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Applications roll in for council appointment


Applicants file for open seat on the Hillsboro City Council left by new mayor Steve Callaway

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include additional names posted after The Tribune's press deadline

One week after announcing an open seat on the Hillsboro City Council, the city has already received several applications from interested residents looking to be appointed.

On Jan. 3, the city declared a vacancy after Steve Callaway, formerly the council president, took his new position as mayor. This left an opening for Callaway's old position.

Just who will fill that seat won't be decided until next month, but several people at last week's council meeting urged the city to appoint a member of the Latino community. The council is currently made up of all male, all Caucasian members after outgoing councilor Olga Acuña was term limited and unable to run again. About one-quarter of the city's residents are Latino and 40 percent are non-white.

As of Monday, six people had filed letters of interest with the city to claim the open seat. Applicants must live in Ward 3, which encompasses the city's Westside, including downtown and much of the city south of the Tualatin Valley Highway.

Click here for a map of Hillsboro's wards

On Jan. 16, an additional three people had thrown their names into the hat.

The appointee will serve the remainder of Callaway's city council term, which expires in 2018.

Olivia Alcaire

A Hillsboro resident since 2001, Alcaire is studying for a doctorate in education. Alcaire works full-time as the new student orientation and advising specialist for Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus.

Alcaire — who is bilingual in Spanish — has also worked on committees and boards for Bienestar of Oregon, a housing organization for farm-working and low-income families in western Washington County, as well as CREATE Alternative School in Cornelius.

"I am a strong believer in community engagement, and in particular helping the most vulnerable citizens become empowered through community service and civic leadership," she wrote in her application letter.

Cece Clitheroe

Clitheroe has worked with more committees and clubs over the past 12 months than many people do their entire lives.

Along with advising the Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan as a Tuality Healthcare representative, Clitheroe has been involved with the Hillsboro Rotary Club, the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership, and the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.

A Hillsboro resident for 26 years, Clitheroe spent the past 10 years as executive director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, managing a board of directors comprised of 20 community members, along with multiple subcommittees, she wrote to the council.

"All of this past history and job experience has led me to where I am now, looking for my next opportunity to serve," she said. "I feel that my educational, work and community service background provides me with a solid base of knowledge and experience that would enhance my ability to serve on the Hillsboro City Council."

Alexander Diaz

The youngest in the pool of current applicants, 21-year-old Diaz was born and raised in Hillsboro, graduating from Hillsboro High School in 2012.

In the short time since high school, Diaz graduated from Portland State University and is actively working to obtain his Masters from Pacific University in Forest Grove.

"As a lifelong resident of Hillsboro, I have witnessed the many changes happening within our community," Diaz wrote the council, noting economic and population growth, and the need for affordable housing and diverse representation in the city's government as current, salient issues to tackle. "I understand our community and will be a strong voice for all residents of Hillsboro."

Kyle Markley

An Intel engineer, Markley has run for the state legislature three times, most recently in November, when he lost to Democrat Janeen Sollman.

Since 2015, Markley, a Libertarian, has been a member of the Oregon State Joint Task Force on Campaign Finance Reform. He has lived in Hillsboro since 2000.

"Good stewardship of the city must balance the natural inclination to always do more with the reality of the costs to the residents who have other priorities for their limited resources," Markley said. "I want to help the city improve on the good things it does, and to stop doing the things it should not be doing."

Elisa Joy 'EJ' Payne

A 15-year employee with the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District, Payne left that job in 2015 to focus on serving as president of the Hillsboro Food Co-Op.

Payne regularly attends council meetings and open houses for various projects, and recently served on the Trails Master Plan Advisory Committee. She also gives her time to the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership's Organization and Business Development committees.

"When asked why I love Hillsboro so much, I sometimes find it hard to clarify," she said, listing reasons like the city's location and its amenities as obvious physical benefits. "But there is something else that is intangible."

Victoria Saager

Retiring this March from her career at Washington County, Saager is planning to use her new availability in service to the community.

A Hillsboro resident for 28 years, Saager has volunteered her time at Minter Bridge Elementary and as captain of her Neighborhood Watch. She also worked on projects with the city's Public Works Department and the Port of Portland's Hillsboro Airport Issues Exchange, now known as the Hillsboro Airport Roundtable Exchange.

"I am familiar with municipal funding, services and governance," she said, "and would enjoy the opportunity to use my career experience and knowledge to contribute to the success of the city of Hillsboro and its residents."

Sandra Jafarzadeh

A Hillsboro resident since 2013, Jafarzadeh most recently ran for Ward 3 during the 2016 election, losing to incumbent Councilor Fred Nachtigal –– despite receiving more than 9,000 votes.

A licensed Oregon tax preparer, Jafarzadeh got into politics last year, after service as a delegate for Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Locally, she sits on the Hillsboro School District's Curriculum Advisory Committee.

"I am a fast learner, team player, and passionate individual who cares deeply about our community and the current issues facing the city and our citizens," Jafarzadeh wrote in her letter. "I believe I will bring a strong set of skills and assets to the Ward 3 position."

Ken Janik

A regular volunteer at his children's school, Janik hadn't considered public service in any official capacity prior to Callaway's visit while campaigning for mayor in October.

Now, "With the recent national political developments, I feel compelled to get involved however I can to lessen the impacts at a local level," said Janik, a 20-year Hillsboro resident. "I'm interested in efforts to make our city an inclusive and safe place for families of all ethnicities, religions, and orientations."

In his letter, Janik added that he would focus on sustainability and economic initiatives.

Matthew Krizovsky

An East Coast transplant working for Genentech, Krizovsky has lived in Hillsboro for three years, "and I love it," he said.

Krizovsky said he had planned to run for city council in his previous town. That desire to give back to the community has stayed with him after coming to Oregon, he said, because he wants to help make his community a better place.

"I see (an) opportunity to create a bright future for my children and all the children of Hillsboro," Krizovsky said. "I want to make Hillsboro a great city to live in, safe and prosperous, a real hometown where you have that old time feel of community."

By Travis Loose
Reporter, Hillsboro Tribune
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