Election omak chronicle

About this section: The Chronicle’s election section provides voters with information about the profiles of candidates running for public office in local, contested races in the Nov. 2 general election. Earlier this month, candidates in contested races were asked questions along with personal and background information. Most responded, some did not. Candidates’ answers to questions were limited to 100 words per response. Responses that exceeded 100 words were edited for length at the nearest sentence to the limit. Responses are published as submitted, with only spelling and grammatical corrections made. Information, including questions and candidates’ responses was compiled by Chronicle Managing Editor Brock Hires. Each candidates’ response reflects his or her own opinions. Any allegations or assertions expressed about candidates have not been determined to be true nor false. Publication of this section does not imply agreement nor endorsement by The Chronicle. As additional responses are received, they will be added to this story.

Okanogan mayor

Jon K. Culp

Age: 51

Background: After graduating from OHS, the Army, and college, we chose to move back to Okanogan to raise our children where we grew up. My grandpa Howard was on city council and the conservation district board of supervisors. His giving back showed me a path to community involvement that guided my last 21 years of service while working as a natural resource conservation planner.  My contributions include: 12 years city council, one on Board of Adjustment, and 7+ as Mayor.  I’ve also served our community as a board member for B4B, RMEF, Economic Alliance, Council of Governments, and Anti-Racism in Okanogan County. 

Family: Wife Dayla, and grown children Samantha, Mathew, Caulan, LeeAnna, and Madeline. My great grandpa Rappe’ helped construct the Methodist “Rock” church. My great grandma Funk owned a café where the Club Tavern now stands. My grandma and grandpa Hirni owned a confectionary on main-street where the old vacuum store used to be.  Grandma and grandpa Culp owned a couple businesses on main-street, the Okanogan Haus where the Subway/gas station sits, and an apple wreath shop across from Rawson’s.

 

Why are you running for this position?

I’d like to continue working to help make our wonderful town be a place where high school graduates want to return, where there is opportunity for them. I’d like to continue to lead a great team of staff to work on planning and economic development projects in partnership with the community. I will continue to focus on a mixture of grant and rate-payer funding to maintain the existing infrastructure while also seeking funding for community improvements. I’ll continue to use the recently completed engineering assessment to further our work with the Army Corps of Engineers and adjacent land owners to determine the next step in repairing the outdated levee system.

 

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

Thoughtful experience and community involvement.  I know what is involved in this non-partisan, community leadership role.  I have a proven and consistent record as a supervisor, a manager, a planner, a leader, and an implementer. During my seven-plus years in this role, I have, through teamwork, brought millions in grant and other funding to implement water, sewer, sidewalk, and road projects.  We’ve spent thousands in planning for the future of our infrastructure and economy.  I work every day to ensure that you get the most for your money in an effective, efficient, and safe way. 

 

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

An aging and outdated infrastructure.  We have more miles of pipe and asphalt than we can afford to replace at today’s prices.  The price of PVC pipe has more than doubled in the last year.  We need to work to encourage infill development and density and find creative ways to help finance maintaining these systems in perpetuity.  Again, we continue to work on repairing the levee without negatively impacting the houses and people we are trying to protect. 

Also, increased housing costs, decreased housing availability, increased frequency in climate impacts- flood, fire, drought, and a need for long-range economic development beyond the pandemic.

 

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

It is fantastic to see young people interested in giving back to the community.  His past military service and fire service are admirable and appreciated.


Kurt Jacobson

Age: 32

Background: I was born and raised in Okanogan, and received most of my education here. I attended Wenatchee Valley College in Omak, then earned my Bachelor’s in Law & Justice at Central Washington University. I joined the Army in 2014, then moved back home to Okanogan at the end of my term.

I have volunteered in many community-oriented organizations, including the Okanogan Fire Department, the American Red Cross, and HOPE. I am a member of the screening committee of the Hugh and Margie Colson Scholarship Trust, and Secretary of the Okanogan Fire Association.

Family: My father is Daryl Jacobson, a retired teacher for the Okanogan School District. My mother, Sherrie Sype, is a retired registered nurse who has worked in many capacities within the community, including as School Nurse for Okanogan, and nurse for Juvenile Detention.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for Mayor of Okanogan because it will be an opportunity to serve my community in a capacity which is meaningful, positive and lasting. I am bringing with me changes which have been developed in accordance with ideas and perspectives from many citizens of Okanogan who are active in the community, and who serve the best interests of the City.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent.

