Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

A businessman who wants to use his experience to help improve the community was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Baker City Council Tuesday night.

Randy Schiewe, 48, of 530 Foothill Drive, was sworn in and took his chair among the council members after Councilor Loran Joseph gave his support to Schiewe to break a two-way tie.

In the first vote Tuesday night, the six councilors split their votes between Schiewe and a second candidate, Morgan DeCarl, a Baker City social worker. Retired businessman Raymond Rienks, a third candidate, received no votes.

DeCarl was nominated for the position at the Council’s June 12 meeting, but the motion to appoint her failed in a 3-3 vote.

Joseph and councilors Adam Nilsson and Rosemary Abell voted in favor of DeCarl’s appointment and Mayor Mike Downing and councilors Jim Thomas and Arvid Andersen voted against the motion.

The decision was delayed until Tuesday’s meeting to allow councilors to gather more information about the candidates.

All three addressed the Council before the vote was taken.

The same three councilors initially voted in favor of DeCarl Tuesday night with the other three casting their votes in support of Schiewe.

Nilsson said that while he was impressed with all three candidates, he felt very strongly about his support for DeCarl because of her concern for people rather than business or other issues.

Andersen, on the other hand, said he supported Schiewe, whose parents operate a ranch at Hereford, because of his agricultural background.

Andersen and Nilsson encouraged all three candidates to run for one of the four council seats up for election, including the one filled Tuesday night, in November. The deadline to file for candidacy is Aug. 28, City Recorder Julie Smith told the candidates. Three four-year terms and one two-year term will be on the ballot.

The deadlock over the two candidates ended during Tuesday’s meeting when Joseph changed his mind.

“I feel fortunate that we have the candidates we have,” he said. “In the interest of moving forward, I will change my vote and vote for Mr. Schiewe.”

See more in the June 27, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.