Mayor's monthly update for Eatonville

Thank you for giving me the honor of being your mayor. The last 21 months have been challenging, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time. As mayor, my motto is “Just do what is right” and I live by this as I make my day-to-day decisions and set strategic goals.

As we do “what is right”, your amazing town staff and I have been diligently working on the following projects:

• 95% completion of SR 161 project while addressing material delivery delays, utility conflicts, and various contractor issues.

• Repaved Carter Street.

• Negotiated a mutually acceptable tentative contract with South Pierce Fire and Rescue.

• Prepared bid documents to pave View Crest Drive and Center Street E. next spring (Weyerhaeuser Rd. to Mashell bridge) covered by a $432,000 grant.

• Advancing old landfill cleanup permitting to be covered by $6,200,000 grant.

• Designing/permitting Mashell River streambank armor repair covered by $990,000 grant.

• Completed a large outdoor refrigerator/freezer for the Community Center covered by a COVID relief grant.

• Completed a comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan.

• Completed a Middle Housing Analysis in house, funded by a $55,000 grant from the Department of Commerce.

• Making good progress on the Comprehensive Plan update.

• Success in a $213,000 grant for a Park Plan update and trail design to Box Car Canyon.

• Resolved issues with hangars in receivership at the airport.

• Improving building permitting processes.

• Prepared various forms of design standard simplification [Title 19] through the planning commission for council approval.

• $400,000-$1,00,000 street grant applications are pending.

• $40,000 maintenance grant is pending for parks.

The following are some of the projects I have been working on since my election:

• Started the Eatonville Vision Team (organization of town leaders focused on controlled growth).

• Along with Bob Walter, motivated creation of the Eatonville Main Street Association (town residents focused on revitalization of Mashell Avenue).

• Working with the school district to start a “student voice” program at the High School focusing on involving students in government and local business activities (still in process).

• Establishing an Eatonville Foundation.

• Met with state and federal legislators, establishing relationships for the future while looking for funding for Eatonville community projects including a new stadium, track and field. This was done in cooperation with the Eatonville School District.

• Supporting and coordinating airport issues through the newly formed Airport Commission.

• Working with the Eatonville School District on their five-year strategic plan.

• Motivated improvements to the Town Hall which will provide greater protection for police personnel.

• Utilized citizens groups to start simplifying the Eatonville Municipal Code.

• Hired a new town administrator and a full-time in-house planner instead of using contracted services.

• Negotiated transfer of control of the Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad (MRSR) to a local non-profit (supports comprehensive plan goals).

• Worked with MRSR to ensure rail cycles were up and running for the 2023 season, thereby increasing Eatonville tourist traffic.

• Instrumental in the creation of the Mt. Rainier Corridor Team (focused on working with Mt. Rainier National Park and businesses in the corridor to improve business vitality).

Some goals we are still working on:

• Improvements to the processes and procedures at the Town Hall.

• Completing the Comprehensive Plan.

• Simplifying the Eatonville Municipal Code.

• Getting the train into Eatonville. This has been a comprehensive plan goal since 2000. We are the first administration to pursue and experience some success with this issue.

• Increasing products and services available to town citizens.

• Ensuring there is enough competition in town to ensure town citizens are paying competitive prices.

As you can see, we are extremely busy and have been very successful on many major issues. I want to encourage you to vote in this election. Voting in small, local elections is the best opportunity for your vote to really make a difference. A swing of 15 votes decided one race in the last election. Town residents have an opportunity to make significant, positive changes in this election. Please research the candidates and remember to vote. Thank you for your support.


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