clark County Public Health as a program coordinator for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response.
Over in councilor district 2, Charles P. “Chuck” Green, was sworn in for the position 1 seat. Green is currently a project manager with Portland-based architecture and engineering company, Otak. He was previously the C-TRAN Vine Bus Rapid Transit project manager.
In position 2, Kelsey Potter will fill the role. She has served with the Clark County Parks Advisory Board since 2016, and also works as a substitute teacher for Vancouver Public Schools. A life-long resident of Clark County, Potter resides with her family in Felida.
In the position 3 spot, Dorothy Gasque was sworn in. Gasque served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, and is is veteran of Iraq. She currently works as a data analyst and resides in Clark County.
Within councilor district 3, Maureen Winningham took the oath for the position 1 seat. She is currently the director of learning and development for a firm that works with the elderly, physically challenged and developmentally-delayed. She also spent 10 years at Intel.
Filling position 2 is medical professional, Terri Niles. She has spent 20 years as a critical care nurse in medical, surgical and trauma, as well as five years as a nursing supervisor at Providence, PeaceHealth and Legacy Salmon Creek. She currently works in Neuro Intensive Care at OHSU.
In the position 3 spot, Jeff Angelo was sworn in on Monday. Angelo has lived in Clark County for 40 years, and has spent 15 years working with developmentally disabled adults in their homes while advocating for disability rights. He currently serves as the board president for the Evergreen School District Foundation.
In councilor district 4, in the position 1 seat, former Camas City Council Member Deanna Rusch will fill the role. Rusch was not present at the swearing in.
In position 2, John Latta, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, will take the job. Latta has recently retired from his work as a professional engineer. He previously worked as an electrical engineering supervisor, and is a member of the Washougal Seniors Association.
Finally, in position 3, former state representative and area artist Liz Pike will join the group of commissioners. Pike has also served on the Camas City Council and runs Pike Advertising Agency, as well as the Shangri-La Farm in Camas.