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Abshire appointed to vacant City Council seat

TALENT — Anthony Abshire has been appointed to the City Council to fill a vacancy created when Darby Stricker, then a mayoral candidate, resigned in October.

Abshire was sworn Wednesday into Position 2 for a term that runs through Dec. 31, 2016. He is a retired corrections officer who has lived in Talent for 12 years and volunteers with several groups.

“My goal is to see the city grow economically and with homes, and to be safe with parks, police and streets and lighting where people can feel comfortable,” said Abshire.

Abshire has an associate’s degree in accounting from Mendocino Community College in California. He has run businesses and served in the Marine Corps. He volunteers to remove graffiti for the Talent Police Department. He also serves on the Jacksonville Community Emergency Response Team and with the Ashland Municipal Court.

Stricker, who won the November mayoral election, resigned when she learned of a provision in the city charter that requires an elected officer seeking another elected position to resign if the office terms would overlap. Stricker had been elected to the council in 2012.

Abshire gained votes from council members Joan Dean, Ryan Pederson and Don Steyskal. Another candidate, Eric Heesacker, received votes from Teresa Cooke and E.J. McManus. Meadowsweet Levi was a third applicant for the position.

Heesacker is city planner for Rogue River. He has been on the Talent Planning Commission since January 2013. He previously served on several Ashland committees and commissions. Levi sought election to Council Position 3 but lost to incumbent Joan Dean. She has been active in efforts to make city and school lands in Talent pesticide free.

Another new member will join the council in January. Daniel Wise was elected to Position 1 in an uncontested race. Steyskal did not seek re-election to the seat. Pederson was re-elected to Position 5 in another uncontested race.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com