The two key factors which distinguish myself from Mayor Culp, are our views on maintaining efficient city policy, and our leadership styles. While it is always most effective to be proactive rather than reactive in these matters, my distinguishing characteristic is that I believe that once an effectively self-sustaining system is in place, it should be treated as such. It should only be monitored for adjustment as needed; thereby leaving the Mayor more time to focus their attention on other important City matters.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

The biggest challenge facing Okanogan is a perpetual one: our small-scale economy. That is why our local businesses are the lifeblood of this city, and why I will commit to working hard in these especially challenging times to promote the growth of tourism and commerce as one of my highest priorities.

I will also be making every effort to keep our city’s money circulating within Okanogan by supporting our local citizens, businesses and contractors with a strong and reasonable local preference policy in regards to city events, projects, jobs and positions.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

On a personal level, Mayor Culp is a very pleasant and engaging person to associate with. Professionally, he is both thoughtful and sincere when considering policies and procedures in the performance of his duties.



Pateros mayor

Carlene Anders

Age: 55

Background:  Following high school in Pateros, I graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Recreation. In the mid-nineties, after coaching rowing at Gonzaga and WSU, I came back to Pateros School District as a certified teacher and track coach. We have operated a small business in the city for the past 24 years. Since 2014, I have served as the Executive Director of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group. In that role much of my time has been locating funding streams for recovery and community.  Experience has included grant writing and securing governmental funding.  

Family: My husband Gene and I have been married 33 years, and lived 25 of those in the city limits of Pateros. Our children Jessi (25) and Danny (18) attended Pateros School, grades K-12. Danny is now a senior and a Running Start student at Wenatchee Valley College. Jessi and her husband live and work in Bozeman, Montana, following their attendance at Montana State University. For several decades we have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of parents with the care and education of their children in our licensed home preschool and daycare. We consider many of them family also.

Why are you running for this position?

Because I love Pateros and have a continuing desire to help it grow. My parents, Ray and Lynne Anders, and grandparents, George and Caroline Hymer, instilled a strong sense of duty to contribute to community. In 2014, I was asked to join the Council and consider running for Mayor. Over the past six years as Mayor, I have learned the needs of our small city, the procedures of business and how to navigate local municipality government. My commitment to Pateros and our community has become even stronger, having worked with some of the best staff and council members anywhere around.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

Most notably, experience. After 7 years as an elected official, the working connections have been established and have benefited our City in many different ways.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

The biggest challenge facing our city is the “aging out” of our infrastructure systems. Many were built in the 1940’s or installed in the mid sixties with the building of Wells Dam. Many were filled over during the City’s elevation increase, making some of these utilities difficult to locate and difficult to repair. Over the past few years, we have worked to identify, digitally record, and create a maintenance plan for some of that infrastructure. We hope to look at upcoming infrastructure funding that may help the City of Pateros upgrade.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

Kelly and I were in the same class in school from 1974-1984 (3rd-12th grades). Kelly was always happy-go-lucky and enjoyable to be around. He made us smile.


Kelly Hook

Age: 55

Background:  Up to this campaign I have never pursued a public office.  All of my law enforcement career was spent working in a small town and dealing with small town issues, conflict resolution and citizens in need from their city government.  I retired with 30 years of experience working in a small town.

Family: I was raised in Pateros after moving here in 1974. I graduated from Pateros High School in 1984.  My brother and sister also attended and graduated from Pateros.  My sister and my father still live in the area.  I have been married for 22 years and have a son who is in his freshman year at Pateros High School.

Why are you running for this position?

I have always been interested in city government and like a lot of people, I have ownership in this town and want to serve the citizens of Pateros. I want to see Pateros grow.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent.

I am retired and therefore have the time to dedicate myself to the people and the community without distractions or conflict of interest.  I will be your full time mayor.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

In my opinion, like other cities, Pateros has had its share of heartache, headache and devastation.  We have water issues still occurring after the fires even with an updated system. We also have a major housing shortage that the city is currently dealing with.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent.

