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Leadership vacancies abound in Butte Falls

Leadership vacancies abound in Butte Falls

BUTTE FALLS ' Finding candidates to fill the rapidly vacating seats of Butte Falls' seven city leaders is proving to be a daunting task.

Even after the November election, the tiny town with the population of 435 will still have vacancies in the mayoral seat and two city council seats.

When Mayor Ethel Hoppe resigned in midsummer, council president Steve Harvey stepped in as mayor pro tem. However, Harvey has announced he will finish his term in January and will not run as either mayor or councilman. That leaves two positions open.

Councilmen Bill Irwin and Stan Moore are also leaving. Irwin has chosen not to run again, and Moore resigned effective at the next city council meeting Thursday. Four down. Three standing.

Sandy McConochie and Todd Hackworth's terms continue until January 2005. The third remaining council member is Diane Holm, who will run for the first time in November after being appointed to the office just over two years ago.

Holm, 62, is a lifelong resident of Butte Falls. She retired in 1998 from her 25-year position as a case manager for state Senior and Disability Services.

Holm says she feels there are issues in the community in which she can continue to be of help.

I just felt there were situations with public works, reservoirs and the water systems that I wanted to be involved with. I have the time and felt I could continue to be of value to the town, she says.

Mildred Arnold, 34, is running unopposed for Moore's seat. She is also a lifelong resident of Butte Falls. Arnold served on the planning commission for six months and feels the council needs to hear from as many community members as possible.

I feel the city needs new, younger ideas. We need all walks of life to have a view, says Arnold. I would also like to see some of the elderly come talk to us. I want to see how they live and how our changes in the community effect them. Same with the younger ones.

Arnold says the community needs to participate and the council needs to listen.

There are a lot of people annoyed with the council, and they complain. But that's their view. You have to listen to that complaint, because in that complaint is their idea. And you have to listen to ideas to move forward, she says.

City Recorder Lori Paxton says the three remaining unfilled positions will be filled by appointment as soon after the election as possible, provided there are applicants.

We will post the positions for 30 days. If anyone applies, they will be interviewed at the next City Council meeting, says Paxton. If no one applies, then they (the council) can keep it posted until someone does apply or try again at a later date.

Paxton says people sometimes need to be encouraged to apply for city positions. In fact, she says she's been thinking about doing some subtle arm-twisting for likely candidates herself.

In a town this size, you just about have to, says Paxton.

Sanne Specht is a free-lance writer living in Rogue River. Reach her at RogueRiverGal@aol.com.