WATERVILLE — Ken Stanton and Carol Kavanaugh both say they’d like the race for the District 1 seat on the Douglas County Commission to focus on the issues.
Improving the economy, balancing the county’s budget or prioritizing services.
Instead, Stanton — the incumbent with 12 years in the position — says he’s been fighting misinformation put out in fliers and political ads.
Address: East Wenatchee
Work history: Real estate agent, licensed as managing broker, for John L. Scott Real Estate, Wenatchee. Former clinical audiologist; sole proprietor business owner of AT A GLANCE, a specialty advertising company, from 1990 to present.
Experience: Chairwoman of the Douglas County Planning Commission from 2008-2012 and a member since 2006; president-elect of the North Central Washington Association of Realtors; Washington Realtors Association Board of Directors from 2006 to present; member of Chelan-Douglas Republican Women; member of Wenatchee Banshees Hockey Team.
Education: Graduate of West High School, Bremerton; bachelor of arts degree, Western Washington State College; master of arts degree, Western Washington University.
Personal: Single with two adult children.
Address: East Wenatchee
Work history: Douglas County commissioner from 2000 to present; former restaurant owner, and involvement with other restaurants; faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic and later a chiropractor in private practice.
Experience: Former East Wenatchee City Council member; East Wenatchee Rotary member; Regional Support Network governing board member, Development Disability Board; Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council board member; North Central Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization board member; Chelan-Douglas Health board member; Link Transit board member; 12-year member, current chairman of the county commission.
Education: Graduate of Nathan Hale High School, Seattle; doctor of chiropractic, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa.
Personal: Married to Sue for 38 years. Two grown sons, two grandchildren.
And Kavanaugh — a real estate agent who has chaired Douglas County’s planning commission for the last 6 years — says every time she raises an issue, Stanton acts offended and takes it as a personal attack.
“This process has involved having an opponent who believes he’s entitled to another four years, and is offended when someone asks about an issue. That is an issue in and of itself,” Kavanaugh said.
Stanton countered, “If you want to run on the merits, run on what you would like to do if you’re elected. To dredge up misinformation and allow misinformation to be distributed to the community, to me, is disrespectful to the voters of Douglas County.”
So what are some of the issues?
Stanton said one of his, now, is to straighten the record on Douglas County’s involvement with the Chelan-Douglas Regional Support Network, and properties that it owns. The RSN is the government entity in charge of public mental health services in the two-county area. Stanton said he’s been involved with it since he joined the county commission, which later instituted a restructuring of the governing board so it included not only Douglas County commissioners, but also representatives from Chelan County, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and smaller towns.
“For some reason, the Kavanaugh campaign has gotten completely sideways on this, and made very public accusations that Douglas County made exorbitant land purchases in Chelan County,” he said.
The RSN did buy property in Chelan County for a variety of its services. Those services will eventually be moved to the former Parkside Manor Nursing Home — which was donated to Wenatchee for mental health services last year by Carl and Betty Campbell — so the RSN is working toward selling its other properties, including one piece purchased in 2007 for $600,000, which now has an asking price of $450,000.
“Anybody who bought property in 2007 is in the same boat” due to the drop in property values, Stanton said. “The accusation that we’ve misappropriated funds is ludicrous. Douglas County doesn’t own any of those properties,” he said, adding, “None of this came from Douglas County taxpayer funds.”
Kavanaugh said she’s still not convinced that Douglas County taxpayers weren’t taken for a ride in the deal. She said it’s not clear whether the funds were from a bridge loan or a line of credit.
“In either case, those are Douglas County taxpayer monies that are being used for upgrades and improvements to a building that is owned by the city of Wenatchee. It is immaterial that interest is being paid on the loan when those monies are not available to address county finances,” she said.
In an interview, Kavanaugh raised another issue — the appointment in May by Douglas County commissioners of Robert Knowles to the Douglas County Regional Planning Commission.
Kavanaugh said it’s not about the person who was appointed, but the method that commissioners used.
In 2010, Douglas County commissioners adopted policies for people appointed to county boards and commissions, excluding those who have a financial contract with the county from serving. In May, the commissioners appointed Knowles to the planning commission, even though he has held and continues to hold contracts overseeing various construction projects, including the Parkside renovations. In September, commissioners amended their policies so that those who hold contracts with the county are able to serve on boards or commissions.
“They violated their own policy,” Kavanaugh said, adding, “Then, instead of saying, ‘Oh yes, we understand there’s an issue here,’ they just changed their policy.” She said the county did not adequately advertise for the open seat by spreading the word through chambers of commerce or business groups, but instead picked who they wanted and appointed him.
But Stanton said county commissioners need to be flexible, and sometimes do change policies or resolutions after realizing they are not meeting their original intentions.
He said Knowles had already served on the commission, and would recuse himself from any decision that involved a project in which he would be involved, which there were likely to be few, if any.
Stanton also said the county did put out an ad, and mentioned the position on Tuesday morning radio interviews, but Knowles was the only person to apply.
“The homebuilders have a special interest in wanting, or not wanting, certain people on the commission,” he said, adding, “I think it’s only fair that you have a cross section of all those types of people, and all the various backgrounds, whether they live in rural or urban Douglas County.”
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512