Mayor Wise announces plans to run

Citing a number of initiatives now under way, Mayor John Wise is asking voters to allow him four more years at the city’s helm.

Citing a number of initiatives now under way, Mayor John Wise is asking voters to allow him four more years at the city’s helm.

Wise announced Thursday morning that he’ll be seeking re-election to a third, four-year term in office.

Things won’t be official until the June 1 through June 5 filing period, but it appears there will be at least two candidates for mayor. City Councilwoman Liz Reynolds has already announced her bid to become mayor.

If there are just two candidates, both will advance to the November primary election. If additional names come forward, there will be a runoff in the August primary.

Wise said he’s running for a third term to deal with a laundry list of projects that have been kicked off.

“There are a lot of projects on the cusp of getting completed,” he said, detailing things like the Welcome Center, renovation of the football field at the Enumclaw Expo Center and a proposed community center.

“I’ve worked eight years on these things,” Wise said. “I’ve developed all the contacts and I need to be able to follow through on them.”

Wise points out that during his years in office the long-anticipated Welcome Center has turned from a dream to near-reality; the money is secured and construction is expected to begin this year, with completion in 2010. Money has been found to pay for a reconstruction of Garrett Street, he said, and he hopes to see design work on a new community center begin this year.

But the biggest undertaking of the Wise administration has been the decision to brand Enumclaw as an equestrian community, convert the Expo Center into a haven for horse fans of all stripes and pursue the dollars that accompany that crowd.

It’s a massive undertaking with myriad details and it carries a price tag in the multiple millions.

“I’d like to be here to see that happen,” Wise said of the overall tourism initiative.

Wise emphasizes he has developed relationships crucial to seeing his hopes and dreams turning to reality.

“I’m totally committed and have the time and energy to follow through on good things for this community,” he said. “I still have a vision for this city that will bring us to a new level.”

Wise first ran for mayor as a relative newcomer to city politics, though he had served in elective office as a member of the Enumclaw School Board. He defeated longtime Councilwoman Shirley Heen in 2001 and was elected to a second term in 2005, defeating Councilman Sean Krebs.

Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

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