Three more apply for Darrow’s City Council seat

Three new applicants submitted their bids to take the current council vacancy after Councilor Rich Rosenthal last week proposed extending the deadline a week.
Stephen Jensen, Katherine Gosnell and Alex Whitnell joined the pool to replace Councilor Traci Darrow Tuesday as the application process closed for the second time at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Jensen, a Vietnam veteran, said in his application he has lived in Ashland since 1972, when he came back from his tour serving as a medic. He listed homeless population, affordable housing, the city’s budget, public works projects, watershed safety and city’s buildings as some of the pressing issues in the city. Jensen currently serves as chair on Ashland Forest Lands Commission, district coordinator for Ashland Food Project and as a member of the Trails Master Plan committee, according to his application.
Gosnell is an Oregon Shakespeare Festival manager who wants to be “a part of thoughtful and inclusive solutions” for Ashland, her application reads. She listed affordable housing as the biggest issue the city is facing. Gosnell currently serves as a board member of a nonprofit called Siskiyou Music Project in Ashland.
Whitnell, a Chicago native who settled in Ashland in 2015, is a veteran who wants to represent working class people, families, parents and minorities in the city, according to his application. Whitnell volunteers at the Humane Society while also participating in other local social events. He listed a number of issues in his application as priorities, including affordable housing, climate change and drug addiction. Whitnell also wants to find ways to strengthen tourism in Ashland and explore opportunities for the youth population.
The council received four applications during the first application window which closed April 9.
Tonya Graham and George Kramer had previously been selected as finalists in the appointment process for Councilor Greg Lemhouse’ seat. Theodore White, an academic coach at Southern Oregon University, also reapplied. Josephina Sarah Baker wants to be a councilor who is “open-minded, fair in judging issues and impartial when possible.”
The council will appoint Darrow’s replacement May 1, without going through an interviewing process, in order to be in compliance with the city’s ordinance requiring a replacement councilor be named within 60 days from a vacancy.
—Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.

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