Council election is on the up-and-up

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Todd Voth

I am currently seated in the Moses Lake City Council Position No. 4. It has been my honor to have served the citizens of our community for the past four years, I am humbled to have served the last year and a half as your mayor.

City council positions are at-large positions, meaning any candidate can run for any position they choose. What gives a citizen the right to run against any of the four positions but denies me the right as an incumbent to run in any seat I choose? I did not set the process; I just exercised my right as a candidate to use the process. I am now running for position No. 1. I will now let the voters choose the candidate of their choice. This is not sneaky, underhanded or unethical. It has been done many times in the past. City council members have run against other city council members; candidates have often waited until the last hour of the last day to decide who to run against.

I am not a criminal. I have not robbed anyone of anything. Quite the opposite. Council member Ecret and I have and will continue to represent the community at every event possible. We are the two most active and connected council members that represent this city. No crime there. Mr. Ecret and I have been directly involved in implementing the Lodging Tax Advisory Board, allowing the hotel/motel tax collected to be monitored transparently. Bill is the council representative on the committee. This was created on the heels of our past administration suggesting that the council shut down the ice rink, BMX track, summer concert series and Fourth of July fireworks.

Council member Ecret and I also sit on the Chamber Response Team, a committee set up to represent the citizens, business, development and builders here in Moses Lake. Bill Ecret is also the council representative for the Grant County Economic Development Council, and has worked with the retail task force that has been instrumental in bringing many new businesses to our city. Bill has also represented the city as your mayor. For the last 14 years, Bill Ecret has head up the Vision 2020 City-Wide clean-up. This year Bill and I were the only council members to participate in that event.

This year alone I have attended more than 70 events representing the City of Moses Lake and Bill has been at most of those. Is this why we are “partners in crime?” I am the council representative for the Moses Lake Fireman’s Pension Fund and also the council representative on the Moses Lake Municipal Airport Commission. I am involved with the Moses Lake School District, speaking to classes on many occasions about city government. I have attended all of the Student of the Quarter awards presentations since I have been the mayor. I have recognized youth organizations, high school sports teams and students from our community for their academic achievements, giving all council members the opportunity to present the awards at city council meetings.

City council members are paid a stipend of $500. The deputy mayor receives $600 and $1,000 is paid to the mayor’s position each month. I have donated my stipend back to our community for the past 3 1/2 years through youth organizations, high school boosters, churches, chamber events, Moses Lake Museum & Art Center, Yonezawa Sister City exchange program, Moses Lake Senior Center and Serve Moses Lake, just to mention a few.

We as a council, are no longer expected to rubber-stamp a budget given to us by staff, but now are extensively involved in the budget process itself. We now pass the budget with input from all council members. We now have a governance manual, which give the council guidelines to follow. The city is now in the final process of a cost-of-service study focused on the fire and ambulance service. We have actually finally started implementing items that have been on the city’s comprehensive plan for years.

The personal attacks on my family and myself are wrong, but not unfamiliar to me. Do you want to see us focus on the issues or do you want future businesses that look to locate in Moses Lake put us last on their list? You make the choice. I plan on staying politically and civically connected to the City of Moses Lake.

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