Mayor Anders has worked long and hard towards the recovery efforts after the fires. She has dedicated countless hours helping those who lost their homes try to find housing or rebuild.



Tonasket mayor

Marylou Kriner

Age: Not provided

Background: My family and I have resided in the Okanogan Highlands for 13 years, we have witnessed much change and during this time we grew a connection to the people and places that make the Highlands, but especially to the Tonasket area and its people. I have always believed actions speak louder than words and I have made it my obligation to get involved when organizations need active people to participate to meet goals. I am very active in the community and feel more can be accomplished in Tonasket. I currently work on the boards of multiple organizations in Tonasket.

Family: Not provided

Why are you running for this position?

I have been getting more and more involved with City Government for the last five years, I feel it is the right time to extend my role of Interim Mayor to Mayor Elect because my business is going well, my children are grown and my desire to serve this community has not waivered. I commit my time, management, and planning skills to continue to bring significant value to the position of Mayor. I work well as a leader, team member, and confident voice at the table representing Tonasket and keeping Tonasket’s needs in the forefront.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I cannot say what distinguishes me from my opponent; unfortunately, as active as I have been in the community and with the organizations, I do not know Mr. Maldonado. I know that The Comancheros, Tonasket Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, and other groups I volunteer with hold pieces of my heart for this community, and I enjoy the time I serve. I am not a politician; I am a servant of the Tonasket community.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

I believe the biggest challenge facing our city is two-fold: infrastructure and safety. Like planning an event or activity, until you have been involved in the process of dealing with infrastructure issues, you don’t know how many steps it takes to make progress. It is the unseen, unknown work of city government, staff and crews, time is a most valuable resource and planning and managing skills are needed to help move these prioritization processes forward. Safety is a minute-by-minute concern and working with the county is an ongoing process to get law enforcement involved in our community.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent.

I am sure Mr. Maldonado is a very nice man and I hope to get to know him more as he gets more involved in our community.


Rene Maldonado

Age: 45

Background: Education - B.A. degree, EWU; Masters, WSU; E.B.D: ASU. Career - Air force, Information Management Specialist.; Wenatchee Valley College, educational planner; M&A Orchards, owner/manager. Current employment - Employment Security Department, State Monitor Advocate.

Family: Wife Bertha Villa, sons Alejandro Maldonado and  Andres Maldonado.

Why are you running for this position?

To give back to my community. To engage all Tonasket residents in tackling the challenges we face.  I want to improve everyone’s quality of life and enjoyment of there city.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent.

I believe my leadership style and background uniquely qualifies me to bring the community together.  

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

Lack of participation. Folks don’t feel their participation is welcomed or that it matters.  

Please state one nice comment about your opponent.

She strives to improve her community.



Pateros School District | Director District 5

Diane Hull

Age: 62

Background: I’ve been involved with education my whole life and made a career of it. Schools I’ve attended were: AA Wenatchee Valley  College, BA in Ed Central Washington University, MA in Curriculum & Instruction with Administrative Certification  Gonzaga University During my 40-plus years in the Bridgeport School District, I was a teacher, building administrator, and district administrator.

Family: My family has life-long roots in Pateros.  My Grandma, my parents, my husband and I, and our children are all proud graduates of Pateros High School.  Some of our grandkids are attending Pateros and could become fifth generation graduates of Pateros.

Why are you running for this position?

I fee like it is important for community members to be involved in our schools.  In Pateros, the school is the center of our community.  We have a proud school tradition and I’d like to do my part to continue to see it flourish.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I don’t know about my opponent, but I feel like I can see the big picture.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

The biggest challenge is maintaining a quality education for a small, rural school, not only during this pandemic, but on down the road.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

Mark has given his time to help the school and community.


Mark Ward

Age: 54

Background: Serving in my first year as a school board member, taking over for Charles Miller. Currently in my 31st year as a teacher, having taught Kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as College in the Classroom courses through WVC. Moved to Pateros in 2018. I’ve been in education my entire life, as my father, mother, and step-father are all retired teachers and administrators.Earned a BA in Elementary Education and MS in PE from CWU.

Family: My wife, Janet, and I have been married 30 years. She teaches in Bridgeport.  We have a 23 year old daughter, Anna, who graduated from EWU last spring, and is currently working as a social worker in Spokane. Our son, Michael, is a Freshman at Pateros. We also have 2 cats and a dog.

