City council holds interviews for new ward four representative

MEDFORD, Ore. – Since election day, Medford city council has been faced with the task of replacing councilor Kim Wallan – who was elected to become a state representative. Thursday, they interviewed seven people for the spot.

City councilors and citizens were on the panel as candidates came to interview for the ward four vacancy. It’s a job that councilors say they take very seriously, and they want to make sure the right person takes the seat.

“I think its a really good part of the process to get citizen input from people who are going to be most affected by the replacement of this seat,” Mayor, Gary Wheeler said.

Kim Wallan held the position representing Ward Four since 2017. But in November, she was elected state representative for Medford. She resigned in early January. Since then, city councilors have been on the search for her replacement.

“We knew in advance that there was going to be a vacancy when Councilor Wallan resigned, so we put out the process and put out information and people said I would like to do it,” City Councilor, Kevin Stine said.

Thursday night, council interviewed seven applicants for the position, alongside a citizens committee made up of five residents of Ward Four.

“These are people that live in Ward Four and don’t necessarily have knowledge of the candidate, but are certainly involved with their own ward as citizens living there,” Wheeler said.

Councilors tell us this isn’t a job they take lightly, and they have high standards for who will fill the seat.

“I’m looking for someone who is knowledgeable about the city we live in and who is looking to make the city a better place,” Stine said.

After tonight’s interviews, the citizen committee will give their top three recommendations to council members. They’ll make their final decision at the council meeting on February 7th.

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