TONASKET – With no more votes to count, it appears former Tonasket Councilman Patrick Plumb will now step into the mayor’s position.
According to Monday’s unofficial vote count, Plumb received 190 votes, or 56 percent of the votes cast in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 general election. His opponent, Joyce Fancher, a sitting councilwoman, received 150, or 43.73 percent of the vote.
Plumb, who will be taking the place of outgoing mayor, Patrick Walter, ran on a platform that said there was a need to “start working on the future today.”
The young mayor is married and has two children. He works for North Valley Hospital as an Information Systems Tech, a computer specialist.
“It was a pretty good race, with only a few incidents,” said Plumb.
When asked what his first task as mayor will be, Plumb said, “My first intent is to make sure the police department has all the equipment they need… the right tools. As an EMT I see other departments with equipment that I think we could use.”
He says he knows he has a lot of listening to do.
“I’m only 30 years-old, but I’ve grown a lot, I have two children now. I’ve done a lot of talking throughout the campaign, it is probably time I did some listening to those who have the wisdom of having lived longer than I have.”
Plumb says he’ll be patient for the first six months, letting the department heads and staff get comfortable with his vision.
Said the self-described blue collar guy, “I am also interested in finding out what their vision for the town is.”
Among those Plumb will find himself working with are Jean E. Ramsey and Connie Maden, incumbent councilwomen who ran unopposed in the recent election.
Last Monday’s ballot count also showed that North Valley Hospital did not receive enough votes to pass a special $7 million bond to finish improvements to the facility, including the expansion and refurbishment of the old hospital building. Although a previously approved $11 million bond will build much of the facility, there will still be areas which will remain incomplete for the time being.
The bond did win a majority of the votes cast, 1673 (50.12 percent), but fell well short of the 60 percent needed for approval.
One person who will be charged with helping make the decision about whether the hospital district will try again to pass a bond in the future is Herb Wandler. Wandler was reelected to his position on the board in the recent general election.
Write-in candidate Phil Barker will be the new school board member for Oroville School District. He out-distanced his opponent, Casey Smith, another write-in candidate, by 90 votes. Incumbent Tim Whiteaker actually received the most votes, but found he was ineligible to run for the position because of where he lives in the district and it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.
It looked like Okanogan County was going to be the polar opposite of the rest of the state as far as the initiatives went. At first the county vote count showed the citizens approved of Tim Eyman’s I-1033 which would have limited the amount of revenues state and local governments could collect. However, the last count showed those who disapproved of the measure slightly outweighed those who approve of it.
While the state embraced I-77, which would enact protections for same-sex domestic partnerships, the county rejected it.
A link to all the county election results can be found on this newspaper’s website: www.gazette-tribune.com