Former Benton City mayor runs for city council

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldMay 17, 2013 

BENTON CITY -- Bryan Robinson, a former councilman, former mayor and longtime resident of Benton City, filed Friday afternoon to run for Position 2 on the council.

He will run against incumbent Mary Lettau, 57, who was chosen to fill the vacant position last fall.

Robinson, 67, served on the council for nine months from 2002-03 before resigning to run for mayor. He won the election and served from 2004-07. He served on the Benton County Planning Board prior to serving on the council.

He owns two Benton City businesses -- the Smallest Trading Post in the Northwest and Exotic Livestock -- but said his main professions are writing and photography.

Lettau is a billing specialist for a Tri-City engineering company.

Robinson emphasized his prior experience, but said he's not attended city council meetings since he left office.

"I have nothing against her or anyone on the council. I just feel like I can be of service to the city," he said. "I'd like for the council to know more about their responsibilities and what they really can do since the meetings are council meetings, not mayor meetings."

He'd also like to see the city clerk's office become more responsive to the public and -- if the residents are interested -- bring more businesses to Benton City and fill the many vacant storefronts, he said.

Robinson admits he "stirred up a lot of dust" during his term as mayor. "Anymore, I'm not in the mood for that kind of controversy."

Lettau still is learning how things work after just a few months experience on the council, she said. She did attend council meetings for a year and a half before her appointment.

"The main reason for becoming a councilwoman was to become more aware of what was happening in the city where I live," Lettau said. "I really want to be on top of the decisions being made and be the voice of the people."

Lettau would like to see Benton City residents take more of an interest in their community, she said.

Very few people attend the meetings, but she tries to reach out by talking to friends, neighbors and anyone who contacts her with concerns.

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