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Woodburn loses planning commissioner, gains another

Ellen Bandelow, who served Woodburn as a planning commissioner for about 13 years, retired from the planning commission last month.

Bandelow mentioned she will continue to contribute to short-term projects for the city, if any committee is in need of assistance.

However, she looks forward to traveling to Great Britain and Spain with her husband Robert, as they begin their retirement together.

“I have a very strong hunch that your days of public involvement are not over, even though you’re not on the planning commission, I think that’s you,” Jim Cox said to Bandelow at Jan. 27’s Woodburn City Council meeting. “Keep up the good work and you and Robert have happy travels.”

Mayor Kathy Figley appointed Frank Comer Dec. 9 to fill the empty seat at Bandelow’s suggestion.

Bandelow mentioned his background and familiarity with good organization will benefit the commission.

“He was impressive at meetings,” Bandelow said. “I liked the way he spoke, I liked the way he listened.”

During Bandelow’s time on the commission, she enjoyed watching the progress of Woodburn’s Interstate 5 project come together.

“After so many years of trying to get that interchange done and knowing what that’s going to do for Woodburn, and the difference it’s going to make in the look of our entrance, is amazing,” Bandelow said.

Bandelow stepped onto the planning commission around 1999 when Richard Jennings, Woodburn’s former mayor, approached her to fill a vacant seat.

Her interest in land use and city planning initiated her acceptance to his offer.

“The reward is that it does make you feel good,” said Bandelow. “You feel like you’re a part of the community. It always feels good if you can contribute something to your city — even if it’s small.”




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