Less than four months after city voters recalled controversial Mayor Ed Dohrman, 43 to 16, three of Dohrman’s supporters have filed for seats in City Hall.
“There’s a lot of animosity still, on both sides,” said City Council candidate and university student Shane Sanford, 23.
Consider this recent letter from Sanford’s wife, Arla Lanning, to the editor of the St. Maries Gazette-Record: “The real question is, are the people of Tensed going to wake up in time to keep this smelly, festering wound from turning into gangrene?”
Like all the candidates, Sanford said he wants to heal the town and get down to business.
Specifically, he wants to improve the city’s community building, give nearby residents access to city drinking water and replace the “T” that fell off the Tensed sign.
“That’s a big issue for a lot of people,” he said.
“They don’t like to live in ‘Ensed.”’
Like the others, he also vowed to give residents more say in city business.
“There’s absolutely no public input at all,” said mayoral challenger Shirley Lanning, a 54-year-old bartender and business owner.
“You could sit there all night with your hand up in the air and she (Mayor Mariane Hurley) will never call on you.”
Poppycock, say the three incumbents. They say they’re trying to chart a positive course for the city, population 90.
“In the past, they (the critics) would kind of turn the meeting into a free-for-all,” said Mayor Hurley, a 53-year-old tribal school secretary. “I will not put up with a free-for-all.”
The other candidates for the two council seats are:
Incumbent Darrow Phillips, 69, a retired mechanic. An Arizona native, Phillips moved to Tensed a year ago. He says he can look at matters objectively.
“A newcomer can see things different from someone who’s been involved in the turmoil,” he said.
Incumbent Gary Seaton, 37, a postal worker and carpenter. He wants to clean up the town and its image, try for road grants and discourage the rural blight of old trailers and rusting cars. “I’m invested in this town,” he said. “I own property and I’ll be here a while.”
HeadStart teacher Effie Reid, 48. She wants to get the town Dumpster moved, pave the city’s roads and get people more involved in their government.
Store owner Diane Jensen, 41. Like Seaton, she’d like to see the town cleaned up and drawing professional families. She also wants more planning to manage the city’s slow growth.