Bishop resident Keith Glidewell is the city’s newest council member.
The City Council voted Monday night to appoint Glidewell to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Griffiths when he resigned to serve on the Inyo County Board of Supervisors effective Jan. 1.
Glidewell will be serving out the remainder of Griffiths’ term on the council, which expires in November 2014.
“I am looking forward to participating in all aspects of the council and to contributing as much as I possibly can to the council and to our community,” Glidewell said Wednesday.
Glidewell is a Bishop native who graduated from Bishop Union High School in 1977. He received is A.A. degree from Cerro Coso, before earning his B.A. in English at the University of Nevada, Reno, his M.A. in Teaching and his California Teaching Credential at California State University, Fresno.
“I have worked for the City of Bishop in various capacities over the years, including city park maintenance, lifeguarding and tennis instruction,” Glidewell said. He added that his work experience has been focused on teaching, and he is currently working as a career counselor, “which allows me to participate in many different facets of formal education including curriculum development, counseling, budgets and long-term program planning and development.”
As a member of the City Council, Glidewell said he wants to stay in touch with local businesses and residents.
“I think my greatest asset as a council member is a curiosity in all things and an ability to listen objectively,” Glidewell said. “I would encourage our local businesses and residents to please feel free to contact me with any concerns, requests or ideas that they may have and would like to express.”
Glidewell’s immediate goal as a council member is to acquaint himself with the packets and binders full of city information, goals and concerns that are provided to each council member.
He said he is looking forward to helping to determine what projects the city should fund through state and federal grants and to “actively study and pursue solutions that address the challenge of affordable housing as outlined in the City of Bishop Housing Element.”
Glidewell also said he is planning to follow up on requests made by residents for specific sidewalk and street improvement projects and “pursue any possible enhancement of designated bicycle pathways on city streets.”
He also said he wants to cultivate local farmers markets and community gardening programs, and “develop projects and programs that could enhance recreational opportunities within the City Park and elsewhere.”
Glidewell was appointed to the City Council following a debate between the four seated council members in January.
During that discussion, Mayor Laura Smith and Councilmember David Stottlemyre said they were in favor of opening an application and interview process and ask interested parties to apply. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ellis and Councilmember Pat Gardner were in favor of appointing Glidewell, the fourth highest vote-getter in the November 2012 election, which ultimately saw Gardner elected and Smith and Stottlemyre re-elected to the three seats up for grabs.
Ultimately Stottlemyre and Smith decided to go along with Ellis and Gardner to avoid holding a special election, which could cost taxpayers between $10,000 and $15,000.
Glidewell’s first meeting as a City Council member will be Monday, Feb. 25.