City council appoints Saldaña to open position
The Quincy City Council on May 5 appointed Gina Saldaña, a longtime Quincy community member, to an open seat on the council.
Saldaña is the first woman in at least four years to serve on the council. She is the daughter of former city Councilman Jose Saldaña.
She was chosen from a field of seven people who applied for the position, which was opened when former Councilman Dustin Petersen moved out of state last month.
After hearing from all the candidates, the council chose Saldaña after a 10-minute discussion in closed session.
Saldaña told the council that as a council member she would offer several perspectives because she is a 25-year-old Hispanic woman.
“It is unfortunate we haven’t had a city council member who is a woman in a long time,” she said.
Saldaña moved away briefly from Quincy to attend college and to work in Olympia. However, she found she missed her hometown.
“While I was away, I realized how much I loved the atmosphere of Quincy,” said Saldaña, who works as the executive assistant to the superintendent of the Royal School District.
The new councilwoman, who has a degree in political science and served an internship with a state congressman, told the city council that she has aspirations of being a politician.
“My goal is to one day be working in Olympia,” she said.
On the homefront, Saldaña said after the meeting that she is looking forward to playing a hand in some important issues, including public safety and the city’s recreation program.
Jose Saldaña said when he was serving, his daughter used to ask him many questions as well as attend meetings on occasion.
“I am very proud that she wants to represent her community, and she will do it well,” he said.
Because she was appointed to fill a vacated seat, Saldaña serves through this year. Her position is up in the November election. She plans to run for the position. Whoever is elected to the position will fill out the remainder of the term, which is through 2017.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org