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Talent council to choose new member

TALENT — The City Council tonight will choose from among two Planning Commission members and a retired engineer to fill a vacancy left by Brian Roberts, who resigned in February for health reasons.

The council will meet today at 5:45 p.m. in the Talent Community Center to fill Position 2 through December. Applications will be taken until 5 p.m. today.

Roberts, 55, who declined to elaborate on his reason for resigning, started on the council in 2001. He said he's proud of helping establish a Traffic Safety and Transportation Commission, recognized by the state, and of the recent improvements downtown.

"I grew up here," Roberts said. "This town has been completely transformed."

Council applicants as of Tuesday night included current Planning Commission Chairman Sherman Lamb, Planning Commissioner Cynthia Care and Don Chapin.

Care has served on the commission for one year. She is also on the Together for Talent Committee and has served on the boards of several Rogue Valley organizations. She has lived in Talent for three years. Care said she had not decided if she would run for the position in the fall.

"I want to be part of fair deliberations regarding safeguarding of the unique character and livability of our small town and meeting our inevitable challenges with wisdom," said Care. "I think (the current council members) have been doing a fine job."

Chapin has lived in Talent for three years. He filed for the Position 6 seat in the 2006 general election, but withdrew when he learned that Ed McManus was running for the post.

"I've been very impressed with the way the council has been going," said Chapin. "I want to maintain the current approach the council is taking."

Chapin is a retired engineer who has worked in private industry, the military and most recently for the federal government. He has experience as a systems engineer and a quality engineer. He is uncertain if he would seek the seat in November.

Lamb has served on the Planning Commission since 2006. He has no other government experience.

"I'm just looking for a new challenge and a way to serve the city," said Lamb. "I don't have an agenda at all. I'm pretty pleased with the way the city government has been run up to now. I want to see that it's run the same way."

Lamb plans to seek the position in the general election. He has lived within city limits for the past three years but previously lived near Talent on Pioneer Road, where he owned a vineyard that he sold in 2004.

Voters will decide who fills the position beginning Jan. 1, 2009, in November's general election.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.