The voters of White Salmon have certainly spoken loudly. With the election results from Nov. 6, it is clear that local citizens want to see some dramatic changes from the way business has been handled in recent years.
Incumbent Mayor Francis Gaddis was replaced by challenger David Poucher by a roughly 69 percent-31 percent margin. Poucher is an intelligent and enthusiastic man, and he should make a strong mayor, which is what this city needs now. We wish him all the best as he tackles a difficult job of pulling the city together and resolving its serious budget problems.
Mayor Gaddis is a good man with an impressive record of service the community. He has worked to serve the best interests of the city and its people. Yet at some point there has to be a new approach and fresh energy, and that is the direction the voters wisely chose to take.
The city of White Salmon will also have two new voices on the five-member City Council. The two newcomers are Bob Landgren, who ran unopposed; and Leana Johnson, who beat Mark Peppel. Both Johnson and Landgren have a positive vision of the city of White Salmon and have a much to offer. For that matter, so does Mr. Peppel, and we hope he will stay involved and strongly consider campaigning for any future openings on the City Council.
Richard Marx, generally the most outspoken member of the City Council, easily won re-election to his seat for another four years, topping Susan Gookin in what turned out to be the closest race (57-43 percent) in the city of White Salmon. Although Marx's aggressive approach turns off some, he has been a vital watchdog and has raised issues -- particularly regarding the city's budget -- that have needed to be looked at. His questioning approach has forced the city to deal with matters that may be unpleasant and difficult, but nevertheless have to be addressed.
With the Nov. 6 city election in the books, this is how the reconfigured government of the city of White Salmon will look: Mayor: David Poucher. City Council members: Bob Landgren, Richard Marx, Leana Johnson, Brad Roberts, and Timi Keene.
The voters have expressed their will, and they have chosen a solid new team to guide the city of White Salmon.