City Council Confirms Nordyke Appointment

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UPDATE, October 29, 2019

In its first decision of the evening, the Salem City Council approved Vanessa Nordyke by a 7-2 margin to fill the remaining term as Ward 7 City Councilor. Nordyke was sworn in and seated last night, but will have an official swearing in later with her family present.

UPDATE, October 28, 2019

At tonight's (October 28, 2019) Salem City Council meeting, Council will consider a recommendation to reopen voting on who will fulfill the remainder of the Ward 7 term vacated by Sally Cook. The recommendation is the result of an error in interpreting the City Charter and Council Rules.

City Manager Steve Powers issued the following statement:

"In reviewing the appointment process from Monday, October 21, we recognized an error was made in determining that a majority vote had been reached on the appointment of Vanessa Nordyke to the Ward 7 vacancy. Both the City Charter and Council Rules require a council vacancy appointment be made by a vote of a majority of the council. In this case, that is five votes (5 of 8).

"At the October 28, 2019, meeting there will be an item recommending that City Council reopen the vote in order to reach a majority. Council Rules also provide that when there are more than three recommended applicants and no one reaches a majority in the original ballot, the next ballot will only have the two applicants that received the most votes. In this case, that means only Mr. Sund and Ms. Nordyke will appear on the ballot.

"We are sorry for this error and the confusion it has caused."

The City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Room 240, Salem Civic Center, 555 Liberty Street SE.

Vanessa Nordyke to fill remainder of Ward 7 term

​On October 21, 2019, the Salem City Council selected Vanessa Nordyke to fulfill the remainder of the Ward 7 term vacated by Sally Cook.

The term expires December 31, 2020. 

The Council received a unanimous recommendation from its Boards and Commissions Appointment Committee to interview Bonnie Heitsch, Vanessa Nordyke, and Reid Sund at their special City Council meeting on October 21.  

After Bonnie Heitsch withdrew on Monday, the City Council interviewed both Nordyke and Sund. Councilors asked questions of the candidates about their views on the most pressing priorities for Salem, familiarity with other organizations in our community, motivations for the work each does in our community, improvements to communications and approaches to decision making.

Nordyke received the majority of votes cast and was subsequently sworn into office for the joint City Council-Urban Renewal Agency Work Session on financial incentives for job creation and affordable housing.  

Cook announced her resignation effective October 1, 2019. The Salem City Council is composed of one representative from each of Salem's 8 wards and the Mayor. All members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve as unpaid volunteers.

In addition to twice monthly City Council meetings, members of Council may participate in many community activities and meetings, including workshops, neighborhood association meetings, committee meetings, and other events.

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