Washougal Community Organizer is appointed to City Council

Alexandra Yost focuses on collaboration and public service

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(Dawn Feldhaus/Post-Record) Supporters of Alex Yost congratulate her after she was appointed to the Washougal City Council, Thursday, May 31. They include Dan and Kathy Huntington and Susan Warford — volunteers with Washougal Round Table — and Zilpha Haycox, Yost’s grandmother (from left to right).

A woman who describes herself as a “liberal inclusive” and is heavily involved in promoting communication and collaboration is the newest member of the Washougal City Council.

Alexandra “Alex” Yost,  chef and co-owner of OurBar in downtown Washougal, was sworn into office during a special City Council meeting Thursday, May 31, after she and five other applicants were interviewed by councilors.

After the meeting, Yost said she has liberal values and is inclusive of all ideas. Her Council 4 position is non-partisan.

Yost, 31, succeeds Joyce Lindsay who recently moved to the Bellingham, Washington area.

“I am thrilled,” Yost said after the council meeting.

As a regular attender of council workshops, she said she would have continued to do that whether or not she was appointed.

“I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” Yost said.

Her first council workshop and regular meeting at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, Monday, June 11, followed by an annual planning conference, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., all at City Hall.

The vote to appoint Yost was 5 to 1, with councilwoman Michelle Wagner supporting the other finalist, Janice Killion, a retired public agency attorney for the county of Napa and the city of Santa Rosa, both in California, and a member of the Clark County Clean Water Commission.

City Council members had also interviewed Donald Lowe Jr., Paul Russell, Kimberly Wongwai and Gregor Theis, before narrowing their choices to Yost and Killion. Three applicants — Paul godin, Adam Philbin and Karen Susac — had their names removed from consideration on the day of the interviews.

“They withdrew on Thursday, May 31, for either family/health issues or personal reasons,” Washougal City Clerk Jennifer Forsberg said.

Yost, a Washougal resident for five years, recently served on the Washougal Citizens Advisory Committee, which recommended to council that it place a measure on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot to have voters decide whether to change Washougal’s form of government from mayor-council to council-manager.

She is also a co-founder and volunteer with Washougal Round Table, a citizens group involved in short term projects that bring long term change.

“We put action behind words,” Yost said.

During the council interviews, Yost said she is deeply committed to the success of the city of Washougal. She has lived in Washougal for six years.

Yost and her husband, Kevin Credelle, opened OurBar, a cafe located at 1887 Main St., in April 2013.

She mentioned having a passion for connecting with people while serving food there.

“The restaurant is a community space,” Yost said.

She said OurBar is profitable with seven employees, and it has hosted two “Food for Thought” fundraising dinners for the The Friends of the Washougal Library Building Fund.

During the council interviews, Yost said she is a very good communicator who will “dig in, work hard and ask questions.”

She said the City Council’s recent decision to reduce the speed limit from 25 to 20 mph on Main Street, between Washougal River Road and 22nd Street, will make downtown Washougal more family friendly and will show visitors that Washougal values its’ pedestrians and children.

Yost also said the establishment of a Washougal Arts Commission, with $5,000 in seed money, will add to the area’s quality of life.

After City Council members appointed Yost, Mayor Molly Coston administered the oath of office, and Yost sat among the councilors.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Yost said. “What’s next?”

She is expected to serve as the Position 4 council member until the results of the November 2019 general election have been certified.