By Lane Gwinn
The Times 

Competitive races in Waitsburg


October 26, 2023

Washington State Voters' Guide

Candidates for City Council – Position 4, Jennifer Bishop and Court Ruppenthal.

WAITSBURG - The November 2023 ballots have arrived and Waitsburg has several contested races to decide.

School Board, District 2

There are two candidates for Waitsburg School Director, District 2, incumbent Christy House, and first-time candidate Tia Hays.

Hays has been a Waitsburg Home and School Association member for two years and a member of the school's booster club. Her professional experience includes 26 years in banking, and is now a Certified Pharmacy Technician at the VA Medical Center in Walla Walla.

Christy House is completing her third term as a Waitsburg School Board Director. In her Voters' Guide statement, she described the experience she has gained working on the budget, passing levies, and understanding state funding.

House has worked within the state requirements for school board members, supporting administrators and staff and helping to develop the district's vision, mission, and goals. As a parent to two Waitsburg graduates, she has been involved in Cub Scouts, Little League T-Ball, Little Guy Wrestling, 4 H, and FFA.

She is a Registered and Certified Dietitian in Washington State.

In an interview with the Union-Bulletin, the candidates were asked what the role of a school board member should be in deciding materials for public school libraries. Hays answered that the school board ultimately is the final decision-making body for all curriculum materials, including school library books.

House said the role of the school board is to adopt and then evaluate policies for the district. As a board member, she entrusts the library's selection of materials to the administration and designated staff. House encouraged parents to read the district's Procedure-Curriculum Development and Adaption of Instructional Materials (policy 2020P, section 2000) and bring their concerns to the administration.

The full article is available at

City Council, Postion 4

Two positions on the Waitsburg City Council are up for election in November. Jillian Henze is completing her two-year term in Position 5 and running unopposed for a four-year term. Incumbent City Council member Court Ruppenthal is running for a four-year term in Position 4 against Jennifer Bishop.

In an October 18, 2023, Union-Bulletin article, the two candidates were asked what they saw as the council’s top priority. Bishop answered that the council should lead residents to a safe and successful future. She said, “ This can only be achieved by open communication, transparency and collaboration. Things cannot be done solely because they’ve always been done a certain way. Personal agendas cannot guide any decisions.”

Ruppenthal believed concentrating on the city’s resources to attract visitors and new residents to Waitsburg should be a high priority. He said, “We have a great fairgrounds and park that needs to be better utilized to encourage more people to attend events and discover our great town.”

Bishop has owned the Burger Hut in Milton-Freewater since 2008. Before that, she worked at Cellular One, later bought by Verizon, in Walla Walla for fourteen years.

Ruppenthal is the owner of Laht Neppur Brewing Company in Waitsburg. He has been an independent business owner and employer since 1994, eighteen years in Waitsburg.

The full UB article at

Waitsburg Races

Port of Walla Walla

Port Commissioner District 2

Mary Wollmuth

Amy Schwab

Waitsburg City Council

Waitsburg City Council - Position 4

Jennifer Bishop

Court Ruppenthal

Waitsburg City Council - Position 5

Jillian Henze

Waitsburg School Board

Director - District 1

Sarah Boudrieau

Director - District 2

Tia Hays

Christy House

Director - District 4

Abby Grende

Director - District 5

Carol Clarke

Fire Protection District No. 2

Commissioner - Position 3

Matt Spring

Waitsburg Park and Recreation District

Commissioner Subdivision 1

Beth Daves

Commissioner Subdivision 2

Holly Lachowicz

Commissioner Subdivision 3

Wendy Carter

Commissioner Subdivision 4

Curtis Lysher

Public Hospital District

Commissioner #2

Lindsey Anderson

Colleen M. Sproul

Commissioner # 5

Jamie Smit


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