Citizen volunteers: The heartbeat of Woodburn

I’ve been thinking about those individuals who work hard to better our community; mostly without fanfare or recognition. Woodburn wouldn’t be the great city it is without our fantastic volunteers. People should know that Woodburn is fortunate to have many people who commit to making a difference in our city. Our volunteers give freely of their time and do so purely to benefit our community.

There are many avenues where individuals can volunteer, but an area I would like to highlight this week is Woodburn’s various volunteer committees. Those serving on committees give countless hours of their own time, usually after work or on weekends, to make Woodburn a better place to live, do business and try to attract people and commerce to this wonderful city.

Our committees provide citizen-driven community input and direction to a variety of important programs, decisions and services. In Woodburn, committee members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council for defined terms.

Here is a look at your committees and their membership, and remember to thank a volunteer for their service the next time you see them:

The Woodburn Budget Committee is: Eric Swenson, Dagmar Kinne, Matthew Geiger, Stanley Milne, Don Judson and John Reinhardt. Along with the Woodburn City Council, these individuals help decide how your tax dollars are spent.

The Woodburn Library Board is: J.D. Mitchoff, Kristen Berkey Matthews, Nancy Kirksey, Neal Hawes, Willis Grafe, Phyllis McKean and Fabiola Gavina Zavala (student member). We have one of the best libraries around and in part, it is because of these individuals. Our library has programs for all ages, is open six days a week and continues to add new programs.

The Woodburn Mural Committee is: Lazaro Ybarra, Merri Berlin, Colleen Vancil, Frank Lonergan and Jim Cox. This group just approved Woodburn’s first-ever mural, which will be painted along all sides of the CAPACES Leadership Institute. As murals become more and more popular (see Silverton), this committee will have a lot to do with the shaping of Woodburn’s image.

The Woodburn Planning Commission is: Patti Grigorieff, Claudio Lima, Charles Piper, Erubiel Valladares, Sharon Corning, Ellen Bandelow and Robert Carney. This board decides certain land-use actions, such as subdivisions, conditional uses and large design reviews, as well as making decisions on variances. They also make recommendations to the City Council on annexations and legislative amendments that deal with land use.

The Recreation and Parks Board is: Brent Glogau, Sofie Velasquez (student position), Joseph Nicoletti, Rosetta Wangerin, Bruce Thomas, Ardis Knauf and Gevin Gregory. This advisory board reviews programs, policies and procedures and make recommendations from the citizens to the City Council pertaining to parks and recreation.

As you can see, we have a lot of individuals doing a whole lot of work for Woodburn. There are countless other volunteers that I just don’t have the space to name right now (maybe a topic of another blog). If any of these committees interests you, come to City Hall and pick up a board/council application. You can also find them on our website:

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