As of Tuesday, August 12, 2014
MONMOUTH — The Monmouth City Council decided unanimously Aug. 6 to appoint Marshall Guthrie to fill the empty seat left when Ben Meyer moved out of city limits.
Royal Johnson, who served on the Monmouth City Council from 1982-1986, and Gerard Blankenheim also sought appointment.
Ultimately, councilors liked that Guthrie was very forward-thinking, had a “wide perspective for his age,” and was competent.
Guthrie, 35, said that when he first moved to Monmouth he was unemployed and found himself a “street wanderer,” riding his bicycle around town at all hours of the day.
“I no longer rode by a park and thought it magically appeared,” he said. “I started realizing the work that goes into it.”
Guthrie, also a member of the city’s budget committee, said he wants to preserve Monmouth’s good fiscal standing while still getting things done. On a personal note, he said he wants to keep the community one that welcomes a wide variety of people.
Guthrie, director of the student enrichment program (TRIO) at Western Oregon University, said he sees many people who work at WOU and choose to live elsewhere.
If he could change something about Monmouth, Guthrie said he would want to make it the first choice for people to put down roots.
Soliciting businesses could help, he said.
Working with students, Guthrie said he sees the transient population.
“If those kids have a good time, they’ll stay here at night or on weekends,” he said. “They may even stick around after graduation.”
He said having council meetings broadcast on YouTube was a good start to helping inform and engage the community, noting that other social media options, including the city’s Facebook page, could be used more effectively.
Guthrie said he is collecting the needed signatures to run for the council seat in the November election.
Meanwhile, he will be sworn in and officially seated at the Aug. 19 council meeting. The appointment ends Dec. 31.