By Stefanie Donahue
Meg Olson, news and features editor of the All Point Bulletin has been appointed to Blaine City Council which is back to full-strength after a string of applicant interviews and a lengthy deliberation led councilmembers to appoint a seventh
member this week.
Nine applicants vying to fill a vacant position on Blaine City Council took part in interviews that focused on their community involvement, qualifications and vision for Blaine’s economic future.
After a 40-minute closed session on Monday, September 25, four out of the six sitting city council members voted to appoint Meg Olson to Position 3, representing Ward 2; both Harry Robinson and Bonnie Onyon
voted in opposition.
“I love community and I love collaboration for the betterment of my community,” Olson said to the council during her interview. “I feel strongly that neighbors should help neighbors.”
The seat was left open after long-serving public official Dennis Olason announced his immediate resignation in August, citing health concerns. Olson will fulfill the remainder of his term, expiring December 31, 2019. She is now one of two city councilmembers who represent Ward 2, which includes all of the area within city limits that lies south of H Street, excluding areas west of Peace Portal and north of Boblett Street.
Olson moved to Blaine with her husband and two children about three years ago after living in Point Roberts for 20 years. Her ties to both communities stem from her years of experience as an editor and journalist for Point Roberts Press, which publishes the All Point Bulletin and The Northern Light among other publications.
Olson’s tenure as editor of The Northern Light spanned from 1996 to 2006. She’s continued to write for the All Point Bulletin newspaper. During her interview with the Blaine City Council, Olson stated that each role has provided a deep familiarity with the community and public process.
“I have more than 20 years’ experience working with legislative bodies – from small taxing districts to the state legislature – so I know many of the procedures and that would be an easy transition for me,” Olson said. “I know how a body of this nature operates.”
In addition to her work as a journalist, Olson owns a small business that develops interpretive signage for cities to boost awareness and attract people. She’s also an active member of the Salishan Neighborhood Association and regularly volunteers with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, an environmental conservation non-profit in Bellingham.
While she didn’t approach the council with an agenda to reform the city’s economy, Olson said she intends to bring her strong ability to communicate to the table. More than anything, she plans to listen.
“I think that any member of any governing body, especially a legislative body, needs to do some listening before they do anything else,” she said.
Olson will join city council for her first meeting on Monday, October 9.
“I think there’s one top priority for the city right now and that’s to tap into its potential, specifically in regards to economic development,” she said. “If we had a more thriving economy, we’d have a more thriving community.”