Mayor and City Council

The Columbia City Council meets the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the City Hall, 1840 Second Street, Columbia City. City Council agendas are prepared and posted one week prior to meetings and are available at City Hall. Public comments are taken at City Council meetings. Questions or comments may be submitted by calling (503) 397-4010, or in writing to PO Box 189, Columbia City, Oregon 97018. City Council meeting minutes are usually available one week following the meeting date.

The City has operated under a mayor-council form of government since 1926. Policymaking and legislative authority are vested in the City Council, which consists of a Mayor and a four-member City Council. The City Council is responsible, among other things, for passing ordinances, adopting the budget, appointing committees and hiring the City’s administrator and other employees. The Mayor and Council are elected on a non-partisan basis. Council members are elected to four-year staggered terms with two Council members elected every two years. The Mayor is elected to a four-year term. The Mayor and the Council members are elected at large.

CASEY WHEELER – Mayor. Elected as Mayor in November, 2018 and took office January 3, 2019. Present term expires December 31, 2022. Previously he was on City Council from 2011 to 2014. He served on the City’s Budget Committee, Audit Committee, Hazard Mitigation Committee and Streets Committee. He also chaired the working group that updated the City Charter and he was active in the development of the City’s mission and vision statements. He is currently the Executive Director of the Columbia Pacific Food Bank and serves on the 9-1-1 District’s Budget Committee. He is an alternate Board Member for Columbia County’s Homeland Security Emergency Management Commission. Casey enjoys reading, working on family genealogy, playing with model trains and he is a huge fan of the New York Yankees.

GORDON THISTLE – Council President. Appointed to the City Council on September 4, 2014. Elected in November of 2014 and 2018. Present term expires December 31, 2022. He serves as Council President and as Chair on the Water and Sewer Committee and the Street Committee. Gordon retired from owning a construction and industrial equipment brokerage company and equipment rental company.  He is an active supporter of the Columbia City Community Library, and founder and coordinator of the annual Show & Shine car show, which attracted 129 cars during the 2014 Columbia City Celebration.

KATRINA CLARIDGE – Councilor. Elected in November 2020, and took office on January 21, 2021. Present term expires December 31, 2024. She serves as Chair on the Parks Committee and is also on the Street Committee. She was raised in Columbia City, is a graduate of St Helens High School. This is her first experience in municipal government.

JEFF REINAN – Councilor. Elected in November 2020, and took office on January 21, 2021. Present term expires December 31, 2024. He serves on the Water and Sewer Committee. After graduating high school he moved to Monmouth and attended Oregon College of Education, later becoming involved in the construction industry. He eventually retired from the carpenters union and is enjoying retirement while staying connected to his family, and also becoming an avid golfer. “I ran for the council position as a way to get involved in the community that I live in. The City has given a lot to me and I am trying to give back”.

SUSAN ZIGLINSKI – Councilor. Elected in November 2018, and took office in January 3, 2019. Present term expires December 31, 2022. She serves on the Hazard Mitigation Committee. She currently consults for the federal government in the Department of Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Justice on tribal issues, tribal law, and social services issues. Sue currently volunteers as a board member for the Native American Rehabilitation Center (a position she has held for 33 years), the Stumptown Stages (a musical theater in Portland), the Columbia Pacific Food Bank, which serves Columbia County and the Oregon Golf Association. Sue is the proud grandmother of three.