With the filing period for political candidates now past, it's apparent that voters will have the opportunity to make significant changes in the composition of their city governments.
On Aug. 1, the Klickitat County Auditor's Office listed the names of all those who filed for political office, and, at least for White Salmon, the biggest political story is that there will be a contested race for mayor this year: Two-term incumbent Roger Holen will see a challenge from business owner Linda Jones in his bid to win a third four-year term.
Jones, 56, owns two downtown businesses: Tassels & Doorknobs and the White Salmon Wine Bar. Both businesses opened this summer.
Holen, 66, was first elected as mayor in November 1995. He owns the Inn of the White Salmon.
"Well, the voters get a choice," Holen said. "I don't know what her platform is, and she doesn't know what mine is. That'll come out over the course of the next three months."
Holen noted, however, that the mayor's office does not make city policy.
"People tend to misunderstand the role of mayor," Holen explained. "The real job of the mayor is to execute the policy the City Council sets."
Jones said she felt it was important for voters to have a choice.
"Some people approached me about it," Jones said. "It didn't appear anyone else was going to run, and I do feel a responsibility as a citizen and as a business owner. I really care about the people of White Salmon and the town, and want to give people a choice because they deserve a choice."
She added that she would focus on two primary issues in her campaign.
"I know I want to focus on economic development. We have so many unemployed and so many senior citizens," Jones explained. "And I want to take a look at some city services. Water rates are obviously an issue."
She also pointed out that she wanted to encourage better communication between city government and the public.
"My most important issue will be to allow and encourage open dialogue between citizens of the community and City Hall on all issues affecting our community," Jones said. "I will be a voice for the community of White Salmon."
Holen said he looked forward to the race.
"It should be interesting," Holen said.
In addition to the mayor's race, two seats on the White Salmon City Council will also be on the November ballot, and change is certain there: incumbent council member Tim Stone did not file for another term. Richard A. Marx, a member of the White Salmon Planning Commission, signed up for Stone's position on the council.
Also, incumbent White Salmon councilor Francis Gaddis filed for another four-year term. Gaddis will not face an opponent.
In Bingen, incumbent Jeanette Fentie filed to continue serving on the Bingen City Council. She will be unopposed on the ballot.
In the other open race, Larry Murphy, who has served on the Bingen City Council since 1996, did not seek another term.
Since no one filed for Murphy's council position, a special three-day filing period will be open from Aug. 6-Aug. 8. Prospective candidates must file with the Klickitat County Auditor's Office in Goldendale between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on those days to get on the ballot. Candidates do not need to appear in person, but the necessary paperwork must reach the Auditor's Office by 5 p.m. on Aug. 8 to be valid. Postmarks do not count.
For more information on requirements to file for office, call the Auditor's Office at 1-800-583-8050.
Another race where there is a void in candidacy was for a position on the three-member Port of Klickitat Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Port Commissioner Norm Deo did not file to serve for another six-year term, and no one else stepped forward.
In Lyle School District No. 406, the school board will have a new look next year, after three of the four incumbents declined to file for another term. Bill Schmitt, Cal Edwards, and Scott Struck all declined to seek another term, but several candidates stepped up in their place. For the position Schmitt held, Penny McAnally and Danny Smith will compete in November. Danny Smith was an incumbent in Position No. 2, but he did not file for his old slot. Rather, he opted to challenge McAnally for Bill Schmitt's Position No. 1 seat.
Tom Jellum filed to run for Position No. 2, while Jeff Eiesland and Richard Becker will compete for the Lyle School Board's Position No. 5 seat that had been held by Scott Struck. No one filed for Position No. 3, where Cal Edwards was the incumbent.
In the White Salmon School District races, incumbents Josie Salka and Tom Stevenson filed for new four-year terms. Bill Clack filed to run for the position previously held by Jack Stembridge, who did not seek another term.
In Trout Lake, all three incumbents -- Stephanie Irving, Jim Wells, and Carl Allaway -- opted to file for new four-year terms. No one filed to oppose them.
In Klickitat, three incumbents filed for fresh four-year terms, but two of them were challenged. Marie Davis will seek a school board seat against incumbent Andy Schlangen, while Art Justman III will oppose current board member Ray C. Painter. The other candidate, Lori Fakesch, will not have a challenger in her bid for a new term.
For the Glenwood School District, where there are three openings, incumbent Harold E. Cole, Jr. filed for another term in Position No. 1.
Two incumbents chose not to run again in Glenwood -- Jerald F. Dean and Lavanda Dean. Jennifer L. Wilkins filed for the seat held by Lavanda Dean, while no one filed to run in Jerald Dean's seat.
The following county offices are subject to the special filing period due to no filings by candidates: Bickleton School District, Pos. 1; Centerville School District, Pos. 1; Glenwood School District, Pos. 1; Recreation District, Pos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; City of Bingen, Pos. 1; Cemetery District 2, Pos. 1; Cemetery District 4, Pos. 3; Port District 1, Pos. 1; Fire District 3, Pos. 1; Fire District 4, Pos. 1; Fire District 10, Pos. 1, 2, 3; Fire District 13, Pos. 1, 2.