City Council meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month (first and third Thursday in November and December) at 6:30 PM in the Columbia Assembly Room at the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center, 510 Pioneer St. You may also join the meeting via Zoom:
Second/First Thursday: Click here to join the meeting
Telephone: +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 881 6942 1431
Fourth/Third Thursday: Click here to join the meeting
Telephone: +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 862 1099 4912
** RCW 9.41.305 – It is unlawful for a person to knowingly open carry any weapon including, but not limited to, a firearm, knife, stun gun, or other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250, into any location housing a public meeting or hearing.
Vision for the City of Ridgefield
Vision Statement: Connecting our historic past with a healthy future where people, nature, and business flourish together.
Mission Statement: Committed to providing the community with superior services, building on the proud history, and meeting the challenges that shape our future.
Ridgefield City Council Professional Code of Conduct
The Ridgefield community is entitled to a fair, ethical and accountable local government. The general public should have full confidence that their elected and appointed officials:
- Are good stewards of the public’s trust and committed to serving in the best interest of the Ridgefield community;
- Comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies affecting the operations of city government;
- Are independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions;
- Use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain; and
- Conduct public deliberations and processes openly, unless required by law to be confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility
Click here to read the Professional Code of Conduct for City Councilors. It describes core values: the traits and qualities that represent our highest priorities. These values are the fundamental forces that define our behavior.
This document also creates a system which enables City Councilors and city residents to seek guidance and redress regarding potential violations of this Code of Conduct.
The City of Ridgefield recognizes the great value of diversity of culture, background, race, language, ability, age, gender identity, economic status, religion and other factors. This means:
- The City recognizes the role that government can play in breaking down barriers to equitable access to opportunities.
- We continually celebrate the diverse community different individuals cultivate.
- We are committed to ensuring fair and equitable access to City programs, services, and employment.
- Elected officials and staff will continually work with the Ridgefield community towards economic, civic and social justice.
All City staff are committed to the following values:
We will treat every person with respect and dignity. Always. We celebrate and embrace diversity and respect each person’s individuality, opinions, feelings and unique talents. Our workplace is to be a shelter from violence, threats, harassment of any kind, discrimination, retribution, bullying and abuse. Every person who comes in contact with a City of Ridgefield employee, including other employees, can expect honesty, fair dealing and courtesy. No amount of authority, status or power can excuse anyone in our organization from treating another with rudeness, humiliation or disrespect. Ever.
Council has adopted seven organizational goals that provide direction for staff and policy decisions to continue to better serve residents.
Goal #1 : Plan and Manage the Growth of the City
The City should prepare for, plan, and manage the expected growth and its impacts – so that Ridgefield is recognized for its livability, natural environment, and innovative local economy.
Goal #2: Revitalize Downtown as a Destination Location
Create a vibrant downtown destination location that provides quality merchandise, service, and activities within an ambience that is unique to Ridgefield and not readily available elsewhere including a walkable downtown, small town character and regularly scheduled social events.
Goal #3: Create and Maintain Economic Stability for the City
Provide for a “complete community” where people can live, work, shop, and play. Build a robust economy that provides a wealth of living wage employment opportunities for residents.
Goal #4: Assure the City’s infrastructure is able to Meet Growing Community Needs
Plan for, manage and maintain the City’s infrastructure (access, streets, water/sewer, etc.), schools, transportation, and City services to meet the population and business growth.
Goal #5: Retain Culture and History of Ridgefield
Build upon the City’s friendly inviting small-town atmosphere, existence, and appearance of historic elements of the community, walkable main streets, and animated storefronts by preserving and enhancing them in a way that recovers, uncovers, and celebrates its history.
Goal #6: Maximize the City’s Natural Resources and Attractions
Integrate the area’s natural resources such as the Wildlife Refuge, archeological resources, waterfront area, the Lewis & Clark and Native American connections and the building environments. Maintain a healthy environment with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and public access to the waterfront; and promote Ridgefield as a place to visit for outdoor recreation and appreciation of the area’s natural assets.
Goal #7: Actively Engage and Communicate with the Ridgefield Community
Create a community where the City works collaboratively with and listens to residents, organizations, and businesses to develop meaningful solutions to complex issues, realize sustainable visions for the City’s future and increase the capacity of the community to do something better by ensuring an open and accountable government, providing timely information on issues that impact the community and offering continuous public engagement opportunities.
