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Milwaukie City Councilor Wilda Parks files to keep seat in special election

Milwaukie City Councilor Wilda Parks announced Wednesday that she has filed to retain her seat in a Nov. 3 special election; potential opponents have until Aug. 25 to get on the ballot.

Parks was appointed as a Milwaukie city councilor in June after acting as interim mayor starting in February. She replaced then-Councilor Mark Gamba, who is now mayor.

FILE PHOTO - Wilda ParksAccording to Oregon election law, appointed positions must be presented to voters at the soonest possible election date. The seat will be up for election again for a full four-year term in November of 2016.

“We have a vibrant, growing community, and I am dedicated to working with our council to build a successful future for Milwaukie,” Parks said.

Parks was the CEO of the North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce from 1998 to 2011, and has over 30 years of professional chamber experience. She currently serves on the Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation Board, the County’s Economic Development Commission and the Clackamas County Business Alliance Board. She had been appointed interim mayor after serving on the Milwaukie Planning Commission for two years.

Karin Power, a fellow Milwaukie councilor, immediately offered an endorsement of Parks.

“Wilda is an incredible addition to our Council,” Power said. “Her extensive work in our community with nonprofits, local businesses and organizations geared towards economic development brings an experienced perspective to our decision-making process. Milwaukie is fortunate to have her leadership and business acumen at the table.”

Parks said she has received nearly 50 other endorsements for her candidacy from a wide variety of local business owners, elected officials, residents, colleagues, city councilors and other community leaders throughout Clackamas County.

As councilor, Parks says her priority is to continue to listen to the needs of citizens and work with community leaders to develop a long-term vision for Milwaukie, including downtown revitalization and finding additional, sensible revenue sources for the city.