Sandi Dickey's first foray into holding a political office is an important one: Dickey will be sworn in as the newest member of the Bingen City Council meeting on Dec. 5.
Dickey will move into the seat left open when former council member Randy Anderson resigned from the council in October.
On Nov. 21, the City Council voted 4-0 to appoint Dickey to the open position.
"I am very interested in Bingen's welfare," Dickey explained in her Oct. 24 letter expressing interest in joining the five-member City Council. "I would be honored to be a part of the future planning as our family business, Dickey Farms, is the oldest family-operated business in Washington state. I wish to bring focus to what is best for our city's future development. I am a team member, and would care to see more involvement from the community."
Before the vote, council member Laura Mann had a question for Dickey: "You've lived in Bingen for more than 25 years," Mann asked. "What spurred you to be interested in the council now?"
Dickey replied that her interest was not new.
"I've always been interested in the council," she explained. "My husband [Stan Dickey] used to be on the council, and I used to be on the committee to help with Bingen's downtown revitalization. It's important to have a lot of community input."
On Monday, Dickey said she was glad to be joining the council.
"It feels good," she said. "I'm looking forward to trying to help out."
Dickey said there were many vital issues facing the city.
"It's not any one particular thing," she said. "It's everything the council talks about: the Fire Department, the park -- there's a whole bunch of ideas I think people are interested in getting done."
Although the topic does not show up on the council's agenda, Dickey said she hopes she can help to preserve the city's heritage.
"I'm just concerned about the town," Dickey said. "There needs to be a sense of community -- people who have been here want to see our town be able to keep its traditions. I want my kids to be able to come back here and afford to live here."
Dickey added that she hoped to serve as a conduit for community input.
"I want to keep the door open to the citizens," she said. "I don't feel that's always been happening. I want residents to feel they can come to me and ask me questions."
Bingen Mayor Brian Prigel said he was glad Dickey would be serving on the council.
"She's a long-time resident of the community, and was born and raised here," Prigel said. "She knows the history of the community better than anyone on the council, and that's always good, to have that perspective. She'll do a good job for us."