Work history: Wenatchee city councilman, Douglas County Fire District 2 assistant chief. Has worked 23 years for the district. In early 1990s owned a local electronics business.
Experience: Former member of the Wenatchee School Board, volunteer with music school booster clubs and Parent-Teacher Association. Active pilot with Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force auxiliary for search and rescue.
Education: Graduated in 1982 from Wenatchee High School, also attended Eastmont. Graduated from Wenatchee Valley College and finished a bachelor’s degree in public administration at Eastern Oregon University in 2005.
Personal: Age: 45.
Work history: Retired in 2001 after 25 years as a police officer with the Everett Police Department, last five as a patrol sergeant. U.S. Army, 1968 to 1970.
Experience: Executive board member and lifetime member of the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association; member of National Responder to Disaster Relief for the Wenatchee Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross; member of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Auxiliary Service, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Volunteer Services Search and Rescue, and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) for Wenatchee Police Department; member of the Citizen’s Fire Facility Bond Committee, information officer for NCW Type 3 Incident Management Team, Wenatchee Police Department Advisory Board.
Education: Graduated from Cascade High School in Everett in 1967; attended Everett Community College.
Personal: Age: 60. Rick Isaacson’s blog.
WENATCHEE — What do you get when a former policeman runs for city council against a firefighter?
A campaign filled with concern for public safety.
That’s one of the top issues for both challenger Rick Isaacson, a retired cop, and incumbent Doug Miller, an assistant fire chief. Both are up for the City Council Position 4.
“I believe emergency services are the first and foremost priority in the city,” said Isaacson, who has twice unsuccessfully sought a seat on the council — once as a write-in candidate in 2007 and again in 2008 as an appointee candidate when former Councilman Craig Larsen resigned.
“There’s a shortage of adequate equipment for fire and police. It goes back to getting vehicles repaired and back on the road.”
Miller, who’s completing his first four-year term on the council, said his priority is protecting city departments from recession-caused budget reductions that are so large public services suffer.
“We’ve benefitted from reduced crime rates, but we’re facing two possible police officer cuts on the budget,” he said. “Coupled with that, we’ve set aside the need to replace vehicles in 2009 and it looks like we will in 2010 also. Replacing vehicles is part of getting police and fire out on the streets and able to respond to emergencies.”
The two men differ on the controversial Town Toyota Center arena. The city is under contract to cover debt that remains uncovered by arena revenues.
Isaacson backs the $53 million arena. Miller wishes it had never been built and in fact voted against going ahead with the project in 2006 and 2007.
“I’m in full support of Town Toyota Center, but we need to better promote events here in the city,” Isaacson said.
He added, “I also very much support the Riverside Drive project. It will bring businesses and condos down there, and as they develop it will bring people to the waterfront and to the uptown area.”
Isaacson favors working with downtown businesses for new promotions, bolstering the area’s electric grid for better Christmas lighting displays and fixing ailing downtown-area roadways.
Miller said he’ll focus on careful spending to help ensure the city has matching funds for grants to develop downtown business projects without taking away from public services.
Development projects include the proposed Pybus marketplace at the foot of Orondo Avenue and the old Public Works site, nearby.
Was building Town Toyota Center a mistake?
“Yes,” said Miller. “The bigger mistake is that I didn’t convince enough City Council members in 2006 and 2007 that we had a bigger risk with the arena. But I didn’t, and we do have the obligation.”
Other issues high-up on their lists differ slightly. Isaacson said he’ll work for affordable housing, especially for low-income seniors.
Miller points to a need for clear communication with the state Department of Transportation and area businesses to reduce interruptions during remodeling work around the Sen. George Sellar Bridge.
“So the project can come to a successful conclusion,” he said.
Miller said he’s spent his four years in office looking out for the “financial best interest” of Wenatchee residents.
“The biggest thing that sets me aside is I try to take an objective look at the projects that come along and make the best decision for the taxpayer,” he said.
Isaacson said he’s the best man for the job because he has the enthusiasm and time to dedicate to the post.
“I have taken an active role in local politics. I attend council meetings on a regular basis, and I talk to council members,” he said. “I’d be a fresh face, a fresh voice and especially fresh ears. I want to listen and hear what people have to say.”
Christine Pratt: 665-1173