As promised, clippers clean mayor’s locks

More than $28,000 was raised for Plateau Outreach Ministries and the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation.

The most recent gathering of the Enumclaw City Council concluded with Mayor Jan Molinaro following through on a promise. Money had been raised and the mayor departed City Hall with a shaved head and without his familiar goatee.

The spectacle – carried live on ECTV and now available for viewing on the city website (and embedded below) – began with a challenge. Molinaro noted publicly that he had bypassed haircuts since February and was sporting a length reminiscent of his high school days.

He vowed to the Enumclaw community that if enough money was pledged to a pair of nonprofit entities, he would undergo a serious scissoring. The beneficiaries were Plateau Outreach Ministries and the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation. If $10,000 was raised, Molinaro said, he would consent to a public crew cut; if donations hit $15,000 he agreed to have his head shaved; and, if folks were generous enough to pledge $20,000, he added his whiskers to the deal.

Molinaro’s fate was sealed when donations not only topped $20,000, but continued to roll in. By the time the July 13 haircut rolled around, the total had eclipsed the $28,000 mark.

Participating in the ceremonial shearing was longtime Enumclaw barber Chuck Anselmo. And co-starring in the event were a quartet of Enumclaw High School wrestlers.

Prior to the mayoral shearing, members of the City Council – who were once again participating remotely – took about 45 minutes to work through their agenda. Among the items of business to be acted upon, the council:

• Locked in future prices the city will pay for natural gas, a not-uncommon move that aims to provide rate stability for customers of the city utility.

For the past decade, the city has contracted with IGI Resources to secure future purchases of natural gas at a fixed price. That will continue into 2025.

A report from Ed Hawthorne, the city’s natural gas manager, stated “Recent events have impacted pricing to the point that staff recommends taking advantage of historically low pricing.”

• Signed off on a project that saw Railroad Street substantially upgraded.

It was last November when the council awarded a contract to Pivetta Brothers Inc. for work to be done between Myrtle and Battersby avenues. The pact called for demolition of an old, underground, wooden pipe, along with new pavement and other improvements.

According to a memo provided by Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln, the final price tag was $483,265 or 9.8 percent more than the original bid. The project was funded with $100,000 from Transportation Benefit District collections, with the remainder coming from the city’s Real Estate Excise Tax fund.

• Agreed to adjust the pay grade and change the job title for a position in the Public Works Department. The title is going from “department secretary” to “administrative specialist.”

The council was told the position has not changed in recent memory, while the department has grown substantially. New technology, it was noted, “requires highly-skilled and qualified staff.”

The new salary range for the position starts at $4,545 and climbs to $5,528 monthly.

• Reinforced an existing ordinance that exempts “senior housing” projects from paying school impact fees. Such fees are typically collected on new developments, to help ease the burden new homes (and the families who fill them) place on the school district.