MILTON-FREEWATER - Three recently-elected council members were sworn in Monday night and the council appointed Brad Humbert to fill the Ward 2 vacancy, during the first Milton-Freewater City Council meeting of 2007.

Councilmen Steve Irving, Keith Woods and Ed Chesnut all took oaths of office before the regular meeting. Assistant Linda Hall swore each of the council members in.

The council then interviewed three applicants for the Ward 2 position, vacated when Ken Records moved away from Milton-Freewater. Applicants were Humbert, who ran against Chesnut in the November election, Ben Silva and Bob White.

The council requested each of the applicants be interviewed separately, while the other two waited outside council chambers. Each contestant was given an opportunity to address the council, then each council member and the mayor asked each applicant the same questions.

Humbert was chosen unanimously, though the council recognized and applauded the qualifications of White and Silva. White serves on the Planning Commission, and the council encouraged Silva to apply for a position with the planning commission as well.

Debbie Kelley, who was re-elected council president Monday night, said, in the past, the council has dealt with complaints over appointing people to vacant seats.

"I've been on the council 10, 11 years, and I'm willing to take flak over appointing Brad," Kelley said.

In addition, Katherine Anderson spoke to the council regarding dog-at-large issues. Anderson reported she's been approached repeatedly by aggressive dogs while walking her dog on a leash and wanted to know what her options were.

"It's terrible to live in a community where I have to avoid so many city streets," Anderson said. "Something has to be done."

She voiced an interest in seeking a city ordinance outlawing pit bulls, in particular.

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