The town of Millwood has elected seven mayors in its 77 years, and this November it will chose as its eighth either a six-term councilman or a fervent critic of the town government.
Mayor Jeanne Batson, 83, decided against seeking re-election after 16 years in office. Councilman Daniel Mork and Robert Mankin will run for the position
“I think it’s an important transition between a long-standing mayor and some challenges we are going to face in the future,” Mork said.
A biologist who works for Hollister-Stier Laboratories, Mork, 48, listed boosting town revenues as a focus of his mayoral run.
While keeping the town in the black, he also wants to keep taxes low and promote business in Millwood, Mork said.
Other goals include making town government more user-friendly and improving its relationship with West Valley School District, Mork said.
Mankin is a longtime resident and retired boilermaker whose appearance at the town hall has been frequent and sometimes confrontational, town officials said.
“We’ve had to call the cops and have him taken out of town meetings,” said town clerk and treasurer Eva Colomb.
Officials said harassment from Mankin is the reason security glass was installed between employees and customers at the small town’s service window last November.
Mankin maintains the mayor and police have a vendetta against him while hiding mismanagement within the town government.
“I never hurt a soul,” he said.
Bringing town revenues back up and reinstating a volunteer fire department are two of the issues Mankin said he would bring to the forefront if elected mayor.
“Millwood will be the richest little town in this state again,” said Mankin, 64.
Councilmen Kevin Freeman and Brian Votava also are up for re-election, but will run unopposed.
Controversy stirred the usually routine council business last year when Batson faced a recall effort that was thrown out by a judge.
Discord began after she dismissed a paid Millwood firefighter, citing a tight budget. Most of the volunteer firefighters cried foul and quit, prompting the town to give up its fire department and contract with Spokane Valley Fire Department for fire protection.