Why are you running for this position?

As a parent and tax payer, it is important to me to make sure that our schools put our students first ;and are good stewards of the tax money they receive. As a life-long educator, I’ve seen, first-hand, what quality instruction can do for a community. It is also the duty of a board member to make sure the tax money received from the community is used wisely, with the big picture and future in mind.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

What distinguishes me from my opponent? I’ve only lived here for about three years, so I can look at our school district with the eyes of a more neutral person. I don’t have the emotional history of being an alumnus of Pateros, or having my spouse be the retired principal.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

Currently, the biggest challenge facing our school district is the challenge all districts have: How do we provide quality education to our students when we have to deal with mask mandates, immunization questions, and the spectre of social distancing. Education is a relational activity that needs to be shared between all parties. We must be able to come together for the good of our children. In addition to Covid-19, we must improve our offerings in the classrooms and extra-curricular arenas so we can stop losing our local student body to neighboring districts.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

Diane loves her family and her community. I’m sure that being a school board member is a very personal choice for all in her family.



City of Pateros | Council Position 1

Frank Herbert

Age: 51

Background: My father was born and raised in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico and I grew up in Texas before joining the Marine Corps, the next 21 years taking me around the world.  We fell in love with Pateros over 20 years ago while stationed at Kitsap Sub base. After retiring from the Marines and teaching High School for 8 years, we realized our dream of moving to Pateros-back home for my wife, Julie. I work as a Behavioral Health Student Assistance Professional for NCESD.  I’m a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, VFW, and Disabled American Veterans.

Family:  My wife Julie, my mother Elizabeth, and disabled sister Melinda live with us.  Our daughter Madeline is a junior at George Fox University after getting her AA at WVC.

Why are you running for this position?

Appointed to City Council in February to fill a vacancy, I serve on the Solid Waste & Recycling and Police, Fire, Health & Safety Committees. Before Well’s Dam, Pateros had-conservatively-40 businesses, as well as theaters. Since then, Pateros has been continuously fighting to regain its true place as the Gateway to the Okanogan.  While the city and its resilient residents have done amazing things, there is still much to be done to attract industry/business, and keep our streets safe for our children. I believe in being a good steward of the tax-payer’s dollar and ensuring everyone gets a say.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I have an incredibly diverse background coupled with decades of experience in leadership and financial management.  I have served in the highest enlisted rank in the Marines where I helped manage several different funding streams in the millions of dollars as well as supervising hundreds of Marines and leading them in challenging and austere environments. I’ve to taught youth in a city public school followed by working in Behavioral Health, while working nights to finish my degree in Organizational Leadership.  I believe These experiences and skill sets can be best used on City Council.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

By far, affordable housing.  The residents of Pateros, as well as those seeking to move here, are hard-working people that want a reasonable place to live that’s safe for their family.  These people are either getting priced out of the area or there simply aren’t any homes available.  Most people work out of the Pateros area due to the lack of businesses and industry here, so the need for affordable housing is paramount.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

While I don’t know Chantel personally or had the chance to see her at Council Meetings, it should be noted that as a working parent, looking to volunteer her time for her community should be commended.  This is a thankless position with lots of work and anyone willing to step up for the sake of their community should be applauded.  If we all looked for ways to volunteer within our community and not just when in is convenient, imagine what our towns would look like!


Chantel R. Poole

Age: 27

Background: I was raised in both Pateros and Brewster all of my life by my parents, Tracey Ervin and Maverick Poole. I graduated from Pateros High School and returned after graduating from Western Washington University with a BA in both Accounting and Management Information Systems. I decided that a small town community is what I wanted for myself and for my family. This is my first time running for an elected position and I am excited to see what I can do for the City of Pateros.

