What’s ahead in 09?

December 29th, 2008 by Ken

2009 is an election year.  I guess every year is an election year, but next year only local city council and school board races are on the ballot.  Some other minor commission seats may also be up.

In Lacey, four members of the Lacey City Council will be up for re-election.   Those are Graeme Sackrison, John Darby, Ann Burgman and Virgil Clarkson.   Sackrison and Darby are both expected to seek re-election.

It’s possible that Clarkson and Burgman may not seek another term.  Both have had medical problems and that may stop them from running again.

There is only one announced candidate, Don Melnick, a retired engineer living at Panorama City.  Melnick is playing it cautious and saying he is just looking at the possiblity of running.  If he announces, he’ll have to file with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Melnick has said in the past that he’s looking at running for Darby’s seat, but with the possibility that one or more positions will be vacant, he may well seek to run for an open seat.

Following the election in November, the Lacey City Council will, once again, select a mayor to represent the Council.  Last time, Sackrison beat out Clarkson and Burgman for the job.   This time around, Councilmember Tom Nelson, who is not up for re-election, has made it known that he would like to be mayor.  (Remember, residents of Lacey don’t vote for mayor.  The mayor is selected by the Council to represent the Council.)

Water will be a big issue again in 2009 as the City of Lacey tries to get enough water rights to serve its growing population.  It has entered into an agreement with the other cities to divide the Olympia Brewery’s water rights, and has also entered into an agreement with the City of Olympia and the Nisqually tribe for new water systems near McAllister Springs.

Public Utility District 1 has also entered the water game and is operating a well in Tanglewilde.  It will be a player in any future water right actions.

The new Recreation and Athletic complex (nicknamed the RAC) will open in the Spring of 09 and should be filled with athletes and athletic competition.   Lacey’s agreement with Thurston County, to jointly operate the facility and share in the revenue, is in force until 2013, at which time either party can opt out.   Lacey has hired and will hire, more staff to operate and maintain the RAC.

The North Thurston Public Schools will soon select a new superintendent to replace Jim Koval who is retiring.  That selection should give us a good indication of the future of Thurston County’s largest school district.  Lack of funding from the legislature, coupled with a ballot measure to raise teacher’s pay, should make for an interesting and challenging year for any new superintendent.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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