Retiring mayor notes accomplishments
December 30, 2021
To The Eagle:
Eight years ago, two highly respected citizens approached me with concerns about what was going on at the town, and they asked if I would consider getting involved. I decided to run, and in 2014 I was elected mayor. They were justified in their concerns, as there were some issues with the bookkeeping that were reviewed by the state auditor, but we were able to successfully resolve these issues with time and diligence, which allowed us to focus on other matters. After four years in office, I was re-elected to a second term.
As mayor, I initiated many things to help improve the town, none of which could have been done without the support and involvement of the town council. Some of my notable accomplishments as mayor are:
1. Town Hall: Having no parking and very little office space, I moved Town Hall to its current location, which was an unused fire hall at the time. Town crews helped us create a nice office space with significant interior improvements, and staff efforts saved the town money.
2. Water Access: In a town of this beauty, there should be a sandy beach with river access to get your feet wet – so initiating the idea of the Waterfront Park was imperative since there are no safe places for pedestrians to access the water within town limits. Although the park has not yet been developed, it is in the process and I am hopeful that we will have a nice park there in the near future.
3. Green Space: Unlike most towns, the Town of Cathlamet did not own any open space downtown. Butler Lot is one of the first things you see as you arrive from the ferry making it an ideal location to introduce a green space on Main Street for all to enjoy, especially visitors. Through public participation, a design was developed that has now been approved, and I hope that our community will be proud of it being a more aesthetically pleasing space once it is completed.
4. Safety: It seemed unsafe to be traveling at 50 MPH through town, especially for the buses pulling out and children crossing the road for school-related activities. After consulting with school officials, a plan was developed with WSDOT to make SR4 safer for everyone. With lower speeds, more people may be encouraged to come to our hideaway town and shop in our downtown stores, which will boost the local economy.
5. Alliances: Through hard work, I helped mend the relationship between the fire department and town that had deteriorated during prior administration. I am grateful to the volunteers who make the Fire and EMS departments run, and I am proud to have contributed to a strong and successful relationship going forward.
6. Parks: With the improvement and maintenance of the "pocket park" adjacent to the Town Hall, it is now a pleasant little area for people and visitors to enjoy, and I am hoping someday it may include picnic facilities.
7. Town Flag: A simple symbol of town pride, such as a flag, is especially meaningful when visiting other communities or participating in parades. With the help of the school district and town officials, we will now have our own town flag and I hope the community enjoys it as it hangs at Town Hall.
8. Staff: Although a daunting task, all but one of the town's full-time employees have left and been replaced under my administration. The town has a great team now, and everything is running smoothly. The Clerk-Treasurer has been outstanding and extremely helpful in all aspects of town functions and organization.
It was a pleasure to serve the Town of Cathlamet.
Mayor Dale Jacobson
Editor comments: Thank you for your many years of service as mayor of Cathlamet and Long Beach.