Family: Husband Benjamin – Children: Kaiya, Caleb, Rylan, Charlotte, and Eliza – Cats: Mr. Pickles & Leo

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I want to make a difference in my town and be involved with what’s happening in our community. It is important that the council is well represented so that the voices of our diverse community members are heard. I have always been proud to call this place home and love that I feel comfortable with letting my kids walk down the street, knowing there is always someone that will recognize them and keep an eye out. I want to help preserve that.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

My background in finance as well as information systems give me a unique way at looking at processes and how they could be improved. I am invested in the long term outlook of the city for both the current and future generations of Pateros citizens so they have the same sense of community I grew up with.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

Affordable housing and economic redevelopment are two challenges I see almost every day. People who live here can’t work here and the people who work here can’t live here. For example, there are many teachers that have to commute here from other areas. Many people living in Pateros must commute to the surrounding towns in order to find sustainable work. The lack of single family housing for those looking for starter homes or looking to move here is an inhibitor for the growth of our community. There are many empty storefronts downtown that are an opportunity for our economy.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

Frank has been a wonderful asset to the community and is always willing to lend a helping hand. His coordination efforts to get Team Rubicon to Pateros after the Carlton Complex Fire will always be remembered.



Hospital District 4 | Commissioner District 3

Vicki C. Lewis

Age: 74

Background: Raised on a small dairy ranch with 3 brothers and 1 sister (My brothers and I were a great hay-hauling crew).  Attended Humboldt State University (Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing) and University of California San Francisco (Master’s Degree in Nursing). Served as a corpsman in the US Coast Guard, then transitioned to the US Army Reserve.  Served in-country for Desert Storm.  Retired as Lt Colonel with 21 years of service. I am currently on the North Valley Hospital District Long Range Focus Committee.

Family: Husband, Paul, who is retired SPD and U.S. Coast Guard

Why are you running for this position?

My husband and I have lived in Okanogan County for the past 36 years. I was employed for many of those years at Wenatchee Valley College North and Mid-Valley Hospital.   Most recently I have been volunteering for the mass vaccination events and realized how much I missed teamwork and serving my community.  I believe I have a working knowledge of health care needs, systems and resources for our region. I am seeking the opportunity to use leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the service of my community as a hospital commissioner.  

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

My nursing/leadership career began with the advent of specialty care units and has spanned 50 years in civilian and military settings. (And I still vividly remember the first patient I defibrillated.). I have knowledge/experience as a: clinical specialist in critical care/trauma units, staff development coordinator, and nursing instructor in LPN, AND, BSN and MSN programs.  I was DNS for Mid-Valley Hospital prior to being activated for Desert Storm. I believe my knowledge of health care, education and management skills and my long history of striving for excellence in what I do would serve me well as a hospital commissioner.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge in terms of human and financials losses for our community.  Decisions based on critical thinking criteria of truths and facts and not opinions and beliefs will continue to be crucial.  I was taught to research three credible sources before accepting and using information as a truth/fact.  Another challenge is balancing changes in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement with rising costs of health care structures and function.  A third challenge is developing strategies to increase access to health care, wellness and prevention especially for residents in outlying regions.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent.

I respect Herb’s many years of dedicated service and accomplishments as a commissioner for North Valley Hospital District. I also like the sense of a smile in his voice. And when I was told that Herb liked to work in his flower garden, the WSU Master Gardener in me smiled.


Herbert J. Wandler

Age: Very healthy 86

Background: U.S. Army veteran as a tanker specialist, was located in Augsberg, Germany, owner operator of family business for 39 years, EMT for 18 years. Past president of Tonasket Chamber of Commerce, Tonasket Kiwanis Club, Hope Lutheran Church Tonasket. Served a term as representative of all hospitals in Okanogan County with Washington State Hospital Association, which required attending quarterly meetings in Seattle, WA.  

Currently a board member of North Valley Hospital Foundation, finance chairman of Tonasket Kiwanis Club.

Family:  Wife Bertha, one son Kenneth, two daughters Teresa and Pamela, four grandchildren, one great grandchild.

Why are you running for this position?

I have experience to offer and am very dedicated to the continued success of North Valley Hospital.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

Experience is essential. We’ve been through the rough times of growing and moving forward, such as the passing of a bond issue for the new hospital add on. Also, the County warrants of nearly eight millions dollars, which took some very hard decisions to succeed in paying them off. We are now working on moving forward and I want to be a part of that.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

Currently it is the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most health care facilities at times we’re being pushed for resources, primarily space. We look forward to the end of this dreadful virus.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

Military experience and healthcare are both honorable duties.



