Ramsey steps down from Tonasket Council

TONASKET – Eight and a half years proved to be enough for Tonasket Council Member Jean Ramsey.

The longest-serving current council member offered her resignation at the Tuesday, June 24, meeting, effective at the end of June.

Ramsey, who had to be cajoled into running for office last fall, said she “no longer had the time or heart” to continue.

“I continue to appreciate each and every one involved in the running of our city more and more every day,” she read in her statement of resignation. “There is no doubt in my mind that all of you both elected and staff have only the city’s best interests for the future first and foremost in every decision you make.”

The city will advertise for applicants to be appointed to fill her position, which will be reviewed at the July 22 meeting.

“I appreciated having her as a resource to remember what’s gone on in the past,” said Mayor Patrick Plumb. ”

Mosquito district

Plumb had just returned from a meeting of the Okanogan County Commissioners, where said they approved the beginning of the public information process (one public hearing, three public notices in local newspapers) that would allow the formation of a mosquito control district. The district would encompass the cities of Okanogan, Omak, Riverside, Tonasket and Oroville and would need to be approved by voters.

Other cities in the county declined to join the proposed district.

Plumb said it was the largest public attendance that he’d ever seen at a commissioners’ meeting, comprised mostly of Omak and Okanogan residents.

“I believe I was the only elected official there,” Plumb said, adding that city planner Kurt Danison and Oroville Community Development Director Chris Branch were among those in attendance.

Miscellaneous

In other actions, the council approved the purchase of a new business class work station for the city office. The current work station operates under a Windows system that no longer is supported and now is considered vulnerable to cyber attack, according to the state Office of the Chief Information Officer. The council approved an expenditure of up to $2,650, including tax.

  • The council received a proposed social media policy from Police Chief Rob Burks that would apply to his department; however, Plumb said that department should follow the same policy as all city employees.
  • If the current city policy wasn’t adequate, he said, “We need to fix the big one. If we don’t fix the whole city’s, we end up with a situation where one conflicts with the other, and opens us up to liability.”
  • The council approved a budget amendment formalizing changes to the salary schedule of the police officers.
  • A flyer will be sent to area residents seeking donations for the Tonasket City Swimming pool. The community pool committee had previously received approval from the council for postal expenses related to its distribution.
  • City Clerk Alice Attwood said she would be setting up an auction to dispense with a slew of items approved as surplus, including a pair of old police vehicles. The council approved the list of additional items designated for surplus. Attwood said that other cities may be invited to participate and that she would look into holding it at the rodeo grounds.
  • The city’s fall clean-up will be Sept. 20.

The city council next meets on Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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