MONMOUTH — Diversity and qualifications for city commission and committee members were the big topic at the Oct. 5 Monmouth City Council meeting.

The goals are to increase diversity of gender, age, length of time in the community, and experience; and to appoint members who understand the roles of the committees and commissions.

Discussion is in the early stages. Councilors seemed to agree on application periods of about three weeks, posting of openings as “open until filled,” and forwarding all applications at a set review date.

Councilor Roxanne Beltz, a former member of the Culture and Arts Commission, said she “would have loved” seeing its charter before applying for a seat on it. She also said that residency requirements should be considered but that the council should not rush into a decision.

Currently the Planning Commission is the only body that requires residency in Monmouth.

City Attorney Lane Shetterly said a city code amendment would be the only action needed to require residency for the other bodies.

There was general agreement that application forms should include questions about applicants’ interests and backgrounds.

Councilor Rebecca Salinas-Oliveros suggested making a video about the committee and commissions to guide people interested in joining them.

Councilor Christopher Lopez suggested that for some of the bodies, non-residents could be invited to discuss issues but not vote.

Mayor Cecilia Koontz said she would redraft the proposal and confer again with City Recorder Phyllis Bolman.

In other business, the council voted to make a favorable recommendation to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Circle K’s application for a license to carry alcoholic beverages.

During the comment period toward the end of the meeting, Councilor John Oberst said the city should inquire on the status of a grant application to the state for school safety matters.

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