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Conservation Leader Appointed to Newport City Council
January 11, 2013
When Newport City Councilor and OLCV endorsed candidate Sandy Roumigoux won the Newport Mayoral race it opened up a seat on the Newport City Council. Like many vacancies in local jurisdictions the remaining members of the governing body appoint someone to fill the vacancy. That is exactly what happened Monday night when the remaining Newport City Councilors spoke with candidates and made their choice. OLCV was thrilled by the choice and we are glad to let you know that long time OLCV friend and member, Mark Saelens, is now on the Newport City Council.
Mark is a native Oregonian and a long-time advocate for our forests, oceans, and coastal communities. While working as a marine scientist in Newport he met and married his wife. Mark left his work with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2007 and since then has worked as the manager of the Lincoln County Solid Waste District (recycling, composting and all that great stuff) and servers the Lincoln County Sustainability Coordinator. You can read more about Mark here.
After leaving state services, Mark found plenty of time to get involved in numerous local environmental efforts. That is when OLCV first got to meet and work with Mark. In late 2008 he joined our local chapter and became a member of the steering committee.
Mark’s extensive background and experience in natural resources here in Oregon, on the state and federal levels, and his commitment to sustainability make his appointment to the Newport City Council a big win for Oregon’s natural legacy. His work with organizations from all over the area and from many different backgrounds makes him someone who can work across the political spectrum, which is needed in a time where we often see issues become very polarized.
When asked why he put in for this appointment, he was very thoughtful, stating that while he had been approached several times in the past to run for election on the local level, he wanted to wait until he would have the time and resources to really put in to the responsibility of being an elected official.
Right away, Mark is already getting to work on important issues, like drafting language for a local ban on single use plastic bags at the checkout stands, which was referred to the voters by the previous council. OLCV looks forward to working with Mark Saelens on this issue and others in his new role as Newport City Councilor.
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I vote for pro-environmental candidates because we can’t afford to sacrifice long-term stewardship for short-term gains.
Gil Wistar, OLCV Supporter