Stephanie Groom has been selected to replace Humberto Rodriguez on the Prosser City Council.
Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to appoint Groom to the seat vacated when Rodriguez resigned in late July. Rodriguez said he could not find a home within city limits for his growing family.
Groom will serve until 2017, when she will have the chance to stand for election to the remainder of Rodriguez’s four-year term, which began in January.
Groom, 48, an accounting and human relations manager with Chukar Cherries, said she wanted to continue the city’s efforts to grow while maintaining its small-town ambiance, as well as bring a fresh perspective to the governing body.
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She was one of five candidates to apply for the empty seat. The others were Rebecca Grove, John Schroeder, Joe Castillo and Rebecca “Reba” Fink.
Castillo, 37, a diesel mechanic with RDO Equipment and a volunteer firefighter with the West Benton Fire-Rescue, said he wanted to bring the perspective of younger residents and Hispanics to the city government.
Fink, 44, is a school bus driver with the Prosser School District. She wanted to help promote the city and its events, as well as work on providing more activities for youth.
Schroeder, 67, retired from the vice president’s position with Milne Fruit in January 2015. He wanted to use his business experience to help with the city’s budget process.
Grove, 28, a homemaker who previously worked for Amazon, said she wanted to bring the perspective of younger people and those wanting to start businesses to the council.
The selection was the first since a USDA Rural Development audit recommended city officials reach out more to women and Hispanics when vacancies open on the council. The audit, based on the council’s early 2015 makeup, found that the governing body consisted solely of non-Hispanic white men and recommended that vacancies be advertised in Spanish and English.
In November, Rodriguez and Mary Ruth Edwards were elected to the governing body.