Candidates hope for calm waters in Olympic View Water District race

  • Sue Waldburger<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:45am

There’s very little excitement brewing at the Olympic View Water and Sewer District office on Edmonds Way.

The two candidates for Position 1 on the district’s board would like to keep it that way.

Barbara Kathol, a political newcomer, is challenging Patricia Meeker for a seat on the three-person governing board of the relatively small district serving Edmonds, Woodway and Esperance. The term carries with it a six-year commitment.

Kathol says she has no complaint with Meeker’s performance but would like the opportunity to serve her community as a district commissioner. Meeker said she has accumulated so much valuable experience over the years she would like to continue to share it.

Meeker has served on the board since 1979, except for a two-year intermission in the early 1990’s. She said she has a keen interest in disaster preparedness that will boost the chances of the community having safe water in the event of a catastrophe such as an earthquake.

The district crew and staff, she noted, now has a seven-day emergency plan to keep them on the job in the event of a disaster.

Kathol said she is not privy to the emergency plans of the district but is eager to learn what’s in place and work toward optimum preparedness.

Both candidates said they would like to see current levels of service maintained without rate hikes but realize that may not be possible in the current economy.

On the issue of contracts for revenue-producing cell-phone towers atop water towers, Meeker said she’s not opposed to them as long as input from affected neighbors is solicited. Kathol concurred, adding that “rather than mono-poles, I’d rather have them (cell towers) on an existing structure.”

The opponents also agree that the size of the governing board is just right for the size of the district. “Commissioners are very conscious of two being together is a meeting,” Meeker said.

Neither candidate has a problem with fluoridation in the water, a matter that has resurfaced in some water districts within the state this year. Olympic View gets most of its water from Seattle, which adds fluoride, and the rest is fluoride-added water from the spring-fed Deer Creek, according to the district staff.

Kathol, 50, is an attendance secretary and ASB bookkeeper at Scriber Lake High School. A resident of Edmonds for 24 years, she is single and has a son who’s a senior in college and daughter who’s a senior in high school.

She admits she’s not better qualified for the job, “but I’d like to take a chance at it.”

Meeker, who is retired from substitute teaching, is married with three adult children. She is a past president of the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County.

A certified special-purpose-district commissioner, Meeker recently was elected to the board of the Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts.

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