Oct. 6—NORTH POWDER — The North Powder City Council will not decide how it will select a new mayor at least until November.
The city council decided unanimously on Monday, Oct. 4, to wait until at least its November meeting to decide which approach it will take regarding the selection of a new mayor. The council is seeking a successor to Mike Wisdom, who resigned as mayor on Monday, Sept. 13, after serving the position for more than two years. Wisdom said he stepped down because he did not believe he was on the same page as members of the council on the direction the city should be taking.
North Powder City Recorder Beth Wendt said the council has two options in finding a successor for Wisdom — elect a council member to serve as mayor or invite North Powder residents to apply for the position. Should the latter option be pursued, the city council would appoint an applicant to serve as mayor after interviewing all candidates.
The city asked community members interested in serving as mayor to send a letter indicating this, in its monthly newsletter that went out last week.
The city also asked residents to respond if they are interested in serving on the council if a vacancy is created by promoting a councilor to mayor. To date nobody from outside the council has expressed an interest in serving as mayor or in filling a possible council vacancy, Wendt said.
The city recorder said the city will try throughout October to stir up interest in the mayoral vacancy and the possible council opening. To be eligible to serve as mayor or as a city councilor, one has to be a registered voter and to have lived in North Powder for at least a year.
Michael Morse, North Powder's mayor pro tem, is now taking on added responsibilities as the city's acting mayor. Morse is the city council's president and has served as a city councilor for at least a dozen years. He has lived in North Powder for 20 years and is a retired chef.
He said he is enjoying serving as acting mayor because it puts him in a better position to help the people of North Powder.
"I love the people of North Powder. They are all friendly and hardworking," Morse said.
Morse said he is interested in becoming a candidate for mayor. He said that as mayor he would work hard to make sure the city continues to be run correctly.
"I would try to keep the city moving forward," he said.
Vicki Townsend, a member of the North Powder City Council, has also expressed an interest in serving as mayor, Wendt said.
Dick Mason is a reporter with The Observer primarily covering the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.