Greg Wilder, 69, a Coulee Dam activist, said last week that he plans to file for the office of mayor as an “agent of change” when the filing period opens in May.
Wilder has been at odds with two-term Mayor Quincy Snow, and the town administration as a whole, for the past two years, largely over the proposed wastewater treatment plant.
Wilder says he has determined that the present $4.92 million plant now being designed is being overbuilt and that it will cost the citizens of Coulee Dam too high of sewer bills for the next 20 years.
He has consistently suggested that the necessary adjustments to the present plant could be made much cheaper.
Wilder has also sparked interest in Elmer City for a more modest version, and some officials there are talking about building their own plant. Elmer City contributes about 25 percent of the current Coulee Dam plant’s flow load, and residents there would also be faced with high sewer bills. Elmer City has 12 years remaining on its present agreement to handle its sewage at the Coulee Dam plant.
And more recently, Wilder has helped in getting hundreds of signatures on a Coulee Dam petition asking officials to step back and take another look at the project.
Gray & Osborne, doing the design for Coulee Dam, said that it could do that if officials from Coulee Dam ask them to.
Wilder said Monday that he had been encouraged by the comments of Coulee Dam residents, and stated that he wants to continue to be involved.
“I would hope that I would be given the same courtesy and opportunities as the mayor to attend and participate in meetings and other appropriate forums,” Wilder said.
Wilder said if elected he would first focus on a “culture change” in the town hall and council, developing a reminder of what it means to “openly and transparently serve.” Then, he said, “the community rebuilding would be easier to prioritize, strategize, fund and do.”
“My experience isn’t just public works (sewer treatment plants and such) but includes being a city manager twice, public works director three times, and city/county planner and economic development director twice,” Wilder stated.
He is a 1962 graduate of Lake Roosevelt High School, has a bachelor of science degree from Washington State University in civil engineering and geology, and a bachelor of arts from WSU in fine arts and architecture.
While at Issaquah as public works director, Wilder was involved in a project that included 3,200 family units, and 2.9 million square feet of office space, a hospital, a park & ride lot, three schools, a fire station and the Sunset interchange, a $34 million project.