The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Rodger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

City gets new mayor


Members of the Goldendale City Council made a smooth transition to a new mayor last Tuesday, following the earlier resignation of former mayor Clint Baze. The normal Monday night meeting was shifted to Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday. (That pushed the meeting past The Sentinel's deadline.)

Gary Hoctor opened the meeting as mayor pro tem but handed it over as quickly as possible to Councilor Mike Canon, who was appointed unanimously as interim mayor. Canon had earlier filed to run in this November's election and is the only candidate to do so. Former mayor Baze had announced earlier that he would not seek re-election.

City Administrator Larry Bellamy told councilors before the vote that the path to a full mayoral term at this point is complicated: "The person that you appoint would fill the position until the election is certified, which would be around the third week of November. Then whoever is elected in the November ballot would take over at the time the election is certified and serve the balance of the mayor's current term, which would be until Dec. 31, 2015. Then the mayor-elect at that point would take the term to which he was elected, and he would begin that term in January 2016."

At the meeting's end, The Sentinel asked Canon how it felt to now be sitting in the hot seat:

"It's pretty daunting," he said, "but at the same time, I've talked to all the previous mayors, and they say this is going to be something I'll really enjoy, and I'm going to do the best I can do to make sure it's really enjoyable for everybody."

Canon took the reins and held them comfortably through the rest of the meeting, which covered a number of topics

Mike DeMott appeared on behalf of Central Washington Parks and Recreation department, which has taken over the children's soccer program. Games had been played at the school, but DeMott said signups have exceeded the school's capacity. He asked if the city would allow the program to use Ekone Park. "I hate to ask for anything. But my goal is to have the program be self-sufficient, to cover its small expenses – any sort of waiver or reduction would be much appreciated." He noted the program falls under parks and rec insurance. In response to question from Len Crawford, DeMott replied that 145 kids signed up for the program. Council immediately voted to waive all fees.

In other business, council members:

• approved a month to month lease extension with the Chamber of Commerce for use of a portion of city hall until the upgrades to the Chamber building and grounds are completed

• authorized a capital outlay of $14,229.78 for preventative maintenance on a lift station pump

• approved a $185,000 settlement with Goodpaster and two other families for a complicated set of claims dating back four years. Insurance will cover $35,000 of that amount and 30 percent of the city's legal fees

• had the second reading of ordinances on parking code and Animal Control revisions

• held the first reading of revisions to the nuisance code. One aspect received a bit of discussion, had to do with chain link fences to which slats are added. Those slats now must be in "earth tone colors" which are defined this way: "'Earth tone' means a color scheme that draws from a color palette of browns, tans, warm grays, and greens. The colors in an earth tone scheme are muted and flat in an emulation of the natural colors found in dirt, moss, trees and rocks."

No meeting was held last night due to the number of councilors on vacation. The council will next meet on Monday, Sept. 28.


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