The city of Astoria received two surprises to start the year. If you attended recent Astoria City Council meetings, or Design Review Committee meetings, you may have noticed two faces new to public affairs. Both are women, and each would be considered among the younger members of our governing community.

Sarah Jane Bardy, a member of the Design Review Committee — and, more importantly, a community member with a passion for the way Astoria proceeds into the future — made her feelings clear when she spoke to the City Council, and very directly reminded them that a vote in favor of the proposed Fairfield Inn and Suites was in defiance of the Planning Commission and the Design Review Committee in respect to the height of the building and its visual mass.

For her remarks, Ms. Bardy was privately and publicly chastised by the mayor, but this dressing down may work in her favor ("Design Review Committee member confronted by Astoria mayor over hotel comments," The Daily Astorian, Jan. 8). Previously she was unknown, but now we recognize her commitment to the city's future; she has passion and she is unafraid to speak.

Another appearance was Jessamyn West for appointment to the recently vacated Ward 4 position for City Council. The sitting councilors listened to several applicants and unanimously chose Ms. West. A grassroots community member who, along with partners, organized the purchase of the Odd Fellows hall in downtown Astoria. Their plan is to lease one floor of the building to a local theater, and another to the local dance and movement community.

Welcome, both of you.

JIM STOFFER 

Astoria

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