Andy Ryder named Lacey’s new mayor

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 10, 2014 

Andy Ryder, a Lacey businessman who was elected to his second term on the Lacey City Council in November, was appointed by the council to be mayor Thursday night.

Ryder, 39, will serve a two-year term.

The council also appointed councilwoman Cynthia Pratt to be deputy mayor for a two-year term.

Ryder replaces former mayor Virgil Clarkson, who has served on the council since 1998, while Pratt replaces Councilman Jason Hearn as deputy mayor.

Ryder, who operates nine businesses in the area, including seven car washes, said during a brief recess Thursday night that one of his goals for the city is for it to continue to be a leader among jurisdictions in Thurston County.

“This is an exciting time for the city of Lacey,” he said.

Pratt thanked Clarkson for his service as mayor, as did Ryder, who said he will always think of Clarkson as mayor. Ryder said to Clarkson that he will “aspire to fill your shoes.”

Councilman Jeff Gadman also was nominated to be deputy mayor, but he declined. After the council meeting, he said he didn’t think he could be a deputy mayor to the best of his abilities because of the demands of his job. Gadman is a division manager for the Thurston County Assessor’s Office.

Also Thursday night:

 • Mayor Ryder called for a moment of silence to remember longtime Lacey City Attorney Ken Ahlf, who died Monday at Providence St. Peter Hospital. He was 72. City Manager Scott Spence said Ahlf served the city for 43 years. He said the city lost a “giant of the profession,” and added that Ahlf was “completely devoted to his family.”

 • After discussing it last week, the council approved a contract for the cleanup and removal of a chemical, Bioxide, that leaked out of an underground tank near Avonlea Park. The chemical, which is used to control wastewater odors, contains no hazardous substances and ranks low on the toxicity scale.

 • The council also approved an accord between the city and the Nisqually Tribe to memorialize their partnership. The city and tribe have worked closely over the years in areas such as jail services and water rights. The city also will be working with the tribe once it begins to develop about 250 acres of property that the tribe either owns or co-owns in Hawks Prairie.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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