During her first term on the Hermiston City Council, Lori Davis and her fellow councilors tackled some significant and sometimes controversial issues. Davis showed she is ready to take on more when she filed for a second term.
Davis, who will be facing challenger Jesus Rome in the May 20 primary for the Ward 1 seat, said she’s enjoyed her four years on the council and is looking forward to four more if the voters give her a second term.
Davis, who is an executive support specialist with Two River Correctional Institution, said her first term had plenty of attention-getting issues that came before the council, including the controversy regarding the former police chief, Dan Coulombe. The council came under fire for not addressing complaints within the department about Coulombe’s management style.
A report by former Hillsboro Police Chief Ron Louie concluded Coulombe “fostered an organizational culture of fear.” The controversy helped spark an unsuccessful recall effort against then-Mayor Bob Severson and several councilors – Davis was not among those targeted in the recall effort.
“The police chief issue was pretty intense,” she said. “I found it very difficult to be thought of as corrupt. The citizens and police associations blamed the city for not taking action about the previous chief. I am certain that the right choice was made in appointing Chief (Jason) Edmiston as our new police chief.”
Davis said one positive outcome from the controversy was a renewed interest among citizens in city government.
“The involvement from citizens regarding city business has grown tremendously,” she said. “I have enjoyed seeing that.”
Davis said the city has a number of critical issues facing it in the near future, including the appointment of a new city manager to replace Ed Brookshier, who is retiring at the end of the year. Other significant projects Davis is looking forward to working on include the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center (“I would love to see this project complete.”), the completion of the recycled wastewater treatment plant, as well as the Oxbow Trail, and the issue of medical marijuana,
“The issue is not only in Hermiston, but all of the United States,” she said.
Davis said the current city government deserves credit for being fiscally responsible and embracing diversity.
“In general the city of Hermiston is very strong financially and future growth has been always part of Hermiston’s agenda,” she said. “And Hermiston is very aware of the need for cultural diversity and was a frontrunner in creating the Hispanic Advisory Committee.”
Davis, who has lived in Hermiston for more than 40 years, said she wants voters to know she values “open and honest communications” and that she will continue to “strive to continuously improve our city.”
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