Meet the Council
Mayor Jennifer Lindsay
(Position 6, Term expires 2025) Ms. Lindsay holds a B.A. in Political Science from Portland State University, has more than 10 years of experience working with schools and local government, and demonstrated her leadership skills on the City’s Planning Commission from 2016-2018. In her nine years as a resident of Ridgefield Ms. Lindsay dedicated much of her time to volunteering with service groups such as Ridgefield Lions, the 4th of July Committee and the Booster Club. She is interested in keeping the rural feel surrounding our town as the City grows, a trail system network that creates a draw to the region and maintaining the historical, small town atmosphere of downtown.
Mayor Jennifer Lindsay has served on City Council since 2019.
Contact at Jennifer.Lindsay@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Ron Onslow
(Position 1, Term expires 2025) 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.
Contact at Ron.Onslow@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Clyde Burkle
(Position 2 Term expires 2023) Clyde Burkle has lived in Ridgefield for 19 years. Burkle has served on the Civil Service Commission, Salary Commission, and Budget Review Board. He is a member of the Ridgefield Lions Club and helped found the Ridgefield Food Project (Green Bag Project). Burkle was also recently a finalist for the inaugural Make A Difference Award. His favorite place to spend time is Downtown Ridgefield, and he enjoys walking the waterfront trail to the Refuge, then back to Downtown along Main Ave. Prior to moving to Ridgefield, Burkle spent 42 years in management with the Kmart Corporation.
Burkle was appointed due to vacancy on the Council May, 2023, and will sit for election to retain his seat 2023.
Contact at Clyde.Burkle@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Lee Wells
(Position 3, Term expires 2023) 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 since 2008.
Contact at Lee.Wells@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Matt Cole
(Position 4, Term expires 2025) Mr. Cole has served on the Ridgefield Planning Commission as well as represented Ridgefield on the Clark County Mosquito Control Board. In 2021, Cole was the citizen advisor to the Budget Advisory Committee. He has coached baseball, served on advisory boards at both Clark College and Washington State University Vancouver, and participates in local community business events. Cole enjoys the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, attending Ridgefield Raptors games, spending time in Downtown, and visiting the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
Cole was appointed due to vacancy on the Council April, 2022, and will sit for election to retain his seat 2023.
Contact at Matt.Cole@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Rob Aichele
(Position 5, Term expires 2023) Mr. Aichele started his career by completing a carpenter’s apprenticeship at the Pacific NW Carpenters Institute in Portland Oregon in 1990. Through skill advancement trainings he became a Superintendent for Skanska where he worked for almost 27 years on complex projects with Intel, PDX airport, Salem Hospital, Canby schools and many others. He then took a position as a Representative for the Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters where he worked until his retirement in 2018.
Mr. Aichele married his high school sweetheart Tana and they raised 3 children and have lived in Clark County for over 30 years.
Mr. Aichele moved to Ridgefield in 2015 where he became an active member of the Lion’s Club. Mr. Aichele was appointed to the City’s Planning Commission in 2019 and was elected to City Council in 2020. As a Councilmember his focus is achieving greater employment opportunities, expanding trail and sidewalk connectivity to enhance public safety and to keep downtown vibrant.
Contact at Rob.Aichele@ridgefieldwa.us
Councilor Judy Chipman
(Position 7, Term expires 2023) Judy Chipman grew up in Ridgefield and moved back to the area 9 years ago. Chipman served on the Columbia Credit Union Board of Directors for 9 years and retired from Bonneville Power Administration in 2017. In 2018, Chipman was appointed to the Ridgefield Planning Commission. Chipman enjoys attending Raptors games, walking her neighborhood, and enjoying the small-town atmosphere of Ridgefield.
Chipman was appointed due to a vacancy on the Council in July, 2021, and will sit for election for a full term in 2023.
Contact at Judy.Chipman@ridgefieldwa.us
RIDGEFIELD FORM OF GOVERNMENT
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. They preside at all Council meetings, vote as a Council member and do not have any veto power. They may sign legal instruments and documents on behalf of the City. They have 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.