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The Johnson era begins in Buckley

New mayor promises 2006 will be busy and ‘not for the faint of heart'

By Shawn Skager

The Courier-Herald

Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson promised that 2006 will be a busy year for the city with a “lot on task” and “not for the faint of heart” during the council's first meeting of the new year.

After the swearing in of the new mayor and two new councilmembers, Sandra Ramsey and Cristi Boyle Barrett, the council got down to its regular business, including appointing a replacement for Johnson's vacant council seat.

The council entertained interest for the vacant Position 7 council seat from four applicants: former Councilmember Randy Reed, Kenneth Scott Smith, Doug Harple and Bob Olson.

The council voted 4-0 to appoint Olson to the vacant seat. (Councilmembers Ron Wiegelt and Zoe Krieger were absent).

After hearing a presentation and request from Terra Lea Allen's Wickersham School of Discovery fifth-grade class to sell concessions at the skate park to raise money for Ugandan children, a request that was approved unanimously, the new mayor outlined her plan for the new year.

“There are going to be some major changes to committees,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we'll be better able to utilize staff time and provide community access.”

“We've got a lot on our plate,” Johnson said, referring to such projects as the sewer plant upgrade, youth center construction and construction of the new fire station.

“So lets get started,” she added.

In other business, the council:

€ approved the order of two new police cruisers for the Buckley Police Department. Money for the cars was allocated in the 2006 budget.

€ sent back to committee for further discussion a request for the city to adopt an updated employee salary scale .

€ authorized $94,732 to Cosmopolitan Engineering to complete engineering work on the upgrade to the city's wastewater treatment plant. The money is for Task 4 of the plant upgrade, which will install pipes and controls for the reuse and reclamation of the city's wastewater. The reused water will likely irrigate the city's cemetery, sports fields and parks.

€ approved engineering necessary for the completion of stormwater work, contingent on the approval of a $75,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The grant will enable the city to comply with water quality standards mandated by the federal Clean Water Act.

Shawn Skager can be reached at sskager@courierherald.com.

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