The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Election 2017--Laurel Waller, Council 5


October 19, 2017

Diana Zimmerman

Laurel Waller, Council 5

Laurel Waller is a candidate for the Town of Cathlamet Council Member position #5 position.

Waller is the owner of the Hotel Cathlamet. She got a bachelor's degree in Religion and Mysticism at John F. Kennedy University in California.

She had an internship at the East Bay AIDS Projects before people knew how the disease was transmitted. Another internship with Volunteers of America involved working with women inmates who lived in a halfway house with their children until the child reached school age. She later earned a Masters degree in Counseling and worked as a chaplain in hospitals.

And she did all of it while working for Pacific Bell for 32 years. She started as an operator at the age of 17. She worked her way up, out into the field, and eventually became a senior manager, leading large teams looking at data to solve problems and improve systems. She continued to do the same work for several other companies including Edmark, At&T, and TMobile before making the leap into hospitality a couple years ago.

All that analysis has become a natural function, and she continues to use it in her daily life.

"I attended close to a year's worth of town council meetings," Waller said. "I have asked the town to look at our sewer bill in particular. The ordinance states that the department of public works is supposed to make sure that the sewer bills reflect customer use, once a year.

"Andy Lea was the council member over that component, and when he announced he wasn't going to run for another term, I decided to run for he position. He knows I'm passionate about it. I have thoughts about what the town could do. I've worked for utilities. I know what can be done."

"I think there are things that I'd like see different about the meetings," Waller continued. "I'd like more openness and transparency. I'd like it to be more welcoming to citizens."

She is also interested in the new park, and a revival of energy in town. She would like to see local businesses stay open a little longer, especially during the summer.

"A woman who used to live here told me it's become a ghost town," Waller said.


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