Tumwater mayoral candidates

Pete Kmet

Age: 55

Occupation: senior environmental engineer, Washington State Department of Ecology

Education: bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Norwich University (Military College of Vermont), 1975; master’s degree, environmental engineering, University of Wisconsin, 1977.

Appointed or elected government experience: Tumwater City Council, 1992 to present (deputy mayor, 1996 to present); served on numerous boards and intergovernmental committees.

Family: Wife, Nancy; two sons, Michael, 22, and Nicholas, 18.

Major endorsements: Mayor Ralph Osgood, Councilwoman and former mayoral candidate Joan Cathey, Thurston County Democrats.

Contact information: 360-943-4550, petekmetformayor@comcast.net, www.petekmetformayor.com, 434 C St. S.W., Tumwater, WA 98512.

The first major task for the newly elected mayor will be to appoint a new city administrator to supervise the daily operation of City Hall, subject to confirmation by the City Council. What qualities will you look for when you make that appointment?

The city administrator is a key position in Tumwater city government, helping the mayor represent the city and run City Hall. I’m looking for a candidate that has strong management skills and experience, preferably in local government; can think strategically; has great organizational skills; works well with others; has great communication skills; will work well with both neighborhoods and businesses; has experience with labor issues; is willing to put in the extra hours needed for the position; and, complements my skills but will also likely be interested in working for the city long after my term of office. In short, I’m looking for someone that will be an exceptional long-term leader.

Residents have expressed frustration over the delays associated with the Littlerock Road and North Street projects. The decision by the general contractor to step away from the projects was unforeseen, but are there steps the city can take to alleviate these problems in the future? If so, what are they?

Both of these projects have been frustrating for me, too, and I apologize to our residents inconvenienced by these delays. In the case of both Littlerock Road and North Street, the contractor went bankrupt (for reasons unrelated to the city contracts) and left the work unfinished. In any construction project of this magnitude, we require the winning bidder to post a bond, which is essentially an insurance policy guaranteeing the project will be completed. After extensive negotiations with the bond holder, we have since retained two new contractors to complete these projects at no additional cost to the city. While we cannot eliminate the possibility of this happening again, we can minimize the chances through a careful review of contractor qualifications and history. I would also like to see us bid projects earlier in the year so construction can be completed during the summer months as much as feasible. Lastly, some governments use incentive payments to accelerate work on critical projects and I’d like to see us explore that option.

The brewery property has sat idle for more than six years, and there’s no indication redevelopment is on the horizon. What steps can the city take to help the current owner or future owners put the property to productive use?

There actually has been some activity on the former brewery property. The Bellatorre mixed-use development along Capitol Boulevard has largely completed the permitting process. The city has had several contacts from prospective developers for other parts of the brewery complex but, in my opinion, the current owner is asking too high a price to make redevelopment feasible. The most important thing we can do to facilitate future redevelopment is convey our community’s vision for the brewery complex to the current and potential future owners. This will minimize delays in the redevelopment process. We already have a wonderful plan for the old brewhouse that provides for dynamic future uses, while preserving the historic nature of this building. We need a similar plan for the rest of the brewery property that will provide for redevelopment that complements the brewery’s beautiful natural environment and is compatible with nearby residents and businesses. We are currently working on a strategic plan for the city, which addresses city-wide future development opportunities. A key recommendation in that plan is we engage the community to help envision the brewery’s future. I would like to move ahead with that as soon as staff resources permit.

As of Sept. 10, Kmet had raised $4,205.75 in cash and in-kind contributions and spent $2,880.93, according to PDC records. He had $1,324.82 in hand.

Top five donors:

1. Frank Hensley, commissioner for the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission, $350

2. Wayne Williams, Williams, Wyckoff & Ostrander, an Olympia law firm, $300

3. Craig McCormack, toxicologist, state Department of Ecology, $250

4. Ralph Osgood, Tumwater mayor, $200

5. Wayne Lieb, Putnam Lieb, an Olympia law firm, $200

Neil McClanahan

Age: 57

Occupation; retired Thurston County undersheriff

Education: bachelor’s degree, human behavior, The Evergreen State College, 1974; two years of graduate study at the University of Puget Sound, 1976 to 1978; graduate of FBI National Academy, 179th session, 1994; Tumwater City Council, 2004 to present.

Family: Wife, Sandra; three daughters, Megan, 31, Molly, 29, and Kaitlin, 26.

Major endorsements: Secretary of State Sam Reed, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Holm and Mike Murphy, retired state treasurer.

Contact information: 360-791-0740, mcclann@comcast.net, www.neilmcclanahan.com, 3219 Capitol Boulevard South, Tumwater, WA 98501

The new city administrator needs to be a team builder of all the department heads, union leaders and employees. They should be in the loop of all city affairs that have major impacts on the citizens of Tumwater and should keep the mayor apprised, without micro-managing, of city affairs that the mayor may need to address publicly.

The city should always have a backup bond on all major projects, not unlike we had with the Littlerock and North streets. What we also need is a much firmer plan to implement the backup, bonding mechanism, should this ever need happen again.

Waiting and hoping hasn’t worked, I want the city to take the lead on a public-private partnership to create a development plan the public supports, that recruits developers who will invest to make this happen.

As of Aug. 31, McClanahan had raised $12,124.98 in cash and in-kind contributions and spent $11,593.07, according to PDC records. He had $531.91 in hand.

Top five donors:

1. Thurston County Realtors Association, $1,000

2. Byron McClanahan, his father, $500

3. Byron McClanahan Jr., his brother, $500

4. Clair Ferris, director of Funeral Alternatives, $250.

4. Kaufman Development LP, $250

4. Janet McClanahan, his former wife, $250