4 apply to fill vacancy on KID board

Four people, including a former board member and the wife of a current board member, have applied for a vacancy on the Kennewick Irrigation District board of directors.

Benton County commissioners will select one to serve out the term of John Jaksch, who resigned from Position 4 in May after moving to Texas. He had been on the five-member board since 2007.

The appointee will serve until a successor is elected to complete the last year of the term for the position, which expires in December 2013.

The four applicants are:

Dean Dennis of Kennewick, a retired Navy chief petty officer who has lived in Kennewick for 30 years. He says he will represent homeowners, not farmers. Dennis ran unsuccessfully for the KID board in December 2010.

Dennis is president of the Pheasant Run Home Owners Association board of directors and active in The Living Room Community Church, and belongs to the Columbia Classic Car Club and the Retreads Car Club. He also has been involved with the Three Rivers Transportation Expo to help form a transportation museum in the Tri-Cities, and belongs to Washington State Operation Thank You.

Prior to retiring, Dennis worked for Westinghouse at Hanford in several positions, including manager of fire systems.

Robert Frink of Kennewick, a retired engineer with extensive experience in nuclear and power plant systems. He most recently worked for Energy Solutions and Bechtel National at Richland. He served in the Air Force in the 1960s before earning college degrees in nuclear engineering at the University of Florida.

Frink previously applied for, but was not selected to fill, a vacancy on the Benton PUD board directors in 2005.

Frink said his extensive experience in engineering are important qualifications for being a KID director.

Penny Hermanson of Benton City, co-owner of Windfeather Farm, where she oversees the budget for fuel and fertilizer. She is married to KID board member Patrick McGuire. Hermanson is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, has been on the Benton County Jr. Fair Rodeo Association where she joined the board in 2003, and has been a frequent attendee at KID board meetings since 2008.

Hermanson said in her application she wants to be on the board to give back to the community on a larger scale than she has been able to do, and to continue positive programs, progress and growth of KID.

Dale Walter of Kennewick, an accountant for 40 years, has worked primarily in the construction field. He is a Vietnam War veteran and a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in business accounting. Walter served on the KID board in all of 2008, having been appointed to fill the vacancy of Loren Watts who resigned in late 2007. Walter was not re-elected in December 2008, being defeated by Gene Huffman.

Walter said he wants to rejoin the board because of ongoing concern over the management of the irrigation district operations, particularly failure to follow the Revised Code of Washington regarding irrigation districts. As a board member, Walter called for a more equitable restructuring or water assessments between agricultural and residential customers. He also refused to support paying a bill involving Watts' construction work done for a KID customer.

-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; jtrumbo@tricityherald.com