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. 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 Don Stose
(Position 4, Term expires 2021) Mr. Stose and his wife Sherry moved to Ridgefield in 2005. 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 Ron Onslow
(Position 1, Term expires 2021) 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.
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Councilor Dana Ziemer
(Position 2, Term expires 2023) Ms. Ziemer holds a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Western Oregon University. She spent most of her career working with at-risk youth in treatment centers as well as with an outdoor therapy program. Currently, she partners with one other woman in a solely female owned and operated business. Ms. Ziemer moved to Ridgefield with her family in 2011. Since then, she has worked in Ridgefield School District, volunteered on many school and city committees and volunteers for local Ridgefield events. She is a member of the Ridgefield Lions Club and works with the Ridgefield Arts Association.
With her wilderness experience and love of the outdoors, Ms. Ziemer has a special interest in City parks and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Her passion for kids and experience in the schools will be a great asset to the council when partnering and working with the Ridgefield School District.
Ms. Ziemer was elected to City Council in 2020. As a councilmember, Ms. Ziemer will advocate for smart growth plans, support the Port of Ridgefield in bringing quality jobs to Ridgefield and wants to be a mentor and positive example for future women leaders in government.
Contact at Dana.Ziemer@ci.ridgefield.wa.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.
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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@ci.ridgefield.wa.us
Councilor Jennifer Lindsay
(Position 6, Term expires 2021) 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.
City Council Member Jennifer Lindsay was appointed to Council in October 2018 when a vacancy occurred due to a resignation. She was elected in 2019 for a full four year term.
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Councilor Sandra Day
(Position 7, Term expires 2023) Ms. 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, Ms. Day 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).
Ms. Day 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.
Ms. Day 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, Councilor Day 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. She has served as an elected member of City Council since 2014.
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