Bridgeport School District | Director No. 2

Kathy (Katherine) Corbin

Age: 70

Background:  I am a 48-year resident of Bridgeport.  I have an AA from Wenatchee Valley College and a BA in K-8 Education with an endorsement in K-12 Spanish from Central Washington University.  I have a 5th year from California State University-Dominguez Hills, and have taken numerous other classes from various educational institutions.  I was a volunteer teacher’s aide in the Bridgeport School District for 15 years and taught in the district for 26 years.  In June, 2021, I was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the School Board.

Family:  My husband, David, and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

Why are you running for this position?

I decided to become a teacher in the third grade and consistently worked toward that goal.  During my career I taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and have extensive experience with special programs, both as a teacher and as a director.  I retired from full-time teaching in 2017 and substituted until the COVID outbreak.  Now I would like to continue my involvement with education and the students of Bridgeport through a position on the School Board.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

Having worked in the district I bring a unique perspective to the School Board,  With my experience teaching and my knowledge of special programs I understand the workings of the district and I know the needs of the teachers and students.  I know the needs of the community from my years living here, and I am bilingual (English/Spanish).  In June, 2021, I was appointed to fill an unexpired term  on the School Board, so I am already familiar with their goals and challenges.  This background will increase my effectiveness as a School Board member.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

The biggest challenge facing our school district at this time is the same one facing most districts:  COVID.  As a district we need to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, while providing a quality in-person educational experience.

Tied to this is the need to provide extra educational support and opportunities to help students to make up losses that were the unfortunate results of last year’s school closures.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

It is always positive when someone runs for a position to support her community.


Lorena Vazquez

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions



City of Tonasket | Council Position 3

Patti Hill

Age:  67

Background: Tonasket High school, Spokane Community colleges & WVC.  Registered Health Information technician independent study & worked at St. Martin’s Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, Home Health, MVH & NVH in Health Information, Compliance & Privacy.  Bookkeeper of family-owned businesses.  I spend volunteer hours with the American Legion Auxiliary (past secretary), Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Tonasket Okanogan Valley Lions Club (current treasurer). Currently president of THS CTE advisory board. Member & past president of the North Country Car club & helped organize several car shows. Past organizer TNT swim meets.  Assist FFA with parades.

Family:  Tonasket area has been my home for all but 5 years of my life having lived in Spokane previously.  I have been married 42 years to George & have two beautiful daughters with 7 grandchildren.  I have 4 brothers living in the Okanogan valley and one sister in Virginia.

Why are you running for this position?

Tonasket has been good to my family & I want to give back to this community in a different capacity. My experiences with navigating state & federal regulations, managing employees, budgeting, and writing policies have prepared me for this city council position. I am a problem solver & team player. I will assist the city of Tonasket to be sustainable & successful with making fact-based decisions on matters & issues while having financial responsibility with city funds.  I will seek ways to bring businesses & other ventures into the Tonasket City tax base as well as needed services to our area &  collaborate with current businesses & services to improve relationships as needed.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I am not aware of what my opponent’s views are as we haven’t had the opportunity to become acquainted with each other.  I have a vested interest in Tonasket and have been involved in the community in many functions. I have attended approximately 70% of City Council meetings.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

I see and hear of numerous challenges facing the city of Tonasket, however, at this time I don’t know that I can state just one until I know all the facts to make an informed decision/answer to this question.  Some challenges I see are homelessness & drug use, aging infrastructure, lack of tax revenue, property theft & damage.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

As of writing this, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet my opponent, therefore I am unable to make any comments.


Barry Kendall

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions



City of Tonasket | Council Position 5

Matt Alexander

Age: Not provided

Background:  I have proudly served as an appointed Council Member in Tonasket since late July 2020.

Before joining the council, I would attend the occasional council meeting to keep up on City events. So, when the Tonasket Police Department started to become an issue and was eventually dissolved, I noticed a big surge in attendance at the meetings, and a lot of complaints and a lot of dissatisfaction, but after the presiding mayor stepped down, a council position was open and the first round of ads were run for applicants where NO ONE APPLIED.

I feel every citizen needs to contribute and participate, so, I decided that perhaps I would try to be part of the solution and do my civic duty by applying. I have been honored to have been picked by the Council to serve my community. I find the work very encouraging and rewarding.

