Claire Jeffko elected as Mayor Pro Tem

Approves Michael Stewart’s mission to keep  flags up  to code

TONASKET – City Council Member Claire Jeffko has been named Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years, replacing Jill Vugteveen who has served in that role since January 2014. A mayor pro tempore assumes mayoral duties in the event of a mayor’s absence.

Jeffko, a city council member the past two and a half years, said she had confidence in her ability to fulfill the role.

City council members made a motion allowing decorated war veteran Michael Stewart to take over raising and lowering flags in Tonasket, modifying flag poles with winches and keeping flags and poles up to code.

Stewart said he embarked on this mission when he approached a local business and asked them to lower the flag on 911.

“She refused, because it was too difficult,” said Stewart.

Stewart said the U.S. Armed Forces Legacy would pay for new cables to modify flag poles.

Stewart said he would like to see American flags taken down if they were not treated with respect, adding it was usually due to a lack of education. Stewart had been at Tonasket High School earlier in the day to present information on proper flag etiquette and said he would be happy to share the information with other interested organizations.

Stewart said he ordered a new city of Tonasket flag at his own expense to fly at the Tonasket Visitors and Business Resource center. Jeffko offered to kick in $75, and Mayor Patrick Plumb offered to pay for shipping.

In department reports, City Clerk and Treasurer Alice Attwood said she was approached by Arnie Marchand about starting a Neighbor Day where councils of neighboring cities would tour each others’ cities and share ideas.

Police Chief Darren Curtis said a full-time position as a police officer has been offered to a candidate dependent on his passing all exams.

Plumb asked Curtis if he was happy with the Public Safety Testing process Tonasket opted for rather than doing all testing in-house, and Curtis said he felt it provided a larger candidate pool due to a broader base for advertising.

He and Attwood said they had “four really good candidates” apply for the position.

Curtis also requested the city extend the two-hour parking rule two blocks to include Seventh Street. Right now it covers First to Fifth streets. Curtis said a business was parking their rig for 24 hours at a time, interfering with snow plowing.

Curtis next approached the council about the Police department building.

“We need a new building and I doubt that we’ll see that in my lifetime, but we have some funding set aside and would like to renovate with a new roof and renovations to the upstairs and officers’ quarters,” said Curtis, adding that he had a budget of about $50,000.

Curtis was adviced to meet with Tonasket’s Building Department Superintendent Christian Johnson for a Request for Proposals