Recruitment will continue for the Douglas County Parks Advisory Board, Parks Director Rocky Houston said Tuesday.
There are now two open positions on the board, as board member Jim Peterson announced he’s stepping down for personal reasons. Dennis Acton had stepped down in September, leading to a recruitment that brought in just two applicants.
Two people applied for Acton’s post by the September deadline. They are Umpqua Valley Audubon Society President Diana Wales and Roseburg attorney Robert B. Johnson. Wales applied for a spot on the board in 2016, but wasn’t chosen.
Houston said a second round of recruitment will be completed before the Douglas County commissioners are asked to make appointments for either position.
The position Wales and Johnson applied for represents Central Douglas County, including Roseburg, and both are Roseburg residents. The position vacated by Peterson is an at-large position, Houston said.
Wales is a retired attorney and a member of the Roseburg Parks and Recreation Commission. Johnson is a 2014 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, and an associate attorney at DC Law, where he primarily represents clients in personal injury cases. He’s also the treasurer for the Douglas County Bar Association.
Johnson grew up in Portland before being recruited for Umpqua Community College men’s basketball team in 2006. He has also served as a JV coach for the Douglas High School boys basketball team and is on the scholarship review team for the Ford Family Foundation Ford Scholars Program.
He wrote in his application that he continually hears concern in the community over park funding, and said he wants to be part of making the tough decisions.
“I grew up in a place that lacked parks and natural beauty and now as an adult living in Douglas County, I recognize what (a) gift it is to be able to enjoy our parks and outdoor recreation,” he wrote.
Wales wrote in her application she has been regularly attending parks board meetings since 2013, when she was recruited to serve on the Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Planning Committee. She continued because she became interested in the parks system.
“I value the county parks as important community assets and support sound planning for and development of parks throughout the county,” she wrote.
Last time Wales applied, the board had four vacancies and a large pool of applicants. A parks board subcommittee administered a test and said the top four scorers would be recommended to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
In a surprise move, the parks board backed off that promise once the test results were in, forwarding all applications without recommendation. The county commissioners subsequently appointed the top three scorers, declined to appoint Wales and reopened the search. Wales said last month she’d be “pleasantly surprised” if she were appointed to the board this time around.