Buckley recipient of donor’s generosity

By John Leggett

The Courier Herald

When Buckley Finance Director Sheila Bazzar was slogging her way through the thousands of e-mails the city receives each day, one mentioned something about receiving financial blessings and it caught her eye.

Knowing all too well the headaches everyone was already suffering from due to the upcoming tough 2009 city budget, Bazzar forwarded the Sept. 22 e-mail to City Administrator David Schmidt. The cheerful correspondence eased the tension a bit as everyone got a healthy laugh out of it and thought no more about it.

The next day former Orting resident Dan Snopko, who currently calls Graham his home, walked through destiny’s door and handed Schmidt a check for $40,000, asking only that it be put in an account where it could do the most good.

“We were really happy to be able to help the city of Buckley,” Snopko said. “Small towns are having a tough go of it these days.”

Snopko had the money to donate because his father, Frank Snopko, died in early September and left each of his three children $100,000 to donate to the entity of their choosing.

“Dad was a hard-working, amazing man who did a lot of construction in the Northwest before he retired and moved to Carson City, Nev., where he died at age 89,” Snopko said. “He lived the American dream and became a self-made millionaire through his toil.”

At the city council meeting on Sept. 23, Schmidt said, “It was one of the strangest things that has ever happened, since I’ve been here anyway.”

The council took a roll call vote on whether to accept or reject the donation and it took only seconds to record a unanimous thumbs up. After the swift decision, councilman Randy Reed conjectured that had been the most expeditious passing of an ordinance in the city’s long history.

Schmidt concurred, joking that “there wasn’t much to debate, was there?”

John Leggett can be reached at jleggett@courierherald,com or 360-802-8207.

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