Buckley has changed since Paul Weed moved away — there’s certainly more people now, he said, and the high school isn’t where he left it.
And now that he’s his city’s new city administrator, Weed has a chance to affect the way it continues to evolve.
Weed took the place of former City Administrator David Schmidt in early March after 19 years of service, though Schmidt is still on-call as “a lifeline,” Weed said.
Before helping lead Buckley, Weed graduated from White River High in 2002, attended Western Washington University for his Bachelors in businesses administration, and Washington State University for his Masters in education, specifically higher education administration.
From there, he took on the job as a finance officer for WSU before taking the top position as director of finance. Eventually, Weed moved on to be the finance director position for the University of Washington Tacoma (and moved his family back to Buckley), and then, was the chief administration officer for Metro Parks in Tacoma.
But when his hometown advertised the open city administrator position, “it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” he said. “To get the opportunity to come back and contribute to the community that raised you, I don’t think there’s any greater public service pride than that.”
In general, his plan for Buckley is to “carry the torch that’s been handed,” by supporting Mayor Pat Johnson and her vision of the city, as well as listening to its residents and what they need and want.
A big part of that is continuing on with building out the city’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan, especially focusing on the Foothills Trail.
“The trail is the new main street. We’re getting a lot of traffic coming up from South Prairie. It’ll be a lot more once we get that bridge built and connected to Enumclaw,” Johnson said in the same interview with Weed, referring to the pedestrian bridge planned to be built over the White River in the next couple years.
According to Weed, finishing and improving the trail, and the various amenities alongside it, will be how Buckley attracts other developers.
“I think a lot of developments look at those ‘third places,’” he said. “Not where you work, not where you live, but… where you socially interact.”
But neither Johnson or Weed said they’re looking for Buckley to bring in the demographics necessary for big box stores or chain restaurants to want to move in — as Johnson said, Buckley “is the last bastion of civilization before you get to the wilderness area,” and they both seem to want to keep it that way.
For more information, Weed can be contacted at 360-761-7802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.