Friday, June 17, 2011

Bellevue fills 1 of 2 open council seats

Janet Duffy moved to city 6 months ago

Express Staff Writer

Janet Duffy

After moving to Bellevue six months ago, Janet Duffy got involved. She was sworn in two weeks ago as a city councilwoman for a two-year term.

There now is one vacant seat remaining on the council, created by the resignation of Brett Gelskey last week. Gelskey stepped down to avoid any potential conflict of interest with the appointment of his brother Brad Gelskey as the new city marshal.

"My husband was a career Army officer so we have lived in a lot of places," Duffy said. She grew up in Salem, Ore., and has lived in locales including Bend, Ore.; Bozeman, Mont., and Waha, Idaho, located in the hills south of Lewiston.

"I think Bellevue is unique in this valley, in that it is occupied by people who live and work here. I have been amazed at how friendly and open everyone has been. It truly is the 'Silver City with the Golden Heart,'" she said.

Duffy said she thinks it is important to make sure that growth in Bellevue, as the city works its way out of the recession, is responsible and happens in a way that the city likes.

"We have budget problems like everyone and we have to make some hard decisions. The council, city department heads and mayor are dedicated to making sure they are smart for the short- and the long-term," she said.

Duffy said her professional career was in the fields of chemical engineering and pharmaceutical research. She worked as a research scientist and analytical chemist, conducted pharmaceutical research in controlled-release drug delivery, held jobs in the chemical-petrochemical field and did short stints in membrane technology, botany pathology and forestry.

"Because I am new to Bellevue, I feel I bring a fresh set of eyes and ears to the council. I have lived in several small towns and I may be able to offer alternatives that other communities used in similar situations. I enjoy talking to people and listening to their stories. I believe in a team approach to solving problems. Bellevue has an incredible, very talented city government and I feel honored to be a small part of it," she said.

Council Chairman Dave Hattula said Duffy had been attending city council meetings regularly prior to expressing an interest in serving on the council.

"We are very fortunate to have her. We are looking for people who are willing to serve and arm themselves with information for the position," Hattula said.

Hattula said no formal applications, in the form of letters of interest, have been sent to city hall to fill the remaining seat.

"It is an open proposition," he said.

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