Greenough to fill council’s ward 3 position
By Tara Nelson
A Blaine planning commissioner is set to fill the ward 3 position on Blaine City Council, following a 4-1 decision.
In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine City Council appointed Semiahmoo resident Paul Greenough to fill the position left vacant by former member Mike Myers, who resigned for medical reasons.
Greenough, also a volunteer with the Blaine Police Department’s auxillary service and the Blaine Flotilla branch of the U.S. Coast Guard, was among four highly-qualified candidates from Blaine’s recently redistricted ward 3, an area that includes all of Semiahmoo.
Other candidates were Paul Barlock, president of NNW Ventures, a global business development group and member of the Semiahmoo Resort Association; Donald Hardy, an independent investment consultant; and Alan Black, a retired United Airlines pilot and former volunteer builder for Habitat for Humanity.
Council members discussed the candidates in an executive session and did not elaborate on their decision when they resumed their regular meeting to vote.
During a special meeting April 21, however, council members asked the applicants a series of questions regarding work experience and community involvement.
Council member John Liebert also asked each applicant a series of more unorthodox yes-or-no questions including “Do you play golf?” and “Do you attend a church in Blaine?”
Others, such as council members Scott Dodd and Jason Overstreet wanted to know applicants’ position regarding the airport and whether they would follow through on redeveloping the area for business purposes, a question in which all applicants said yes.
Greenough is a former economic development officer for the U.S. State Department and said one of his assignments included seven years at the U.S. mission in Nicaragua, where he had direct responsibility for managing a $100 million budget for an emergency relief program and reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Mitch.
He earned his bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and physics from DePauw University and his master of arts and PhD in mathematics from Indiana University.
In a later interview with The Northern Light, Greenough said one of the jobs of an economic development officer is to evaluate constraints to development and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of implemented solutions. When asked what he saw as economic constraints for Blaine, Greenough said he saw an “underutilized demographic” of talented, educated and retired individuals, especially in Semiahmoo.
“I don’t see the pool of talent being used as it could be,” he said.
He added that Blaine has many assets such as a waterfront location and border proximity, on which the city is already capitalizing.