It’s being reported that another four people are stepping forward to contend for one of the two open seats on the Rainier City Council. Today’s Daily News reports that Jeremy Howell, Eugene Murphy, LaNita Hetland and Robert Piercy are joining the five previously announced candidates for the seats opened up by last month’s recall of Russ Moon and Dave Langford. Brian Abel, David Sills, James Bradfield, Michael Kelly Miller and Michael Kreger had previously been announced as candidates. Applications for the open seats will continue to be accepted through the 25th of this month. It’s now planned that the remaining City Council members will appoint a citizens’ committee at a meeting set for the 23rd, then that panel will interview and rank the candidates on the 30th. The City Council will then make selections from those rankings at their first meeting in February.
At last night’s meeting, the City Council also took action to appoint Debbie Dudley as the interim City Administrator, and could give her the job on a permanent basis if she performs acceptably. TDN reports that the vote to give the job to Dudley for the next six months was unanimous, saying that it’s time to have someone available to direct staff and advise the City Council. Dudley will also continue as Rainier’s finance director; she will continue at her current salary for the next six months, then the City Council will evaluate her performance. Dudley says that her initial priorities are to make sure that Rainier’s government runs efficiently, to promote growth, and to listen to citizens. She says that she hopes that the city can get past its recent turmoil, and is looking forward to the future. Dudley replaces Lars Gare, who was fired in July after a “no confidence” vote from the City Council.