Joseph Baker appointed to fill council vacancy

Rising costs mean cuts to Waterfront Park


February 23, 2023

The Town of Cathlamet has a new council member.

After interviewing applicants Kaden Anderson, Joseph Baker, Holly McKeen, and Michael Severson, the council voted 3-1 to appoint Baker to the vacant Position #3. Council member Laurel Waller cast the lone dissenting vote. Position #3 is up for election this fall, and Baker will be required to run for election to continue past the nine-month appointment.

Baker and his wife relocated to Cathlamet in 2021 after residing in Auburn for many years. He formerly managed the theater at Green River College and ran a community theater company. On his application, Baker listed development of a waterfront park, speeding on town streets, and sidewalk and street repair as high priority issues for the council to address.

After town attorney Fred Johnson swore in Baker, the council continued with additional business.

Mayor David Olson prepared a State of the Town report in honor of the town’s 116th anniversary of incorporation. The report is available online on the town’s home page ( Physical copies are available at the public library, Chamber of Commerce office, and town hall.

Planning work continues on the waterfront park project. Cost estimates have nearly doubled since they were originally prepared for a state Recreation and Conservation office grant proposal in 2020. The increased costs necessitate down scoping many project elements, town clerk-treasurer Sarah Clark reported. Town officials continue to seek other sources of funding to make up the difference.

Last week Olson and Clark prepared and submitted a supplemental capital funding request at the request of Senator Jeff Wilson’s Olympia office, and plan to submit an additional funding request to Wahkiakum County’s Marine Resources Committee.

Council member Robert Stowe presented a proposal for the town to acquire the equipment needed to host pickleball and cornhole events at Erickson Park during Bald Eagle Day celebrations in July. Hearing strong council support, planning efforts for the events will continue at the council’s March 20 meeting.


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