The council-manager form of local government combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with the strong professional experience of an appointed local government manager.
The citizens of Ridgefield adopted the council-manager plan of government in 1999. Under this form of government, the elected officials are the community leaders and policy makers who establish a vision for the city and then appoint a city manager to carry out public policy and ensure that all residents are being well served.
The citizens of Ridgefield adopted the council-manager plan of government in 1999. Under this form of government, the elected officials are the community leaders and policy makers who establish a vision for the city and then appoint a city manager to carry out public policy and ensure that all residents are being well served. The council-manager form of local government combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with the strong professional experience of an appointed local government manager.
The City Council consists of seven members who are elected by the citizens of Ridgefield on a non-partisan basis for four-year terms. Elections are arranged so that three or four terms expire every two years. Council members have the responsibility of establishing policy to govern the City, adopting a budget for city revenues and expenditures, and performing all other actions necessary to govern the City, including the passage of ordinances and resolutions.
The Council is led by the Mayor, who is appointed biennially by the members of the Council. The Mayor serves as the chief spokesperson and head of the City government for public and ceremonial purposes. He presides at all Council meetings, votes as a Council member and does not have any veto power. He/she may sign legal instruments and documents on behalf of the City. He has no full-time administrative duties.
In April 2014, Council established an independent Salary Commission composed of five members to set the salary of the mayor and council members. Details about the Commission are in the Ridgefield Municipal Code, Chapter 2.62.
Meet the Council
Mayor Ron Onslow
Mr. Onslow started his journey at the University of Portland where he received a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Business and a minor in Psychology. Since then, he has managed Onslow’s Restaurant in Vancouver, owned and operated three other restaurants and one deli-bakery. On the side he was a coach for softball, swimming, and football. He also has collected vast board and commission experience as President and Board member of the Northwest Ski Club Council, Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Miss Washington pageant, American Softball Association, and Advisory Board for the Culinary School at Clark College. Throughout his impressive adulthood, he has been honored as Junior First Citizen of Vancouver, named to the Outstanding Young Men of America and Outstanding Employer for work done with the Vancouver School District. Ridgefield is very proud to call Mr. Onslow its Mayor.
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Councilor David Taylor
City Council member David Taylor is a long-term Ridgefield resident and became a member of the Ridgefield City Council in 2008.
David has been involved in numerous civic activities including Lion’s Club of Ridgefield, assistance with View Ridge Middle School Aviation STEM classes, organization of the Ridgefield Community Garden, member of the Oregon State Board of Engineering Examiners, committee on Fire Protection Policy and International Licensure, Governor’s appointment to the Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety, Civil Air Patrol, Mission Pilot, Search and Rescue.
David is a retired Engineer with professional licenses in Washington and Oregon in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering. He worked with a local Natural Gas Utility for 30 years in systems design, high-pressure transmission pipeline design, construction and project management, code compliance supervision and systems development design to meet the growth requirements.
David has served with many boards and organizations related to his profession including President, Professional Engineers of Oregon; National Vice-President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Director of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Board member and Treasurer of the Professional Engineers of Oregon Scholarship Fund.
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Councilor Lee Wells
Mr. Wells has been in the community over 60 years. He, along with his wife and their five children, is a graduate of Ridgefield High School. To date, he has had nine grandchildren in the Ridgefield school system. Mr. Wells retired from Columbia River Log Scaling & Grading Bureau after 44 years of service. He was President of Ridgefield Junction Neighborhood Association for six years and Legislative Director for Clark/Cowlitz Farm Bureau for six years. Mr. Wells has made several trips to Washington DC to discuss estate taxes, wildlife management and other community concerns. He and his wife, Geri, continue to run the family farm they bought in 1972. Mr. Wells is honored to have served as a Ridgefield City Council member for the past six years.
