Rathdrum voters in November will have eight choices for a pair of hotly contested City Council seats.
The two top vote-getters will move into seats being vacated by Vic Holmes, whose term is ending and who is running for mayor, and Bill Swaghoven, who’s stepping down after eight years on the council.
Here are the candidates:
“Deborah Holmes, 51, is a branch office administrator in the local Edward R. Jones Investments office. She is a past president of the Rathdrum Chamber of Commerce and formerly owned a local insurance agency. Her experience is in finance, investing and insurance.
Holmes, no relation to mayoral candidate Vic Holmes, wants to encourage managed growth and form an urban renewal agency.
“Fred Meckel, 37, is attending the Army National Guard’s officer training school and is working on a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He is the Precinct 9 committee chairman for the Republican Party and coaches youth basketball and soccer teams.
Meckel wants to attract environmentally clean businesses that pay more than minimum wage; seeks to stop annexation until homes fill in between housing developments; and thinks Rathdrum should build its own sewer system to support future expansion.
“Richard Moser, 58, is retired. After a career in the Marine Corps, he was a banker and a federal auditor looking for fraud among Medicare providers and federally insured banks.
He’s committed to keeping taxes low; being frugal in city spending; and creating a disaster relief and evacuation plan in the event of hazardous spills on nearby freight rails.
“Carmon O’Donnell, 67, is retired from owning and driving his own semitruck and serves on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
If elected, he’d like to bring in new jobs, keep city spending down and base city decisions on what residents, not the council, want. Traffic problems and the high cost of water need to be resolved, he said.
“Destry Randles, 37, is district manager of Holiday Companies, a retailer that operates gas stations and convenience stores. He’s working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration and belongs to Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society.
He wants to see more pedestrian walkways; lower water bills; more fiscal responsibility in the form of less city spending; traffic and safety improvements on major roadways; and more planning to alleviate problems that come with growth.
“Kris Storey, 62, works part time as both a courier for Adept Business Services and a greeter with New Beginnings Welcome Service. She is the Precinct 11 chairwoman for the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, secretary of the Rathdrum Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Westwood/Rathdrum Historical Society.
Tops on her “to do” list are exploring construction of a city sewage treatment plant or finding a cheaper alternative for wastewater disposal. She favors managed growth, hopes to attract new businesses to town and wants to protect the Rathdrum Prairie from overdevelopment.
“Dan Vestal, 37, is a machinist at Heppner Molds in Post Falls.
He said if elected, he’d work on bringing in more businesses, sustaining those already in town and making sure city infrastructure keeps up with demand. He’d also like to see Rathdrum take a more active role in preserving its history.
“Chris Weitzel, 39, is a sawmill worker for Stimson Lumber Co. in Coeur d’Alene.
He would encourage bringing viable businesses to town, he said. That would help residents who want to raise their families in Rathdrum and add corporations to the tax rolls, helping alleviate the tax burden on residents.
He believes subdivisions should fill up before the city issues new housing permits. And he’d recommend a study of the growing population’s impact on the city infrastructure to identify adjustments that would need to be made.