Former mayor Morrison is appointed to Talent Council

Former Ashland Mayor John Morrison was appointed by the City Council Wednesday to fill a vacant seat on the six-member council. The vote for approval was unanimous.

Position 3 became vacant in January when Councilman Brian Roberts submitted his resignation. Roberts is now under investigation for a complaint to the state Elections Division, which will not comment on cases until investigations are complete.

Morrison was interviewed by the council at its March 3 meeting because he was out of town for Wednesday's session. Candidates Chris Auer, a mental health counselor, and Donald Dougherty, a member of the town's Centennial Committee, were interviewed before the meeting.

"This is a good opportunity as I look at it, having been a community development director, a city councilman and a mayor, to use my experience," said Morrison. "We're starting a budget cycle soon. My first order of business will be ... getting in-depth knowledge about specific Talent issues."

Morrison served as Ashland's mayor from 2004 to 2008, and was on the City Council there for the previous four years. In the mid-1990s he was publisher of the Phoenix-Talent Record newspaper. He worked in community development for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.

From the fourth grade on Morrison grew up in Talent and recently resumed living in town. He is a past president of the city's historical society and also served on the city's Parks and Recreation Commission in the mid-1900s in a non-resident position on that board.

Morrison said earlier he would not seek the position, which will be up for vote in November's election. He also said he would not run for mayor.

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