The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Two Candidates Vie for Council Seat

Kyle Anderson is running against incumbent Kathy Berg

 

October 26, 2017

Michele Smith

Kathy Berg

DAYTON-Since being elected to the Dayton City Council in 2000, nobody has run against her, until now, said Kathy Berg. Dayton business owner Kyle Anderson is in the running for that position.

Kathy Berg

Berg said the most important skill she brings to the city is her years of experience.

Even before she was elected to the city council eighteen years ago, Berg said she attended council meetings to try and understand the issues.

Berg said she has been on most of the committees and she has always been on the Public Works Committee.

She said among her best personal qualities is her ability to be level-headed and objective.

Berg said to understand the issues, it is important to get out and about in the city.

"I just took a tour of the transfer station and the wastewater treatment plant with Jim Costello," she said.

Addressing problems with aging infrastructure, repairing and maintaining streets, and looking out for public safety are primary concerns for her.

"We don't have millions of dollars, we have to look and prioritize and obtain funding to repair and maintain streets," Berg said.

Berg said establishing good relationship with the public is very important.

The city is getting a new wastewater treatment plant in 2021 and there will be rate hikes. Berg said she knows what rate hikes mean for the public, especially for senior citizens.

She noted that the tenor of the city council changed around 2007 when the city council committees became better and stronger.

Berg said she is especially proud of the "conscientious" way the Finance Committee performs.

"We've been lucky to have such dynamic people on the council since I've been here," Berg said.

"I have an addition to the things I am proud of – the many volunteers who do so much. Without them our town wouldn't be what it is."

Berg has also worked closely with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce during the past 18 years. She said the Chamber of Commerce is "a vital force" for the community, as is the Dayton Developmental Task Force.

Berg has enjoyed working with Mayor Craig George and past mayors, Bill Graham, Merle Jackson, and Ted Patterson.

Berg is looking forward to future development in the city, since Columbia Pulp has become a reality.

"It's wonderful we have people investing in our community. We can make this more of a destination place than it is," she said.

"If you want to be on city council, you have to love this little town and make it succeed, because it's such a neat little place," Berg said.

Berg is the proud mother of Alicia, who is a Communications Specialist, living in Ione, Ore.; Meg, who is a bilingual specialist at Davis Elementary School, in College Place; and Luci, who is a mental health counselor, in Walla Walla.

Kyle Anderson

Dayton native Kyle Anderson has tossed his hat into the ring for a seat on the city council.

Anderson, who owns Kyle's Custom Toys & Towing, with offices in Dayton and in Walla Walla, said he wants to be a voice of the people.

"I have people coming to talk to me about problems all the time," said Anderson, who sees himself as a responsive problem solver.

If elected, Anderson wants to work on addressing unemployment, particularly for local youth. He said in his lifetime he has seen farm jobs for the younger set disappear.

Anderson employs 10-15 kids, working at odd jobs, every summer in his shop, he said.

"I have a hard time turning them away," he admitted.

Anderson's biggest passion is to help local business remain viable and thrive. He said he wants to keep local dollars local.

Anderson likes the idea of growth and development in Dayton.

"We don't want it to go overboard, he said.

Like Berg, Anderson places making street improvements at the top of his list of priorities for the city, particularly Washington Street, which sustained winter damage last winter.

Anderson said he is a very busy person. He works 80-90 hours a week and manages 10 full time employees and 10 part-time employees.

Michele Smith

Kyle Anderson

His work includes building demolition for the city and county, light excavation, plowing roads and streets, removing abandoned vehicles, hauling gray water for Ski Bluewood and towing stranded vehicles. Lately he has been clearing roads and towing stranded hunters out of the woods, he said.

Anderson said he also volunteers his time, vehicles, and staff for the Every 15 Minute DUI Program in Dayton schools, and he donates his time and vehicles for training purposes to several local fire departments and ambulance services.

"I want to be more involved with the public," he said.

"I'm willing to put in the homework," he added.

Anderson credits his wife Anndria with running pretty much everything else in his life, as well as doing extensive volunteer work in the community. The Andersons have three children Jemma, 8, Michael "Cougar", 11, and Jaxson, 13.

 

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