New Montesano City Council Member Megan Valentine (left) is sworn in by Mayor Vini Salmuel after being unanimously selected by the council to fill Robert Hatley’s Position 5 seat at the Tuesday, April 9, 2019, meeting at City Hall in Montesano, Washington. (Michael Lang | Grays Harbor News Group)

New Montesano City Council Member Megan Valentine (left) is sworn in by Mayor Vini Salmuel after being unanimously selected by the council to fill Robert Hatley’s Position 5 seat at the Tuesday, April 9, 2019, meeting at City Hall in Montesano, Washington. (Michael Lang | Grays Harbor News Group)

Montesano Council fills vacancy

  • Wed Apr 10th, 2019 3:30pm
  • News

Montesano City Council has a new member.

Megan Valentine was unanimously appointed during Tuesday’s, April 9, Council meeting at City Hall to fill the Position 5 seat left vacant when Robert Hatley moved out of state.

Two people applied to fill the position. One lived outside the city limits, leaving only Valentine, an attorney and owner of Valentine Law Office in Montesano.

Valentine introduced herself to the Council prior to being briefly interviewed by council members.

“I love the city of Montesano, … and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for our city to continue to grow,” she said. “I was particularly inspired by the forum regarding how our city can expand with local businesses. I am a local business owner, and I’d really like to see us continue that outreach and looking forward to the future of our community. I have my own family here in the community, and this would be an opportunity for me to help our community continue to grow.”

She said she hopes to be active in economic growth and community support through her position on the council. The seat will be on the November ballot and she plans to run. The candidate filing period is next month.

“I work with people in extreme poverty,” she said. “I think that our community has been fortunate, but I also know that we are not immune to poverty. I think that’s something else where I can offer some insight. … I’d like to help us keep our poverty level low by having the resources in the community.”

Councilwoman Kim Cristobal asked why she hadn’t seen Valentine at some recent council meetings.

Valentine explained that she is a Girl Scout troop leader. When the vacancy became available, the troop members agreed to reschedule their meetings.

Councilman Dan Wood acknowledged Valentine’s work with foster kids.

“Is there anything that you envision the city could do or city officials individually could do to promote more foster and adoption on the Harbor?” he asked.

“Absolutely,” Valentine replied, “I always am hopeful for those opportunities. My representation right now actually is exclusively foster children. I represent foster children from newborn to 21. And I think that there are a lot of opportunities for our community to promote mentorship specifically, because that is what helps foster children be successful.”

She was sworn in by Mayor Vini Samuel, and she took her seat among her fellow council members.

Valentine has been the owner of Valentine Law Offices since 2012. Prior to that, she worked for Ingram, Zelasko & Goodwin in Aberdeen in 2011 and 2012 and for the Grays Harbor County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from 2004-2011.

She is a 1996 graduate of Montesano High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a law degree from Cornell, according to the resume she submitted to the council.

Her husband, Nathan, is a 1997 graduate of Montesano High School. They have two daughters, who are students in the Montesano School District.