There were some new seating arrangements at the Seaside City Council meeting Monday, Jan. 9.
At the far left, former planning commissioner Tom Horning was the newest councilor. On the other end, a vacant council seat remained awaiting a replacement for Mayor Jay Barber, who was appointed to the city’s top spot in December after the death of former Mayor Don Larson.
City Manager Mark Winstanley administered the oath of office Monday night to two returning councilors, Randy Frank and Seth Morrisey, and one new one, Horning.
Tita Montero, the senior member of the council, was nominated and unanimously elected council president.
At his first meeting Horning reiterated a goal put forth during his campaign: enhanced tsunami preparedness.
“One of the things I’ve noticed since the election is that people are coming out of the woodwork from all over,” Horning said. “Everybody’s focusing very much toward tsunami preparedness and I think there’s a great opportunity for Seaside to lead the rest of the Coast toward a high level of preparedness.”
With an opening to fill, councilors invited residents of Ward 1 to apply for the seat formerly occupied by Barber. Barber had served two years of his four-year council term.
Applicants must live in Seaside’s Ward 1 and have resided in the city for at least one year. Candidates must submit a written questionnaire and gather at least 10 supporting signatures from Ward 1 residents.
A 30-day filing deadline is expected, Winstanley said.
Two seats remain unfilled on the city’s seven-member Planning Commission with the departure of former Commissioner Horning and Robert Perkel. Two candidates, David Posalski and Teri Carpenter, submitted applications. Both were nominated for consideration.
“Serving on a commission or committee in Seaside is a wonderful opportunity,” City Manager Mark Winstanley said. “Everybody has an interest in something and we virtually have a committee for you, no matter what you’re interested in.”
Other openings include vacancies on the Civic and Convention Center Commission, the Community Center and Senior Commission, and the Transportation Advisory Committee. Former Councilor Don Johnson applied and was nominated for this vacancy.
Two candidates are also seeking one available seat on the city’s library board.
Montero stressed the need to invite new faces to fill vacancies. “We really can’t run and not just the city but all the organizations in town and I happen to be on several without volunteers,” she said. “Whatever we can do to encourage the youth of the community, we need their energy, their ideas. This is their future.”“Volunteers are what makes this community such a special community, people wanting to get involved and make the community better,” Councilor Dana Phillips said. “You can travel all over the United States and a lot of people don’t have the support we do.”