Nineteen-year-old fills in for missing mayor

Complaints of ‘drug dealing’ at trailer park

TONASKET – Mayor Pro Tem-Tem Jensen Sackman officiated over the Aug. 22 City Council meeting, as Mayor Patrick Plumb has moved to Tacoma and Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Ritter was unable to attend the meeting. Sackman, a 19-year-old council member, was elected Mayor Pro Tem-Tem at the previous city council meeting Aug. 8.

The first order of the meeting was to approve the minutes of the Aug. 8 meeting.

The next item on the agenda was Public Comment, with Tonasket Chamber of Commerce President Marylu Kriner expressing concerns about drug dealing in the trailer park located off Seventh Street.

“It’s a major concern. There is more and more drug dealing going on in the trailer park. There are more and more cars jammed in there and it is not looking so good. You can tell it (drug dealing) is happening,” said Kriner.

Council member Claire Jeffko suggested Kriner speak with Tonasket Chief of Police Darren Curtis. Kriner said that while Curtis did patrol the street a lot, he would have to catch them in the act in order to arrest them.

In council member reports, Maria Moreno said she intended to request a meeting with Chief Curtis to see what progress was being made with securing a K9 unit for drug detection.

“I’ll see where we are in the process, see if we need to hold another fundraiser. We need to get someone trained and get it going to take care of that stuff,” said Moreno.

Kriner said she thought even more of a presence would help.

“It is definitely going on. I don’t see how they can afford boats and new cars. Something is going on,” said Kriner.

Moreno said she would be calling Chief Curtis.

“I’m pretty sure the community wants to know what is going on with that,” said Moreno.

She said about $4,000 had been raised toward purchasing and training a drug dog and the cost of training the officer as well.

Jeffko and Sackman said they had nothing to report and council member Brown said the eclipse was interesting.

“I got my welding helmet out to watch it, it was kind of fun,” said Brown.

City Clerk and Treasurer Alice Attwood reported the city would be receiving $54,300 from the state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Relight Washington grant for the LED Lighting Project.

“This is the first reading of the ordinance and then it can be adopted at the next meeting,” said Attwood.

The $54,300 will cover the cost of changing out all the city street lights to LEDs. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept.12.

Council members set Sept. 30 as the date for the annual city clean-up, with former Council member Jean Ramsey offering to help. Attwood said she would contact Upper Valley Disposal and ask them if they would like to assist the city with the project again.

Under New Business, the council excused the absence of Council member Ritter.

Under Miscellaneous Business and Correspondence, Attwood informed council members of the upcoming annual Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC) in Wenatchee in October. Council members Brown and Jeffko said they would like to attend and Sackman said it would depend on school. Moreno said she would let Attwood know if she would be able to attend.

Brown asked if the Splash Park would close the same day as the Tonasket Community Pool (Aug. 25) and was told the City Superintendent usually closed it around Labor Day.

With no further business, the meeting closed at 7:15 p.m., a record for brevity.