Elections have consequences!


October 25, 2018

To The Eagle:

We, Wahkiakum County residents, are very lucky to have a county government that works so well. Our current elected officials are all highly qualified and have proven track records. This is not something that you see at all levels of government. We are very fortunate to have people in these elected positions who run their offices well and keep the county services working smoothly.

During this election it is important to look at the facts and think critically. We are choosing those who will be running the business of Wahkiakum County. There are consequences to the choices we make. Vote wisely!

Staff turnover, an indicator of discontent, in all of these offices is almost non-existent except for people retiring or moving out of the community. The auditor’s office had several senior employees retire recently. Nicci Bergseng has done an awesome job of replacing those people. I have found her staff to be very helpful and knowledgable in my multiple recent interactions. Close to 20 years ago, Nicci worked for me in my dental office. Having no previous dental experience, she became an excellent employee. I have seen her grow in her skills, making every place she worked a better business and environment. Nicci’s election is recommended by her long-term predecessor, Diane Tischer.

Bill Coons, the county assessor, is the only qualified candidate for the job. His re-election has been supported by long time assessor-Kay Cochran, multiple real estate professionals, appraiser-Michael Dahle, the Wahkiakum Democratic Committee, several members of the Wahkiakum County Board of Equalization, and many local residents including Rick Nelson. I encourage you to go back and read Rick’s column in the October 11th edition as well as the letters to the editor in October 11th & 18th papers if you have any doubts. We need to keep that knowledge and professionalism in our county assessor's office! In our small county, the assessor needs to be proficient from the start (reread Michael Dahle’s letter). Would you choose a dentist with no education or experience but seemed to be a nice guy to work on your teeth? Not recommended!

Sheriff Mark Howie has always been a positive asset for our community. He led the sheriff's department through some very difficult times and has kept our community safe and the crime rate low. His leadership has avoided several situations that could have turned out much worse for the community. Thankfully we have not had any catastrophic tests of it, but it seems Mark has put a lot of effort into building the infrastructure of the emergency management services of the county and trying to maintain exposure at the high school. He has done an admirable job with the resources available to him. Mark also has had letters to the editor from multiple law enforcement professionals and community members attesting to his proficiency. Letters of support from those with first hand knowledge and understanding of these positions we are voting to fill, are attempts to help us make decisions with positive outcomes for our county. We would do well to listen to them!

Prosecutor Dan Bigelow has been doing an admirable job of prosecuting crime in our county, advising the county commissioners, acting as county coroner, as well as his role with the Charlotte house.

Treasurer Tammy Petersen, and Clerk of Court Kay Holland are unopposed. Both have done a great job of running their offices!

Blair Brady is also serving the county well as county commissioner from district 3. He has made contacts and relationships with people at the state and federal levels during his three previous terms which help our community. It would be unfortunate to lose his influence locally and at higher levels.

These incumbents have smooth running offices, know the routines and requirements, and are all in compliance with the federal and state statutes. There will be a steep learning curve and inefficiencies associated if these people are replaced by their challengers. Negative consequences for all of us in Wahkiakum County would result.

I encourage you to join me in voting to retain the slate of county employees we have working well for Wahkiakum County in Mark Howie, Bill Coons, Dan Bigelow, Nicci Bergseng, Kay Holland, Tammy Petersen, and Blair Brady. Vote for positive consequences!

Doug Martin



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