Nicol steps aside after busy time on council

Barring any emergency meetings, Monday will be Jeff Nicol’s final time sitting behind the dais in the city council chambers in Hood River City Council.

Nicol certainly hopes it’s the last one, because any additional council meetings would likely be scheduled for Christmas Eve.

Nicol will also be going out with a bang after two-and-a-half years on the council.

Appointed to the council in May 2012 after a stint on the planning commission, Nicol took the spot of John Herron.

Nicol had filed to run for election for the position in November, but eventually pulled out of the race.

He said he has enjoyed his time on city council, but with his involvement with several start-up companies, the council work was turning into “another full-time job,” and that the time was right to step away.

“It’s a lot of time,” he said. “To really do justice to the job, you’ve got to do your homework and invest a lot of time outside of council meetings.”

Nicol is most proud of the city getting back on a stable financial track.

He said he is proud of the way city staff and employees had helped in “righting the ship.”

He said he has seen significant improvement in the culture in city hall over the last few years and that the city is now “a much more positive environment” for city staff.

Mark Zanmiller will take Nicol’s spot on the council come January.

And while the council position and his career have kept him busy, Nicol doesn’t regret for a minute stepping in to serve the city. He views it as a challenge; a challenge he hopes others will continue to accept in the future.

“I think anyone who has the opportunity to be involved, should be,” he said.

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