by Richard Uhlhorn
The primary season is upon us and Chelan voters have a chance to select two of the three candidates who will end up facing each other in the general election this coming fall.
The candidates are:
Incumbent Mayor Mike Cooney
Past Mayor and Council Member Bob Goedde
Past Council Member and attorney Stan Morse
The City of Chelan has a number of issues of concern to its residents with Traffic Control and Traffic Safety being the primary concern.
Following are the results of conversations with the three candidates and why they are in the running to lead the City into the future.
Mayor Mike Cooney:
Mayor Mike Cooney
“I like what I am doing,” said Mayor Cooney who had vowed to serve only one term. “I have the right to change my mind,” he said. He had planned on finding something else to move on to but said that the few job offers he has had did not offset the Mayor’s job.
Cooney is running for a second term because he wants to continue representing the residents of Chelan. “Some people don’t like change,” said Cooney. “I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team.”
If re-elected to a second term, Mayor Cooney will continue to work with staff to upgrade the City’s infrastructure, build attainable homes with the Chelan Valley Housing Trust which he helped to launch, continue the City’s plan to make Chelan a more pedestrian/bike friendly town and work towards increased public lake access for the residents.
Mayor Cooney is also interested in continuing the Community’s quest to purchase Butte property from Golden Gate for recreational purposes while preserving it in its natural state.
Cooney will also continue to work with the Planning Commission to do things that get desired results. “I want to see developments get developed the way we want it to.”
Mayor Cooney wants to see the Dan Gordon Bridge become the main route into and out of town. According to Cooney, the Woodin Avenue Bridge is no longer a State Highway, but a City street. “There are a whole lot more people walking and using the bridge now than before,” said Cooney.
He also wants to see more bike usage in and around town, particularly students going to and from school.
Cooney has a BA from Gonzaga in Business Administration, has been married to his wife Janice for 41 years and has two children and three grandchildren. He has coached 8th grade basketball for Chelan and volunteers time to teach “life skills” to both Chelan and Manson Schools.
“Service is at my core,” says Cooney.
Challenger Bob Goedde:
Challenger Bob Goedde
Bob Goedde is no stranger to the City of Chelan and its inner workings. He was a City Councilman for two terms (and serving as Mayor Pro-Tem for four years) before becoming a two-term mayor.
“I want to give Chelan’s registered voters a choice to return to a common sense and balanced approach to City Government,” says Goedde. “I feel that I can bring my experience in public service to work with the citizens while maintaining the most efficient and highest quality public services available. I would use my extensive governmental experience along with my public service contacts with other public officials to make Chelan a place where citizens are proud to call it home.”
Goedde’s biggest priority is the communities traffic corridor issues. He is also concerned with the efforts to purchase land on Chelan Butte for millions of dollars. “I don’t feel that is in the public’s best interest,” he stated.
The affordable housing crisis is also on his mind. “Almost every city in the County has a housing crisis.” He has noted that Chelan Fruit is working to alleviate its housing crisis for employees and that Weidner Apartments is seeking to build a 280 apartment complex on the Naumes property out by Walmart.
Goedde believes that the City needs to run its parks as a business and start charging visitors for access while giving back to the residents with free access. “Lakeside Park needs a fee. Also, there are other great park options on the Columbia River.”
Goedde’s other concern is City money being spent on consultants and lobbyists with no real return. “I went to all kinds of meetings as Mayor… you can’t do it with lobbyists.”
“If given the chance to serve this community again as its Mayor, I will do my best to represent the citizens of Chelan to the best of my ability.” He is willing to discuss any issues with residents at their convenience and asks that they call him at 683-2366 to make an appointment.
Goedde is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam war where he served for 21 months in a combat zone. After the Army, Goedde worked for the City of Chelan as a Police Dispatcher and also was a self employed owner of a small auto repair shop. Bob is currently retired.
His public service includes: Chelan City Council – 8+ years; Mayor ProTem – 4 years; City of Chelan Mayor – 8 years.
As a Mayor and Council member, Goedde served on the following boards: Link Board Director – 10 years; Chelan County Veterans Assn. – 10 years; Resource, Conservation & Development Board; Economic Development District; Rural Transportation Planning Organization; Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Board Liaison; Lions Club President; Past Zone Chairman, Eagles 2218; Past President Wenatchee Valley Street Rod Assn.; Member VFW, American Legion; Assn. of Washington Cities Board of Directors, District 3 – 10 years.
Goedde has a degree from Spokane Community College and also attended Wenatchee Valley College from 2000-01. He is certified with the AWC Certified Municipal Leadership Program.
Bob is divorced and has two children: Jay William Goedde and Dawn Michelle Loduha (both adults).
He does not have a website, but can be reached by Emails at email@example.com.
Attorney Stan Morse:
Challenger Stan Morse
Stan Morse is a local attorney who served on Chelan City Council for one term before turning his attention to the Hospital Commission, losing that race. Morse is seeking the Mayoral job to bring basic government back to Chelan.
He has done his research and is unhappy with the City spending $70,000 a year on a lobbying firm that has brought results back. “They were successful in obtaining $300,000 in the past for the bridge,” said Morse.
Morse is also concerned about the City’s worsening traffic issue. “Traffic is so much worse now than it was,” said Morse who feels the City didn’t consider the increased building in Manson and the wineries that is contributing to the traffic issue.
He also feels that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce does a lot to encourage tourism in the summer, but says, “Why are we not encouraging tourism in the fall, winter and spring months?” He feels that tourism is oriented towards drinking wine.
The effort to purchase Chelan Butte makes no sense to Morse. “Sixty plus percent of the community doesn’t want it in the city,” said Morse who feels that the City could de-annex the property which he feels would stop any future effort to develop. “The City has a poor track record of maintain what we already have. Just look at the bathrooms at Lakeside.”
He feels the City gave the Lookout development a nice entry with the round about. “They prettied up the round about with a water feature on the Chelan side giving the Lookout a grand entry,” said Morse.
He is concerned with all of the development going on and feels it is incumbent on the City to maintain a fine balance. “Forty seven percent of the people who buy homes here do not live here,” said Morse. He also feels that Chelan needs apartments to help alleviate the current housing crisis. “How many people can reasonably fit in the valley and still make it a nice place to live,” he asks.
His priority if elected would be to get back to basics. “We need to work on our water pressure issues,” stated Morse. He is also a huge advocate of a major Fire Wise program in the Valley.
“We need long term thinking and neither of the two mayors have impressed me with long term thinking,” said Morse.
Stan Morse was born in Chelan. He has a degree in Political Science and Psychology from Central Washington University and obtained his law degree from Southern Illinois University in 1979.
He continues to practice law and has never been married.