WEST RICHLAND COUNCIL POS. 1: 3 vie for seat on city council

By Joe Chapman, Herald staff writerJuly 29, 2009 

A nurse, a teenager and a business owner are competing for West Richland City Council Position 1.

The candidates compete in the primary election Aug. 18, and the top two will advance to the general election in November. They're competing for the four-year seat being vacated by Councilwoman Julie Jones, who isn't seeking another term.

Council members are paid $350 a month plus a $50 monthly vehicle allowance, and the mayor is paid $550 a month plus a $100 monthly vehicle allowance.

Angie Tyree

Angie Tyree, 41, recently became a nurse after working for 20 years in TV production.

She has lived in West Richland for nearly six years after growing up in Pasco. She works part time at Columbia Rheumatology and as needed at Kadlec Regional Medical Center.

If elected to the city council, she said she would work to improve the city's financial footing.

"The budget concerns me," Tyree said. "They were about $150,000 short this year and had to dip into their general fund (reserves). And it looks like that is going to be a bigger dip this year."

She said she's a proponent for streamlining the permitting process to make it easier for businesses to get started in West Richland.

Tyree is a charter member of West Richland Red Mountain Lions Club, was president of her nursing class at Columbia Basin College and was on the Associated Student Body budget committee.

She's married and has three children, ages 9 to 13.

Craig Sloughter

Craig Sloughter, 19, is a lifelong resident of West Richland running for city council for the second time. He ran in 2007 as a write-in candidate when he was a senior at Hanford High School.

As a council member, he would encourage the city to be more aggressive about economic development, he said.

"We're missing out on a lot of business potential," he said. "If we were a little bit more business friendly, we could have some more businesses while still keeping the small-town feel that we love."

Sloughter, the fourth of four siblings, lives with his parents in West Richland. He is the son of former West Richland Councilman Jim Sloughter.

He works part time as a shift supervisor at Baskin-Robbins. He recently attended Columbia Basin College and plans to study business at Washington State University Tri-Cities starting next month.

He served as a delegate for the 2008 presidential elections at the caucus and district level. He started the recycling club at Hanford High and volunteered for community events such as Carols & Cocoa, Hogs & Dogs and the Harvest Festival.

Brent Gerry

Brent Gerry, 52, is owner of Richland AutoCare Center. He has lived in West Richland for 16 years.

He said West Richland's growth should be rapid but controlled. The city should be run more like a business, he said.

"It's not an institution. It's not a hand-me-out," he said. "(We need to) make smart decisions, make sure that we have a good return on our investments, look real hard for other tax revenues."

His training includes Automotive Service Excellence certification, and he went through Firestone's business management program. He also is a certified arbitration and dispute mediator.

He's a former vice president of a Yakima snowmobile club, which raised money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and he's a former vice president of the Automotive Service Association.

He's married with two grown daughters and two grandsons.

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