Richland City Councilman Gregory L. Jones will resign to take a job as the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant manager for operations at Los Alamos, N.M.
Jones’ resignation means that Dori Luzzo Gilmour has no active opposition for his seat in the November election.
Gilmour told the Herald she plans to apply to fill the remainder of Jones’ current term, which runs through Dec. 31.
Jones was elected in 2013. He is leaving his position as a nuclear safety team lead at DOE’s Richland Operations Office.
Jones will serve on the council through Aug. 28, with his last voting meeting Aug. 18, he said.
He was pleased to have been able to work on projects like getting state funding for the Duportail Street bridge over the Yakima River and a waterfront plan for the Columbia River, he said.
“My almost two years as councilman have been wonderful,” he said from an airplane as he prepared to leave Washington, D.C. “All the council and the public have been great to work with.”
Other Richland residents interested in the at-large position can apply on the city’s website. Contact the city clerk’s office at 509-942-7388 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The deadline to apply is Aug. 18.
It is too late to file to get on the ballot for the November election, according to the Benton County Auditor’s Office. Even though Jones is resigning, his name will appear with Gilmour’s on the ballot. People can still file to run as write-in candidates through Oct. 16.
“I really encourage people to get involved with the council and the city staff,” Jones said. “The feedback is very important to the city’s future.”
Gilmour, 41, is a Richland High School graduate who has spent most of her life in the city.
She is primarily a stay-at-home mom to three children ages 7, 5 and 2, but also works part-time with the school at Christ the King Catholic Church in Richland. She has been a member of the Richland Arts Commission for four years.
Gilmour loves devoting her time and talents to volunteering, she said. She wants to bring the voice of a mother who has devoted her life to living in Richland to the council.
“It’s a good time for me personally, and a great time for the city,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of good things going on.”
Gilmour sees revitalizing the Parkway and Uptown areas as crucial for Richland redevelopment. She was one of the first graduates of Washington State University Tri-Cities wine program in 2004 and wants to help make Richland the hub of wine in the state.
Gilmour is also a trail runner, passionate about the city’s parks, she said. She is also working with a group that’s trying to bring a children’s museum to Richland.
Gilmour was advised on running by councilmen Brad Anderson and Terry Christensen, who are longtime friends, she said.