EAST WENATCHEE — Councilman Chuck Johnson is resigning June 30 after 13 years in office.
Johnson, 74, has served on the council since January 2006. The other members will have to appoint a replacement to finish his term, which expires at the end of 2021.
He said he and his wife are moving to Redmond to be near their children and grandchildren. They originally planned to do so when his term ended, but they got an opportunity to be there by July 31.
“Neither my parents nor my wife’s parents provided for anything into the future when they got to be our age, and we want to be sure we make it as easy for our kids as we can,” he said.
A Bellevue native, Johnson has lived in the Wenatchee Valley for over 40 years after moving here from Alaska. He served 10 years as a commissioner and then councilman for the city of Wenatchee.
In East Wenatchee, Johnson has pushed for a new public works facility, which the city is considering building.
“The one they have right now, part of it’s an old school building and they have dirt floors for some of the equipment,” he said. “They don’t have any cover for the trucks, the machinery that needs to be taken care of. There’s no potable water, so there’s nothing to drink; we have to have that brought in. The building’s close to 100 years old.”
Road, sidewalk and drainage upgrades are also ongoing, with the city developing a plan for which streets to improve, when and with what funding.
“I’m a guy that not only likes people, but likes numbers,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s the city of East Wenatchee or prior — I had 10 years in Wenatchee — neither of the cities were in any financial doldrums or having any financial problems when I was there, and I’m very proud of that.”
He said the decision to move was difficult, but he’s excited to be closer to his family.
“We love the Wenatchee Valley,” he said. “To me, this will always be home.”