Jennifer Harjehausen was one of the five eligible candidates who applied for Position No. 2 on the Covington City Council.
During the April 9 council meeting, the council unanimously agreed Harjehausen was right for the position.
The open spot on the council is because of Paul Selland’s unexpected death.
This is Harjehausen’s third attempt at being a part of the Covington Council.
She hasn’t stopped trying to be on council because she said she thinks she’ll be really good at it.
“I understand how important it is to represent a community and to serve the people that live there,” she said. “I don’t have any ulterior motives of power or seeing this a political stepping stone.”
“It is super exciting. I can’t believe it’s actually finally happened,” Harjehausen continued.
She explained that she tried to be appointed to council during her attempt, and then for the second time she tried to be elected.
In a previous meeting, the council decided to choose a new member at the April 9 meeting based on applications, or to hold interviews at a later date.
The council thought Harjehausen stood out a lot and appointed her as the newest member.
According to Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner, the council held an executive session before that evening’s meeting to discuss all the applicant’s qualifications. He said they only discussed qualifications and not who each of the council members wanted to have appointed.
Councilmember Joseph Cimaomo Jr. said while it was a hard decision to make, Harjehausen really stood out to him.
“Jennifer is more than qualified to sit on this council, I would be honored to serve with her,” he said.
Harjehausen said she has lived in Covington for about 15 years and has been really involved in the community.
She has been involved with the Covington Co-op Preschool, served on the Cedar Valley Elementary PTA, has been a part of different groups for the Kent School District and is on the arts and planning commissions for the city.
On top of all that, last year Harjehausen was Citizen of the Year.
“I’ve worked with Jennifer on several different organizations, especially at Cedar Valley Elementary. Seeing how she can handle the kids, I think she can handle us up here,” Wagner said.
Experience aside, Harjehausen said she’s hoping to bring a resident’s perspective to the council.
One of the things she prides herself on is being a good listener, and with Covington growing, she said she wants to hear people’s concerns, like traffic, and make sure their voices are heard.
She also wants to build not only a desirable community, but also one that everyone deserves.
To make this happen, Harjehausen said she is excited to work with the council on a regular basis.
She explained that Covington Council has a good reputation. She said there’s no drama and everyone on council seems to work really well together.
“They respect each other’s decisions and are supportive of their choices as individuals leaders, but also as the same time work well as a group. I’m excited to add to that,” Harjehausen said.
She was officially sworn into council on April 11 with a small gathering of Wagner and a couple other city officials along with her family.
Harjehausen said she has filed with the Public Disclosure Commission and plans on officially running for council Position No. 2 in the upcoming election.
Thinking about running for election and trying to get caught up on everything has caused for a lot of pressure in a very short amount of time, she explained.
“I truly just love Covington and want to make it an even better space. I feel like I have the skill set to contribute and make a difference in that regard,” Harjehausen said.