Phil Mella Returns to Woodland City Council
By Beth Dodd
Phil Mella was appointed to fill the city council seat vacated by Gary Brovetto in a unanimous vote at the March Woodland Park City Council meeting. Mella will serve 13 months before his term expires, but will have the option to run for a new four-year term in April 2016. His past experiences on the city council and the city planning commission gave him a strong advantage over newbie hopefuls Patricia Sinclair and Robin Pasley.
Mella previously served on the Woodland Park City Council from 2002 to 2008, and was the mayor pro tem for four of those years. Mella, a veteran of the health care industry for 35 years and a current member of the planning commission, leaves an empty seat on that board that will have to be filled in the near future. Mella was the runner-up in the competition for mayor last summer when Neil Levy replaced David Turley.
Mella’s competitors, Patricia Sinclair, the director of the Clothes Closet and senior pastor for Living Streams Church and a former chamber of commerce director, and Robin Pasley, an interior designer and vocal music performing artist, were praised for their achievements and encouraged to find other ways to become involved in civic efforts.
As expected, the council interviewed all three candidates, who were sequestered while waiting their turn so as not to be influenced by the other’s interviews. The council’s vote was by open paper ballots. An elaborate process was laid out to handle a possible tie like the one during the appointment of mayor Levy, but this time a hardhat was suggested to draw names out of rather than a bowl. This was unnecessary however, as Mella was selected in one unanimous vote. His name plaque was on hand and immediately placed in front of his new seat.
In addition to the vacant city council seat, Brovetto also left behind empty chairs on the DDA Board, the Main Street Committee, and the Creative Arts District. Councilman Noel Sawyer was chosen to fill the DDA position, while Robert Carlson will take on the Main Street project. Phil Mella is considering taking the Creative Arts position and will make a decision in April.
In other council news, Elizabeth McClintock was appointed as the new Deputy Municipal Court Judge. City Planning Director, Sally Riley, received flowers and a plaque to acknowledge her thirty years of service to the city. The final opening on the Woodland Park Charter Review Committee will be filled by Val Carr.