I was again disappointed and concerned with the lack of candidates that applied for the Council position! I expected twenty motivated and eager citizens to step forth! As it turned out, one other candidate is running… Staca Gattman. I’ve never officially been introduced to her, but I admire and applaud her for her willingness to participate in an important and often thankless job! Please join in your local elections and help decide who will help our community to thrive and survive! If elected I will be forthright, transparent, and honest to do my civic duty to the best of my ability. Thank you.


Staca Gattman

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions



City of Omak | Council Position 1

Michael E. Foth

Age: 59

Background: Mike moved to Omak in 1984 after four years of service in the United States Air force. Foth worked for Pistoresi Distributing for eight years, twenty-two years with Coca-Cola, and currently is the Driver Supervisor at Trango for the past five years. Mike has served as an Omak City Councilman for the past 20 years.

Family:  Mike and his wife of thirty-three years, Wendy, raised their two children, son Tyler and daughter Kellie here in Omak. The newest addition to the family is one-year-old granddaughter Annie Gene.

Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for office again because I enjoy being a part of the decision process on keeping our city moving forward and in good financial shape.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I have served the Omak community for twenty years as an Omak City Councilman and much of that time as Mayor pro-tem, giving me the experience needed to continue to fill this position. I am chair of the Hotel/Motel tax committee and help disperse those funds for advertising to the groups that apply for advertising assistance. I believe that I have worked well with the other councilwomen and men and feel we have helped keep the city in a strong position along with the department heads and the Mayor.

What is the biggest challenge facing your city?

The biggest challenge I see facing the city is working through the Covid issues and getting back to some kind of normalcy, that and curtailing the increase in crime which I can see is being addressed by our law enforcement, and I appreciate that.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

I do not know my opponent, but it is refreshing to see someone else run and hopefully want to assist in making Omak a nice place to live with any crossroads we encounter.


C’Ann Kariores

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions



Town of Twisp | Council Position 2

Aaron Studen

Age:  49

Background: I moved to the Methow Valley from Ohio shortly after college in 1994 and have lived here ever since. I fulfilled my dream of starting a Brewery and ran the Methow Valley Brewery and Twisp River Pub for 18 years before it was shut down due to a fire. After my residence burned in the Carlton Complex Fire, I moved to town and began serving on the Twisp Council. I have served as councilmember for over six years now. I also serve on the boards of non-profits, and I enjoy doing what I can to help this community prosper.

Family: I live in Twisp with my fiancee Sarah and my daughter Gabby who attends Liberty Bell High School. My son Simon lives in Seattle and is studying computer science at the University of Washington

Why are you running for this position?

I am running to continue my service of over six years on the town council, and serve this community by ensuring the town provides the needed services in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. It is our responsibility to provide emergency services such as fire protection, police and ambulance, infrastructure such as safe roads and sidewalks, clean and usable parks, water and sewer. It takes a lot of planning and communication to make sure these necessities are there for the people on a daily basis, and that the town has enough money to fund them now and into the future.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I think the most important characteristic that distinguishes me from my opponent is experience. Having run a business for 18 years, and served on the council for over six years, I know how to conservatively budget funds, how to bring in funds where ever possible, and how to spend funds efficiently. I have learned to make financial decisions based on facts and the numbers and not based on emotions.  I have also learned how  to set priorities based on the needs of the townspeople, providing the best possible service with the resources that are available at that time.

What is the biggest challenge facing your town?

In a word: fire. I believe that the threat of wildfire is by far the biggest challenge facing our town, and one we constantly address in the town council. We are constructing a new civic building with an emergency management center to deal with fire and other emergencies. We have recognized that the availability of water is crucial to protecting properties in town and we have made the availability of adequate water flow one of the highest priorities in our Capital Facility Plan. The threat of wildfire will continue year upon year and we should do everything we can to prepare.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

My opponent has been very involved in town politics in recent times. She attends all the town council meetings, submits comments occasionally and writes letters to the newspaper. She obviously cares about the town of Twisp and wants what’s best for our residents.


Dara M. Perez

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions



Oroville School District | Director District 4

Michael Egerton

Age: 52

Background: I was raised in Oroville, where my siblings and I helped my parents grow apples. I graduated from OHS in 1987 and went on to college.  I spent 5 years in south Texas and returned home in 2002.  I have worked for the government for 24 years and have a small family business where my children worked with my wife and me.  All three of my children graduated from OHS and now are pursuing their dreams.  If we, as a district/community, prepare our kids well, our OHS students will pursue their dreams with success.  

