John Olson, a retired real estate broker and Jon Higgins, a real estate broker with Chelan Realty, are both running for the same seat on Chelan City Council.
Both candidates are Chelan locals.
John Olson has been attending City Council meetings over the past four years and has been a public advocate for a number of issues including the affordable housing crisis in Chelan.
Olson left Chelan for the military in 1967 and worked a career in real estate on the west side of the mountains, purchasing his grandmother’s property in Chelan in 1994. “My family was always here, so there was a lot of visiting.” Olson retired and moved back permanently in 2013 where he has been active over the last four years attending City workshops, planning commission meetings, community meetings and county meetings. “I know all the issues,” said Olson. “Unfortunately, some people say I have an opinion,” quipped Olson.
He works full-time as a volunteer at the Chelan ReRun Store and has taken its income from $35,000 when he started to $170,000 this past year.
Olson sees Chelan changing rapidly, but not for the best. Traffic and overcrowding are major concerns Olson sees the community facing in the future. Parking is another issue he feels needs to be addressed. Public safety in the community is also high on his list of issues to address.
“I’ve had four years of watching and studying these issues,” said Olson. “Steve Kline (now deceased) and I worked on this for three and a half years. He wanted to run for Mayor.”
Olson says his greatest attribute as a councilman is that he is not an employee or an employer. “I’m retired. I can tell the truth to power.”
His message to voters is, “If we can work together, we can minimize these negative impacts of urban growth and sprawl in our community, but without our efforts many of these impacts will be inevitable.”
John can be reached at 253.209.1248 or by email at email@example.com.
Jon Higgins has lived in Chelan all of his life and is currently a real estate broker at Chelan Realty. He has a number of issues he would like to see the City address.
Higgins has been a resident of Chelan his entire life. “I thought it was time to throw my hat in the ring and give back to the citizens.”
His main concern is with the City’s use of its budget. “I walk around town and see sidewalks and streets that need work. Why are we not fixing those.” He has a major problem with the bricks in the sidewalks that are broken or coming lose. “I think we need to pull the bricks, concrete those areas and stamp them.”
Parking is another issue with Higgins. “The City Parks are overflowing,” says Higgins. “I would like to see the acquire a couple of properties for parking.” He sees the commercial property across Hwy 150 from Lakeshore RV Park an excellent piece for a new parking lot. He also says there is a lot for sale in Lakeside behind the Stone Church that would help to alleviate that park’s parking issues.
In addition, he feels the city could open up more parking at Lakeside Park. “Growth is inevitable but we need to improve our infrastructure to support that growth.” He sees tourism as a part of that growth and feels the community needs to embrace it.
“I just want to give back to the community that has supported me all my life,” says Higgins.
He can be reached at 509.881.4726 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.