Candidate bio: Wayne “Barney” Barnhart
Candidate bio: Dan Sutton
EAST WENATCHEE — With strong economic growth and no major challenges for the foreseeable future, two candidates vying for the East Wenatchee City Council say would just like to be part of shaping the city’s continued success.
Incumbent Wayne Barnhart faces challenger Dan Sutton in the November general election. It’s the only contested race on the council. Councilmen Chuck Johnson and George Buckner are unopposed.
Barnhart, 64, is nearing the end of his first term in office. He served two more years before that after being appointed to fill an unexpired term.
The retired firefighter and Douglas County Fire District 2 chief said he has no agenda on the council. “I just like to be involved,” he said. “Beyond that, I don’t have any issues whatsoever.”
He said the city has successfully weathered the economic downturn in recent years and is in pretty good financial shape.
“Keeping our head above water has been the goal, and we survived it,” he said. “We have money in the bank.”
He said the biggest challenges facing the city in the coming years will be managing growth and deciding where the city will expand its urban growth area.
“Whether it’s streets or police, we just need to manage our growth in a positive way,” he said.
Sutton, 54, owner of The Cottage Inn, said he has no major concerns about the city’s operation.
But he said he believes he has the business experience, people-management skills and a fresh perspective to help lead the city.
“I’m a very strong believer in giving back to the community,” he said.
He said that working nearly 24 years in the hospitality industry has given him broad experience in dealing with people.
Sutton said his family roots in the valley go back to the early 1900s, when A.C. Sutton pioneered an orchard on Wenatchee Heights.
He described himself as fiscally conservative and a strong believer in personal property rights.
He also said that managing growth will be the city’s biggest challenge. He would like to see the city put more money into its police department.
“I would certainly like to weigh in on those decisions,” he said.