SPRINGFIELD — Last week, the Springfield City Council appointed Beth Blackwell to serve in the Ward 4 position vacated by Leonard Stoehr, who resigned in January.
“I felt this calling to give back to the City,” Blackwell said. “I absolutely love this town and the people in it, and this felt like the right thing to do.”
She was sworn in Monday, surrounded by her family and friends, and will serve through December.
Stoehr, a labor representative for Teamsters Local 206, had a job transfer to Atlanta, Ga. Springfield’s City Charter requires councilors to live in the ward they represent. Stoehr moved to Springfield in 2011 and was first elected to the council in 2016.
Councilors picked three applicants to interview from the five that applied for the seat, which covers an area bound by 21st and 42nd streets, OR-126, and Douglas Gardens Park.
“This is an important volunteer, leadership position in our community and we’re grateful to add Beth Blackwell with her depth of experience and her dedication to the City Council,” said Sean VanGordon, Springfield mayor.
Blackwell, a longtime Springfield resident, is a wife and mother of two children. She has worked as a real estate broker for 16 years — and hopes to bring her knowledge of the housing market to council discussions.
“With my background, I see Springfield having a huge shortage of housing supply at all levels,” she said. “I think we’re going to have to get creative to help alleviate that. I know Springfield is facing a lot of complex issues, like the camping ordinance and public safety — I may not have experience with all that, but I’m ready to engage, learn and help find a solution that fits Springfield best.”
She served as Windermere Lane County’s premier property director for the last seven years. In December, she switched her license to Triple Oaks Realty where she is a partner of Valley2Coast Home Team. She has volunteered with Food for Lane County Gardens, served as a volunteer firefighter EMT for Lane County District #1 and served as vice president on a proposed charter school board.
“I really like the non-partisan aspect of the council,” she said. “I believe I’m here to represent everyone. I’ve always found a way in real estate to reach common ground and get to a yes. And you know, we might not always agree but I will show up, listen and do my best for my neighbors.”