Selby leads Mills in Olympia race of newcomers

Staff writerNovember 5, 2013 

Boutique owner Cheryl Selby carried a substantial lead in early returns for her bid for Olympia City Council Position 4.

“I had an amazing ground team. My strategy from the get-go was to reach as many doors as possible, and I did that through the help of high school interns,” Selby said Tuesday night.

Selby credited opponent Darren Mills for running a good campaign.

“I think that anybody that runs unopposed doesn’t have to think about things as deeply as if you had an opponent, and I had a really worthy opponent,” she said.

Challenger Mills, also a downtown business owner was trailing Tuesday night.

Neither candidate had previous experience in an elected office.

Selby moved to Olympia with her family in 1994 and had several city jobs. In 2006, she opened the Vivala boutique.

Selby said her top priorities are “ community vitality, ” economic development and shortening City Council meeting times, which, in the past year, have lasted as long as six hours.

She said the city needs to redirect money to support the Police Department and rejoin the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, which the city left in recent years because of budget cuts. She said the city also needs to support businesses, noting that her two locations generate close to $40,000 per year in sales tax revenue.

Mills said his top priorities are communication between the city and public, downtown, and the city budget.

Mills supported a plan for a controversial proposed homeless shelter that would allow sex offenders and drug users on its 10th Avenue premises.

Selby opposes having such a shelter downtown, in a neighborhood or near a school, but said she wanted to explore locating it near medical services.

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