April 9, 2011 in Washington Voices

A lifetime of joyful public service

Bailey aims to serve Millwood as long as he can
Valerie Putnam vrputnam@yahoo.com
 
J. Bart Rayniak photo

Glenn Bailey has been a Millwood city councilman for more than 20 years.
(Full-size photo)

Glenn Bailey enjoys serving his community.

As one of Millwood’s longtime public servants, Bailey has contributed more than 20 years as a councilman.

“I think it’s great when people make a commitment like this and do it for a long period of time,” city planner Tom Richardson said of Bailey, “because I know how hard it is.”

 “He’s someone who’s devoted his entire career to public service,” Millwood Councilman Richard Shoen said of Bailey’s experience in education and community service. “It’s valuable having him on the council.”

 Born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, Bailey married his high school sweetheart over 56 years ago.

Following 10 years working at the Rutledge sawmill, he attended the University of Idaho, earning a degree in elementary education. After graduating in 1965, he moved his family – his wife, Alyce, and daughters Terri and Robyne – to Millwood.

As an educator, he spent 32 years in the Central Valley School District. During that time, he became principal at Progress and Opportunity elementary schools.

In the mid-1980s, Bailey began his political career by serving on the Millwood Planning Commission.  His decision to serve came from a suggestion made by his neighbor, Les McIntyre, who was serving as a council member at the time.

In 1990, Bailey took advantage of an opportunity to serve on the council when Jeanne Batson became mayor and vacated her seat.  When the term ended the following year, Bailey ran unopposed. 

Bailey, 76, hasn’t seen much change in Millwood over the years. And that’s the way he likes it.

 “People like it the way it is,” he said. “I want to maintain a quality environment where people can live comfortably.”

Bailey’s vision for Millwood is to keep that small-town feel where the streets are safe and quiet; as well as ensuring residents receive services unique to the city, such as clean maintained streets, annual leaf pickup and prompt snow plowing.

 “I’m proud of that,” Bailey said of the services the city provides. “Being a small community, we’re able to meet or at least address the needs of the residents.”

“He likes the uniqueness of Millwood,” Mayor Dan Mork said. “He’s very protective of Millwood interests.”

One of the highlights of Bailey’s career is the sewer project in the early 1990s. Its success, he believes, benefited the entire community. Occurring in four phases, construction began on the approximately $4 million project in 1992 and was completed in 1996.

Bailey says one of the most controversial issues during his tenure was the decision to tear down the old West Valley High School building. The building was demolished to make room for a retail center on Trent.  “It was going to cost more to remodel and bring up to code than what the building was worth,” Shoen recalls.

Over the years, Bailey said, the council’s commitment to thoroughly discuss issues is the reason decisions are typically unanimous. He noted there have only been a few issues in his 20 years, such as annexing into the Valley Fire District in 2005, where the decision ended in a split vote.

Though he serves a small populace, about 2,100 residents, Bailey is the epitome of a professional. Appearing in a jacket and tie at monthly meetings, Bailey impresses upon others his dedication to incorporate his core values into his decisions, and concern for those he serves.

“He makes careful decisions,” Mork said. “He looks at the big picture and wants to make sure things are fair for everybody.”

“He’s very calm and thoughtful,” said Shoen, who’s worked with Bailey for 19 years. “He gets to the bottom of the issues.”

Asked why he continues to serve, Bailey points to his passion for community service and working with people.

“I enjoy the interaction with people,” Bailey said. “And being aware of what’s going on in the community so I can assist.”

Bailey plans to serve as long as he can. He is up for re-election this year. Over the course of his tenure he has only run opposed once, and that was in 1999. That year he received more than 70 percent of the vote.

 “I take that as an indicator I’m doing a good job,” Bailey said of the lack of opposition.

In addition to serving on the council, Bailey enjoys working in his garden and spending time with his family. He also works part time as a field supervisor for Eastern Washington University evaluating student teachers. 

 When asked how he wants to be remembered for his service on the council, Bailey said he wants to be known as “a guy that is willing to be a good listener and face issues that need to be dealt with; and try to do that with kindness and understanding.”

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