Less than two weeks after taking office in 2009, I posted on this blog a request for applicants to be considered for the two vacant citizen spots on the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) User Board, one to represent the area of Multnomah County west of the Willamette River, and the other to represent the area from the Willamette River east to 122nd Avenue. The User Board reviews proposed policy changes and advises the Director and/or the Commissioner-in-Charge regarding other matters which may arise in connection with the 911 system operations. After an extensive review of the individuals expressing interest, which included a questionnaire and evaluation by BOEC director Lisa Turley, my office liaison to BOEC, and the User Board Chair (at that time) Bill Collins, citizen volunteer Barb Hedlund was asked to serve on the User Board to represent the area east of the Willamette River.
The west side citizen representative subsequently resigned, and a retiring agency member of the User Board who lives in the designated area was appointed to serve as the volunteer member for the west side.
Recently, a second inner-eastside citizen began attending User Board meetings at the invitation of the new chair, Police Chief Ken Johnson of Fairview. There was uncertainty over which volunteer should serve. On Thursday July 7, the BOEC User Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting. The members discussed the contested citizen representative seat. Each candidate made a brief statement, then the Board discussed and voted. Barb Hedlund was approved by the Board, with one dissenting vote.
Although usually I would consider it healthy to have two candidates contesting this position that has often gone unfilled in the past, I am concerned that the media has distorted information on this matter. I am pleased that the User Board, using their independent judgment, confirmed the original nominee for this volunteer position.