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Wilder elected mayor of Coulee Dam

 

Greg Wilder is Coulee Dam's mayor-elect.

He was ushered in by voters with a substantial margin over his four-time mayor opponent Quincy Snow.

Wilder had swept his way into the general election by a 3-1 margin over Snow who was running for his fifth four-year term.

The margin Tuesday night was 110 for Wilder and 54 for Snow. A few late ballots will not change the outcome.

The major issue in the campaign has been Coulee Dam's proposed wastewater treatment plant.

Wilder had opposed the $4.92 million dollar upgrade of the town's existing plant, contending that it would cost far more than that. He challenged the vision of the town's engineering firm, Gray & Osborne, contending that the firm's work was incomplete.

Wilder's was a one-man campaign to stop the project until he got officials in Elmer City concerned about what it would cost its largely retired residents.

The two joined forces in fighting the issue, challenging every phase of the plan, until Coulee Dam's council got weary and somewhat reluctantly allowed the project to stall.

The issue got tense and as Wilder got more involved, he decided to run against Snow.

The campaign since the primary had become testy with some within the town structure seeking negative information about Wilder, and Wilder responding by seeking public documents to prove his cause.

Voters have had their say. Wilder will become mayor when the new year arrives.

One casualty of the city staff occurred before the results of the election were in. City Clerk Carol Visker, who had been with the city for 12 years, resigned her post.

She and Wilder had had some unfriendly exchanges at city hall.

Tuesday night after the results were posted, Wilder issued this statement: "I appreciate the confidence and support of the Coulee Dam electorate. The results of this election clearly define the community's willingness and desire for a change ... for a fresh approach to the way we govern and the way we involve our citizens in that effort. It is my hope that over the first quarter of my first year we can develop a way to share thoughts and ideas without such pride of ownership that nothing gets accomplished. I look forward to openly serving my friends and neighbors and crafting meaningful partnerships with our sister cities and the Colville Tribes."

Wilder will have some help on the town council, because two of his declared supporters were elected over serving incumbents.

Gayle Swagerty won over incumbent Karl Hjorten by a 99-46 margin; and Duane Johnson won over incumbent Andrew Trader, 113-36.

 

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