KID prepares for Dec. 10 election

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldNovember 7, 2013 

Two Kennewick Irrigation District board members will face familiar opponents in the upcoming Dec. 10 election.

Penny Hermanson, who was elected to Position 4 last year, is running against Dean Dennis, who was appointed to that position but lost to Hermanson in the last election.

Kirk Rathbun, who is finishing his first three-year term, is running for Position 1 against Jim Wade, a KID critic who Rathbun defeated in the 2010 election.

Candidates for the positions were announced earlier this week. The deadline for filing was Monday.

The KID election is from 1 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at the KID administrative office, at 12 W. Kennewick Ave.

By law, property owners on parcels of five acres or fewer get two votes, while those with more get two votes for each five acres. Joint property owners each get half of the votes.

Board members are paid $90 per day for official meetings or days spent on official duties.

Position 1

Rathbun, a farmer and a developer, has lived in Kennewick for more than 30 years. Prior to being elected in 2010, Rathbun served as chairman of the KID Water Rates Advisory Committee.

Rathbun was not available on Wednesday afternoon.

Wade, a Kennewick homeowner and frequent attendee of KID meetings, said he's running because the five-member board is made up of farmers and developers.

He would like KID to do more to inform the public about its elections and also issues such as assessment increases.

Wade, who has run for the KID board a number of times, said its next to impossible for a residential homeowner to get elected to the board because votes are based on the amount of land someone owns. He said he's going to try to inform as many ratepayers as he can.

Position 4

Hermanson, who owns 45 acres and farms grass feed, started attending KID board meetings in 2008.

When running for office last year, Hermanson told the Herald she wanted to see more focus on drought preparation and to make sure the needs and concerns of Eastern Washington are taken into consideration when water laws are amended on the state and federal levels.

The Herald was unable to reach Hermanson on Wednesday afternoon.

Dennis, a retired manager of fire systems maintenance at Hanford, said he wants to make sure that KID's water rights are maintained, especially considering how vital irrigation water is for the area's farmers. He said he has more confidence and knowledge now that he is running for the KID board a second time.

Dennis, a Vietnam veteran who served three tours, retired after 21 years in the Navy as a chief petty officer.

He volunteers with Operation Thank You, which thanks veterans coming home from tours, and is president of the Pheasant Run Homeowners Association.

Absentee ballots can be requested by filing a form available at www.kid.org, at the district office or by calling 586-9111. If absentee ballots are requested after 5 p.m. Dec. 6, they must be picked up in person at the KID office.

w Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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