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Councilor Don Stose
Mr. Stose and his wife Sherry moved to Ridgefield eight years ago. He and Sherry have two children who are both married and enjoying their respective families. Mr. Stose retired from Toyota Motor Sales USA after enjoying a very successful career.
He was appointed to the Ridgefield City Council in 2008 and enjoys helping the City of Ridgefield move forward and become a more vibrant and prosperous city.
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Councilor Darren Wertz
Mr. Wertz holds degrees in economics from UCSD Revelle College and University of Oregon Graduate School. He is married to Ridgefield native Juanita (Finch), raised his family in Ridgefield and served the community and people of Clark County through Rotary, Boy Scouts, American Legion, Board of Equalization, as Planning Coordinator an Economist for Clark PUD and on the planning commission and City Council of Ridgefield.
Mr. Wertz has held licenses as Commercial Real Estate Broker, Washington State Water Manager III and Certified Cash Manager. He has served on the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol for over 18 years and is a decorated Army veteran.
Committed to “good government” Mr. Wertz strives to create for future generations a safe, prosperous, healthy and highly desirable place to live. He welcomes your input on how best to maintain and enhance our quality of life with the growth Ridgefield continues to experience.
Current focus areas are planning, business, employment/jobs, parks and trails.
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Councilor John Main
Mr. Main and his wife Tami moved to Ridgefield in 2007. They have five adult children. He served on the City of Ridgefield Planning Commission from June 2010 to September 2012 and has served as a Council Member since September 2012. Mr. Main worked in the electronics industry for 30 years and is currently enrolled in the Business Management degree program at Western Governors University and will graduate May 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Mr. Main is honored to serve the residents of Ridgefield as a city council member and desires to retain the historical relevance of Ridgefield as we grow into a larger community.
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Councilor Sandra Day
City Council Member Sandra Day has made her home in Ridgefield since 2008 and became a member of the Ridgefield City Council in 2012.
“As a member of the Ridgefield City Council, I am committed to using my business background, community involvement and civic experience to focus on economic development, regional transportation and infrastructure, and in maintaining the high level of city services and quality of life we have come to expect. I believe in managed growth for Ridgefield, one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington State. I have a special interest for parks, trails, and open spaces for quality of life and sustainability. It is an honor to serve the Ridgefield community.”
Since becoming a councilmember, Sandra has served with dozens of boards and organizations including Board Member, Columbia River Economic Development Commission 2014-2015; Association of Washington Cities Legislative Priorities Committee 2014-2015; Board Member North Salmon Creek Neighborhood Association where she owns investment property, 2012-2015; President, Rotary Club of Greenville, Texas; Leadership Greenville Graduate; Lions Club of Ridgefield; Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge; American Legion Auxiliary Post 44 Ridgefield; Ridgefield Big Paddle/National Trails Day Event Planning 2013-2015; Clark County Rental Association Member; and active in professional organizations, American Society of Training & Development (chapters in Texas, California, and NW) and Society of Human Resources Management (international).
Sandra has also offered her grant writing skills and consulting expertise, free of charge, to a variety of charities in Clark County including two local food pantries and Northwest Battle Buddies, a nonprofit for veterans. She obtained competitive funding for the trails improvement and for the historic mill within Whipple Creek Regional Park and continues to support parks, trails, and green spaces in Clark County by speaking to Clark County Commissioners and volunteering with Clark County Parks actively.
Sandra is a graduate of University of Dallas with an MBA. She retired from a major USA corporation in 2011. Her family has kept her hopping across the country since retirement visiting her two sons, six grandchildren, and extended family. She is a Stephen Ministry administrator in her church, caring for people in times of stress. She also spends her personal time gardening, traveling, and playing golf.
In 2012, Sandra was appointed to a first partial term (2012-2013) at a time when Ridgefield grew in population and Council was expanded from 5 to 7 members. Thereafter, she was elected to her first partial term on the Council (2014-2015). She will run in 2015 for a full four-year term (2016-2020).
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