Why are you running for this position?

As a graduate and longtime resident of Oroville, I care greatly about the well-being of this community and our children.  I place value on proper governance so that our staff can perform at their best as we expect them to, so that our community has a voice in district decisions and so that our students can learn and develop in a safe and productive environment.  Since my time on the board, I have learned how important it is to develop and uphold processes that ensure fair and responsible decisions, whether they be about budgetary matters, personnel matters, or decisions about student learning.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

A distinction is that I experience and understand how to approach the many complex problems and decisions that exist in school districts today.  I place value on hearing community concerns and for ensuring that they are addressed appropriately and consistently.  I work with our team creatively and find timely solutions and provide meaningful feedback.  

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

Our biggest challenge today is limited capacity. Unlike larger districts, we have a limited number of staff and resources, and more demands are often placed on fewer staff.  The positive in this challenge is that it sharpens our creativity for solving problems.  For example, we developed our Career Launch program with limited staffing in mind, and not only is our model the first in the state, other districts around the state are learning from us how a dynamic program can be built on limited resources.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

I appreciate my opponent’s willingness to be part of our community.  It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and dedication to serve.



Republic School District | Director District 5

Phillip Starr

Age: 47

Background: Employment History:Market Manager – Sherwin Williams Company; Theater Manager – Hallett Cinemas, LLC; Daycare Provider – Daddy Daycare (Self Employed); School Bus Driver & Driver Trainer – Republic School District; Cattle Rancher – Stevens Pride Ranch (Self Employed); EMS Director – Ferry County EMS District 1. Education: Republic High School (1991) – Salutatorian; Eastern Washington University (1995) – B.A. Management/Human Resource Management, Government Minor. Community Involvement: Republic Classified Public Employees Association; Ferry County Fair; Ferry County 4-H; Eureka Thrift Board of Directors (Previous); Ferry County EMS & Trauma Care Council; East Region EMS & Trauma Care Council; Ferry County EMS District 1

Family: Danielle Starr (Wife) – 2nd grade teacher, Republic Elementary; Jordan Starr (Son) – 2020 Republic High School Valedictorian; Courtney Starr (Daughter) – Senior, Republic High School; Kathy Harcourt (Mother) – 1966 Graduate, Republic High School; Shanna Rugo (Sister) – 1987 Graduate, Republic High School; Jill Starr (Sister) – 1996 Graduate, Republic High School.

Why are you running for this position?

I’ve become increasingly concerned about the state of our school, the education of our children, and the treatment of our teachers and staff. I believe the school district needs a new direction, one that is based on community values, mutual respect, responsibility, and a large dose of common sense. I also believe that if you’re going to complain about a problem, you need to be part of the solution. This is why I’m running for School Board. Effective leadership is the foundation of any sound organization, and we need leaders that are focused on solving the problems in our school.

Tell voters what distinguishes you from your opponent

I’m a proud, 3rd generation graduate of Republic High School, and have been an employee of the Republic School District for nearly 13 years. During this time, I have been heavily involved in employee association leadership, labor management, contract negotiations, and advisory committees. I have witnessed and felt the effects, good and bad, that administrative decisions have on the employees and children. My education and work history are centered on organizational management. I have a proven track record taking on struggling operations, and leading them to success. I utilize a common-sense approach that recognizes all stakeholders, and delivers effective results.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district?

There are a number of challenges facing our school today. At the federal and state levels, unfunded mandates and rules are handed down by bureaucrats with no experience in teaching children. At an administrative level, our school facilities have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. There is no clear maintenance plan, nor qualified maintenance personnel, to fix the problem. In the classroom, student behavior has become the single, most formidable barrier preventing teachers from being able to provide an education to our children. If elected, these are the issues I will address.

Please state one nice comment about your opponent

My opponent is a good man. He is community oriented. He is involved with the Booster Club, Ferry County Fair, and has been a leader of my children’s 4-H club for many years. He has a calm demeanor, and is a very thoughtful person. It has been a pleasure to work together on a number of projects with him and his wife.


Travis Fletcher

Candidate did not respond to Chronicle questions

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