Black Diamond isn’t exactly flush with election excitement, but the small crowd running for the city council just got a little smaller.
Corey Bailey, who was running for City Council Position No. 3, has moved out of the city he has called home for the last three years in order to raise his new child.
“Six months ago my wife and I introduced Wyatt into the world in the middle of this campaign,” Bailey posted on his official campaign Facebook page. “As time went on, we made the decision that our current living condition was not ideal for an infant… We recently closed on a house in rural Enumclaw and are in the process of moving from Black Diamond.”
Now that he’s no longer a Black Diamond resident, Bailey is unable to hold office in the city.
“If I end up winning, I would be required to resign before I started and the city council would be tasked with the appointment process of a new council member, which is a long, time consuming and tedious process. And that is just not in the best interest of the city,” he continued. “It is my recommendation that you vote for Therron Smith, and not me.”
Smith, Bailey’s former opponent, has been living in Black Diamond for just over two years.
“I had a relocation opportunity with my job to move to the Pacific Northwest, and after a handful of visits we settled on Black Diamond. I’d say that’s what brought us here, but why we chose Black Diamond was the community,” Smith wrote in an email interview. “My wife loves teaching at Black Diamond Elementary, and both my girls love it. We’ve all developed deep and meaningful friendships since our move, and are thankful to call Black Diamond home.”
The single biggest issue that prompted Smith to run for office was integrity.
“Black Diamond has numerous decisions ahead, with infrastructure, small business development, parks and recreation, to name a few, and I firmly believe the folks in the decision making process ought to have a demonstrated sense of honesty, and a heart for our community as a whole,” he continued. “Integrity is paramount in that process, and one I would say as my motivating factor.”
Assuming Smith wins, he has several goals in mind for Black Diamond, including pushing for the city to become a Tree City USA and more bicycle friendly.
“These two goals are extremely important to me because I believe that it will allow for involvement of all stakeholders in our town; new and existing residents, community developers, and businesses,” Smith writes on his campaign site. “If we are able to achieve these goals, we will all collectively benefit from a safer city for our families and sustainable growth with a mind for preserving woodlands.”
POSITION NO. 2
The only real contested race in Black Diamond now is between Glen Yadon and Trish Stallard for City Council Position No. 2. The Courier-Herald reached out to both candidates about why they’re running, and what are some of the issues they want to tackle as an elected official.
Stallard has been living in Black Diamond for the last seven years.
“Our goal was to move to a friendly place where the kids would thrive – and they have. I stay in Black Diamond because it is a beautiful place with a rich history and a lot of potential,” she wrote. “We also appreciate our reasonable commute to work.”
Stallard added that her 15 total years experience as a school leader (she’s currently a principal in the Kent School District and previously at the Clover Park School District) proves she’s able to lead diverse groups and bring them to a consensus.
“In my experience, even when not everyone gets their way, they feel better about tough decisions if they’ve been included in the process,” she continued. “I know how to listen, apply feedback, communicate the process, and explain the outcome to stakeholders.”
Her three main topics of concern include transparent communication, improving local roads and addressing the traffic flow on state Route 169, and, with an eye on affordable housing, keeping Black Diamond accessible and livable for everyone.
“As your council member, I will prioritize smart growth, youth development and inclusivity with every important decision I make,” Stallard wrote. “I will use my leadership skills to help our community work through the challenges we’re facing to create a bright future for our children.”
Her opponent, Yadon, has only lived in Black Diamond for a little over four years, but grew up in Maple Valley and has been involved in both communities for more than five decades.
“I had friends that lived in Black Diamond so I spent a lot of time here and of course we used to come to the Labor Day festivities,” he wrote. “My wife and I have always loved the area and finally bought a home here in the heart of town. The area and charm of Black Diamond is what keeps us her along with the location of our house that sits near the woods.”
Yadon cited traffic as the reason that got him to run for office.
“At first it was my frustration with the added traffic. That has kind of morphed into an overall desire to see that our growth is managed in the right direction,” he continued. “This is going to require people with the ability to put their own desires to the side and do what is best for our city. I feel that my experiences work well with this style of management.”
Yadon brings more than 30 years of sales and financial management experience to the table, including being the owner of Diamond Signing Services.
Three other issues he wants to focus on if he is elected include supporting the Black Diamond Police Department, preserving the city’s environment, and improving how city officials communicate with the public.
“I have seen so much stuff on social media that is incorrect and people get worked up over rumors that are not completely accurate,” Yadon wrote. “I would love to see more of our citizens get involved in the process.”
Correction: Trish Stallard is currently a principal at the Kent School District, not the Clover Park School District. This article has been updated.