The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin
The Times 

Marty Dunn Reelected Mayor of Waitsburg

Slate of council members is reseated after running unopposed

 

April 12, 2018



WAITSBURG – Preliminary results for the City of Waitsburg’s annual city elections were tallied last week. With a total of 222 votes cast, the current council remains intact. Final results will be tallied April 18, but outstanding votes will have no impact on the results.

Marty Dunn

In the only contested race, incumbent mayor Marty Dunn received 184 votes to challenger Debra Callahan’s 34 votes.

This was Callahan’s third bid for mayor and her second race against Dunn. Last year Dunn won the race with 239 votes against Callahan’s 66 votes. Callahan first gave up her seat on the City Council to run against incumbent mayor Walt Gobel in 2016.

Dunn serves on the Budget/Finance and Personnel committees. “The reason I chose to re-run for the position of mayor for the City of Waitsburg is the concern and care I have for the future growth and support of the community of Waitsburg, moving forward,” Dunn told The Times in a previous interview.

Kevin House

Longtime council frontrunner Kevin House, who has been the citizen favorite since his first run for council in 2010, retained his title of top vote-getter with 183 votes. House serves on the Budget/Finance, Nuisance/Police/Health, Personnel and Trees committees and is Mayor Pro Tem.

House listed the construction of the Main Street Bridge, “probably the biggest single project for the city in our time,” and “putting funding in place for ongoing infrastructure improvements” as among the council’s biggest accomplishments this past term.

“The priority moving forward, in my mind, is to continue to consider infrastructure improvements that make practical sense and to consider our council decisions based on what we believe is in the best interest of citizens and the best use of their resources from taxes and utilities,” House said.

Kate Hockersmith

Incumbent Kate Hockersmith, and council newcomers Jim Romine and Terry Jacoy finished within ten votes of one another.

Hockersmith, who received 169 votes, was first elected to City Council in 2016 and currently serves on the Parks/Cemeteries/Pool, Fairgrounds, Trees and Flood Prevention/Emergency Preparedness committees.

“My personal highlight of the last year is that the Flood/Emergency Preparedness Committee has finished the new flood/emergency phone list. We coordinated with local churches as a follow-up to FEMA training hosted by the Waitsburg Resource Center. That information, as well as current City, County and Washington State Emergency Preparedness Plans, and an updated list of local emergency contacts are included in the new Emergency Mangement Notebook. This is an important resource in any city-wide emergency and I’d like to thank all the people who volunteered to be included on this list,” Hockersmith said.

In the future, Hockersmith said she is looking forward to figuring out how to save the Waitsburg Fairgrounds historical infrastructure and is interested in exploring the idea of reviving the community Parks and Recreation group.

Jim Romine

Jim Romine was re-elected for a second term with 163 votes. Romine serves on the Nuisance/Police/Health and Flood Prevention/Emergency Preparedness committees.

Romine agreed that the Main Street Bridge replacement was a top City accomplishment this last year. He also listed the successful repair of the sewer siphon near the Preston Ave. Bridge – a potentially expensive undertaking – as something to be proud of.

Romine is pleased that the City will be able to focus on needed infrastructure repairs in the near future. “Completing the water meter replacement to a digital reading system will remove inaccurate and failed meters as well as greatly reduce man hours for reading. It will also allow for year-round reading,” he said.

Terry Jacoy

Terry Jacoy received 160 preliminary votes, re-electing him to a second term as well. Jacoy, who serves on the Water/Sewer/Streets and Parks/Cemeteries/Pool committees, said his first term on City Council has been eye opening.

“It’s been an education for me seeing how municipal government works and all the complications and regulations that you have to go through to do some very simple things,” Jacoy said.

He also said that he is encouraged to see that the City is in a “better financial position than a year ago, from what I can see.” He feels that making a determination on what will be done at the fairgrounds, specifically in regard to the repair, replacement or demotion of the grandstands as a top priority for the coming year.

KC Kuykendall

KC Kuykendall, who fulfilled a vacated term in 2013 before being elected in 2014, fills the final seat with 143 votes. Kuykendall serves on the Water/Sewer/Streets and Fairgrounds committees.

“I spent an enormous amount of time working last year with our legislators in Olympia, as well as with other council members and mayors across the state, on defining the merits of funding the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF). Waitsburg and many towns like ours depend on the low-interest funding source to pay for infrastructure projects. For the first time in eight years, the legislature and Governor approved and funded the PTWF loan list as well as passed legislation that ensures more flexibility and efficiency in this program,” Kuykendall said, when asked what he was most proud of.

Looking forward, Kuykendall believes the City needs to focus on capitalizing the completion of the Main Street Bridge with beautification and public gathering spaces along the waterfront; re-engineering the intersection at Coppei and Preston Avenues to improve safety and mobility to and from area businesses and better leverage the Preston Park property, and; develop a 10-year master plan for the fairgrounds, resulting in a destination spot for citizens and visitors.

 

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