for the Mail Tribune
TALENT — The City Council went with experience, choosing former mayor and council member Don Steyskal for a vacancy on the body Wednesday evening.
Steyskal will fill Position 1, which was previously held by Chris Auer, who resigned in February. The appointment runs through December 2014. Steyskal was mayor from 2007 to 2011 and on the council the preceding 12 years.
Seven candidates applied for the position, although two withdrew before the council conducted interviews Wednesday. In November's elections each of four open seats had only one candidate.
"There's times we've had to struggle to get one to show up (for a vacancy)," said Mayor Bill Cecil, who has been on the council since 2007.
Cecil said he was pleased with the turnout and noted there were open spots on the city's Budget Committee and other commissions and committees.
Steyskal said during his interview he had missed City Council involvement. He has been serving on the Planning Commission and a new commissioner will need to be appointed to that group.
"Talent is a small enough town where "… you don't need to be indebted to any special interests to have an impact," Steyskal said during the interviews.
Steyskal, Parks Commissioner Ryan Pederson, Anthony Abshire and Ian Reid were interviewed for the post. Written responses to a set questions asked by the council members were read for candidate Dean Walker, who was not at the session.
Candidates Daniel Wise, Planning Commission chairman, and Don Chapin withdrew before the session.
After narrowing the field to Steyskal, Pederson and Reid, council members Teresa Cooke, Joan Dean, E. J. McManus and Darby Stricker voted for Steyskal. Councilwoman Diane Glendenning voted for Reid.
"I'm happy to get back in the saddle again and to get involved," Steyskal said after the meeting.
Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at email@example.com.