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King City council welcomes new members in 2017

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Councilor Smart Ocholi returns to his seat and is joined by John Boylston and Gretchen Buehner

BARBARA SHERMAN - Meet the new King City City Council: From left are Council President Bob Olmstead, Councilors John Boylston and Chi Nguyen-Ventura, Mayor Ken Gibson and Councilors Billie Reynolds, Smart Ocholi and Gretchen Buehner.The first meeting of the year for the King City City Council, held Jan. 4, was short and sweet.

While there was not a lot of business to cover, the council conducted its most important business of the year by welcoming three new councilors.

However, one was not exactly a newcomer: Smart Ocholi was appointed to the council in 2016 to fill an empty seat and then successfully ran for his own four-year term in the November election.

BARBARA SHERMAN - King City City Manager Miike Weston (left) reads the oath of office to John Boylston, who repeats the oath to officially join the City Council.Two newcomers joining the council were John Boylston and Gretchen Buehner, both running for the council for the first time in November and winning seats.

Buehner has been an attorney in real estate, land use and estate planning since 1981, and with a long record of public service was appointed to serve on the Planning Commission soon after she moved to King City.

BARBARA SHERMAN - Gretchen Buehner recites the oath of office to King City City Manager Mike Weston before taking her seat on the dias.Boylston is an estate planning attorney with no prior government experience, but he is active in various community programs.

Over the past couple of years, the King City City Council has become a model of diversity.

Ken Gibson is King City's first African-American mayor, and he wondered last year if he was the first black mayor in Oregon. A check with the League of Oregon Cities revealed that he is only the third black mayor in the state, but the City Council has gone on to become even more diverse.

BARBARA SHERMAN - City Manager Mike Weston (left) reads the oath of office that is repeated by Smart Ocholi, who won his own four-year term on the King City Ciy Council in November after being appointed to the council last year.For decades King City city councils were mostly made up of "old white guys," but with the addition of Edgewater on the Tualatin and residents from all over the world, King City has added new councilors to create probably the most diverse council in Oregon.

In addition to Gibson, Chi Nguyen-Ventura was appointed to the council in late 2015. Her family emigrated from Vietnam in 1990, where her grandfather had been a colonel in the South Vietnamese army.

Ocholi moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2002 and served in the U.S. Army; he is a supervisory computer engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.