TONASKET – Former Tonasket City Council member Joyce Fancher’s vacant seat was filled on Tuesday, Oct. 12 when the council appointed Scott Olson to the empty council position.
Olson, a fourth grade teacher at Tonasket Elementary School, moved to Tonasket in 1986 and has previous council experience from when he served during the early 1990s.
“I think we need to sell our city a lot more,” Olson said during his interview with the council. “Also, an important part of the city is to work cooperatively with the other town organizations.”
Olson said if he could change one thing about Tonasket it would be that he would love for more people to talk about the beautiful things in the city. He said a number of his former students live in Tonasket because they love it and yet he hears current students talk about how much they want to escape.
“Things I bring to the council are a listening ear, contact with a lot of different segments of the community and a passion to have a livable city,” Olson said.
He was appointed to the council over other applicant Sandy Sunda by a 3-1 vote, with Council Members Julianna Griffin, Connie Maden and Jill Vugteveen voting for him while Council Member Jean Ramsey voted against.
Before Olson’s appointment, the council approved the 2011 Preliminary Budget. According to the preliminary budget, the City of Tonasket is expected to operate on a $2,880,850.74 budget next year, which is below the budget they operated on for 2010 of $3,090,720.01. Property valuation is estimated to stay the same at $44,377,696 while the total current expense account is expected to decrease from $945,540.12 to $912,902.87.
The council also read Ordinance No. 687 “…fixing the amount to be raised by ad-valorem taxes upon all taxable property, both real and personal, within the City of Tonasket for the year 2011 for the current expense and the city street funds.”
City Clerk Alice Attwood said no action needs to be taken on this ordinance until November, but she wanted to bring it to the council’s attention.
“The PUD rates are going up six percent so we have to absorb that into each of our funds,” Attwood said.
The ordinance as written will raise the taxes by one percent.
The next Tonasket City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in city hall.