Name: Bill McKay
District: Kennewick Irrigation District, Position 5
Why are you running?
First, I recently semi-retired and I have time to serve my community. Second, I believe there are some issues that need to be fixed at KID (addressed below). Third, I would like to add variety to the ballot, giving voters a diverse range of people and ideas to vote for.
I don’t see this as a recreational pursuit, but as a job to make an entity better. KID is an entity that affects all of us by delivering water, the life blood to this area.
What is your experience?
Born and raised on a 300-acre dairy farm in Meridian, Idaho and operated the family farm for 12 years after graduating from college with a farm crops management degree. This is where I learned a great deal about irrigation districts and water rights.
My wife and I raised four children who contribute to society. One owns his own construction company in Kennewick, one is a local podiatrist with Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates and two are currently in college.
When I sold the dairy I obtained an accounting degree from Boise State and have worked in the banking and finance field until I just recently retired.
Built and own 27th Ave. Self-Storage in Kennewick, which is one of the largest storage facilities in the Tri-Cities.
I was elected in January 2015 to the Washington Self-Storage Association Board of Directors.
When I was dairy farming, my wife and I were elected National Chair Couple of the Young Co-operators organization. I was the youngest dairyman, at age 32, to be appointed by the governor of Idaho to the Idaho Dairy Products Commission (IDPC) Board. I was nominated by my fellow IDPC Board members and appointed by the fovernor to the Idaho Beef Council and National Meat Export Federation Board. As an IDPC board member we worked with the California Dairy Commission to start the “Got Milk” campaign.
Some of my local volunteer service includes Tri-Cities YMCA board, Tri-Cities Prep High School Board, various jobs in my church, Scout Master for Troop 115, AAU basketball Ccach, Southridge High Booster Club president.
If elected, what changes would you plan to make?
There are two areas that need to be addressed:
First, as a commercial banking loan officer, I often heard that KID is the hardest regulatory entity to work with in the Tri-Cities. I would like to start the process to change that. I believe that if we change the attitude at the top we could make it just the opposite. New construction is a big part of the Tri-City economy and I believe there are things the KID could do to make the process less combative.
Second, the KID election process is a joke. In 2011 only 67 parcel owners out of 22,900 voted for a total of 1,360 votes cast. Most of the other parcel owners were not even aware there was an election going on. The board needs to find a way to include the KID election as part of the general elections overseen by the County Clerk. This way, all eligible voters could receive a ballot for KID elections in the mail. It is obvious that the current management and board members want to keep it the current way so that they have less people to answer to and more control of the outcome of the elections.