ENTIAT — Mayor John Alt II faces competition from Sarah Tulla-Marie Stenberg and Michael A. Buckingham this year.
Voting starts Friday for the Aug. 6 primary. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
The Wenatchee World asked the three candidates to submit written answers to the following questions, using up to 200 words. They were not allowed to see one another’s answers.
Buckingham did not participate in the survey. Stenberg did not provide a photo.
WW: What’s your top priority for the city, and how would you advocate for it?
Alt: The Our Valley Our Future Housing Solutions Group, of which I was a member alongside a broad coalition of over 40 housing industry and government officials, identified that Entiat will experience new growth due to the availability of developable areas for housing and business. My first priority would be to ensure that this future growth is sustainable, controlled and metered in order to maintain Entiat’s small-town charm and family-first values. I will continue to recruit quality citizen engagement to guide the vision for Entiat and provide transparency in the city’s processes. Recently implemented City Council workshops and meetings to promote engagement with the mayor, council and staff, as well as a new city website to connect the community, are just a few of my initiatives already implemented to make government more accessible. Through transparency and citizen input I believe government will work for the citizens of Entiat, not happen to the citizens of Entiat.
Stenberg: The city’s top priority should be maintaining citizen involvement. We, as a city, have many exciting things happening but should not let that distract us from encouraging the people to be involved. I hope to encourage citizens who are not yet involved to become involved and help grow this great community!
WW: What’s the best approach to developing the city?
Alt: To develop Entiat, we needed a strategic plan, which was recently designed with citizen input and has been approved by the City Council. This plan identifies and prioritizes many missing and underdeveloped initiatives for Entiat. I will be working closely with our new community development director, citizen advisory boards and the City Council to see that these development goals are met. We will be reviewing funding options from public, private and public-private partnerships to implement a framework of evolving initiatives. Our city team, while actively engaging our citizens for their vision and direction, will encourage new local business; a variety of scalable, size-appropriate residential options; and development ideas for our city-owned waterfront and marina.
Stenberg: The city development should involve as much citizen input as possible. We all love and enjoy the city of Entiat and all should have a say to what the future holds. As mayor, I hope to encourage the city to work as a team and be supportive as possible.
WW: What’s the best way to address the local housing crisis?
Alt: There is not a quick or easy solution to housing needs, and it will take several years of concise and regularly updated planning to combat the evolving crisis. We will use the Our Valley Our Future Housing Solutions Group report as well as active, open and effective communication with the public, local municipality leaders, public utility districts, developers, investors and our state representatives to help establish a clear vision forward. Once housing needs for Entiat have been carefully identified, private and private-public partnerships will be established to provide the resources to build size-appropriate residential housing to meet the changing needs of the citizens of Entiat.
Stenberg: Many cities are experiencing the same crisis and many are successful in solving this. We should educate ourselves in their success stories and modify them to help solve our current housing crisis.