Kennewick Councilman John Trumbo and retired engineer Raman Venkata of Richland are vying for a seat on the Kennewick Irrigation District Board in its December election.
Instead, the KID board recommended — and the Benton County Commission approved — Jim Holmes, an engineer and charter member of the Red Mountain American Viticulture Area.
Holmes did not file for the election, which is for the last year of McGuire’s term.
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Voting, as set by state law, will be 1 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12 at the KID office, 2015 S. Ely St., Kennewick.
The number of votes property owners in the district can cast is based on the amount of their land KID serves, with a vote and a spouse vote for each assessable property.
Absentee ballots also are available by request online at kid.org/election or at the Kennewick office. Forms granting the authority to cast a vote for a spouse are also available at the link.
Only the incumbent, David McKenzie, filed for the Position 3 seat he now holds, and has been declared elected for another term starting in January. The term is for three years.
For Position 2, Trumbo, who is running for a KID board seat for the third time, wants to see more balanced representation for KID customers on the five-member board.
Four KID directors have professional ties to agriculture. But two-thirds of the 21,000 acres irrigated by KID water are owned as residential property, Trumbo said.
“It makes sense that those residents have a larger representation on the KID board,” he said.
He’d also like the board to become involved in changing state election law to allow an equal vote for each property owner, regardless of property size; to move to mail-in ballots, and to have irrigation district elections on the November ballot instead of in December.
Trumbo, 70, has a home on 1.5 acres in Kennewick within the KID.
He is familiar with KID after working as an investigative reporter for the Tri-City Herald, covering mostly local governments, including KID. He worked for newspapers for 38 years before retiring.
He will continue to serve on the Kennewick City Council, after being elected earlier this month to another four-year term.
Venkata, 77, said he would bring engineering experience and regulatory knowledge to the board.
His 46-year career included working on irrigation aspects of a water treatment plant in New Jersey, he said.
The knowledge could be put to use on the board to help preserve the rights of the district and its residential and agricultural members, he said.
He retired from his position as a Department of Energy structural systems oversight engineer at Hanford. He now teaches senior engineering students at Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Venkata, who owns residential property in the KID, says he meets issues head on but is not confrontational.
He is among an elite group of engineers named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He serves on three national committees for the society.
Venkata, who owns residential property in the KID, says he meets issues head on but is not confrontational. He values communication and believes that compromises can achieve results, he said.
Venkata grew up in a small town in India and came to the United States as a student with $8 in his pocket.
He would like to serve on the board as a thank you to a country “that has offered me all the privileges of a wonderful education and a wonderful professional experience,” he said.