Ken Balsley among candidates seeking seats on Lacey City Council

Ken Balsley has filed to run for a seat on Lacey City Council.
Ken Balsley has filed to run for a seat on Lacey City Council. Staff file, 2016

The Lacey City Council campaign season is going to be very busy.

That’s because Councilman Jeff Gadman is the new Thurston County treasurer, Councilman Virgil Clarkson has decided he won’t run, and council members Andy Ryder, Cynthia Pratt and Michael Steadman are all up for election this fall. Steadman has filed to defend his seat, state Public Disclosure Commission data show.

Two already have filed with the PDC to run: Ken Balsley, a longtime resident known for his blog about the community, and Richard Bokofsky. Bokofsky could not immediately be reached.

Balsley, 74, last ran for Lacey City Council in 1987, he said Thursday. Thirty years later, he has decided to do it again. He said he has been critical and made suggestions to city officials over the years, but it’s hard to influence city government from the outside.

“I don’t want to be on the outside throwing rocks, but get inside to make it better,” he said.

Gadman is expected to resign from the council, which means the city likely will seek applicants to fill his position. Balsley also plans to apply for the position, he said. But if he doesn’t get the appointment, he still plans to run for Gadman’s seat, which is Position 3.

If elected, Balsley said he likes the idea of a city sports commission to promote the area. He also wants the city to continue to support veterans and to further assess its responsibilities with regard to its urban growth area, such as converting septic systems to city sewer.

“We not only need to look at it, but come up with solutions,” he said.

“I want to make it a good place to live and do business,” said Balsley about Lacey.

Balsley served in the Army for five years, including three years at Fort Lewis, then attended The Evergreen State College. He worked in journalism for several years at the Olympia News and Lacey Leader, then later in public relations, including at North Thurston Public Schools. He later combined the two backgrounds into his own business: Balsley & Associates, which produced a long-running newsletter, and later a blog and podcast. Balsley also is chairman of Lacey’s parks board.

Council members Jason Hearn and Lenny Greenstein are not up for election this year.