by Richard Uhlhorn
The five applicants for Servando Robledo’s vacated council seat were allowed a five minute introduction to their interest in the seat and answered Council questions at its Tuesday, October 4, workshop.
After all five gave their presentations and answered questions, the Council, Mayor and City Administrator entered into an executive session to discuss each applicants attributes and made a decision of who would finish out Robledo’s council term which ends in November, 2023.
Two applicants came out on top of these discussions; Wendy Isenhart and Mark Ericks, with Ericks getting the nod.
Isenhart had served on the council previously and said her interest was in serving out Robledo’s term and then letting the public select who would take his place. She had no interest in running for the position, but felt that her past Council experience which included nine yearly budget sessions would be of help to the Council. “I thought that (experience) would be helpful to Chelan,” she said.
Ericks, who became a full-time resident in Chelan in 2016, told the Council that his entire adult life was spent in government service. “I’m a firm believer in the value of citizen participation in government,” he said.
Ericks career carried him through as a police officer and detective at the city of Bellevue, Police Chief in Bothell and after retirement from law enforcement, became Bothell’s assistant city manager and administrative services director. He was elected as State Representative for the 1st Legislative District where he served three terms. He was also appointed as a U.S. Marshall for the Western District of Washington.
Asked if he would commit to running for Robledo’s seat when it came up for election, Ericks said, “I’m a partner of a partner. The decision is up to my wife.”
Both Isenhart and Ericks tied in the votes with Ericks getting the nod. After being sworn in by Mayor Bob Goedde, the Mayor thanked the rest of the applicants and told them that next year, five council seats along with the mayor will be up for election. He encouraged all of them to consider running.
Capital Improvements Program:
After seating Ericks, the workshop turned to the City’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) with Finance Director Steve Thornton explaining that the CIP is a 23 item project request for 2023 to 2027.
While some of the projects will be funded through a variety of City funds like the 2% bed tax and potential grant awards, Thornton told the Council members, “How do we propose to fund it.”
Some of these projects already have dedicated funds toward them, but need further funding options to complete.
Because significant residential home development has occurred in Chelan and the Valley, these changes lead to the need for the City to reassess existing city facilities and infrastructure.
New residents and visitors create a larger impact on parks and lake access which leads to the for more sidewalks, bike paths, additional turn lanes, roundabouts and other “people moving” investments. Water and sewer capacity also need to be addressed as well and the challenging transportation problems.
Council and Administration priorities:
These 23 priorities on the CIP list will be discussed by the Council in upcoming meetings beginning this coming Thursday, October 6 at a workshop beginning at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers.
The public is welcome to attend, but will not be allowed to speak unless approved by the Council.
A few of these 23 funding priorities include:
- Parks and Maintenance Building/Public Restrooms. Total design and cost for construction is $3,912,920;
- Skateboard Park $$1.500,000;
- Golf Course Irrigation System and Clubhouse improvement projects – $2,383,000 total;
- Lakeside Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail Grant Match – total cost $2,983,750 which includes $715,000 in a City match; and
- Airport Waterline Grant match -$868,000.
Input and citizen comment are welcome. Community members are encouraged to contact City Administrator Wade Ferris – 509-682-8019 or any of the department heads to discuss this CIP.
The City will have the entire CIP package on-line at the City’s website by October 6, 2023 for review by the community.