Primary election: 3 up for Quincy City Council seat
Quincy voters will have a chance to vote in the primary election.
Three local citizens — Warren Lybbert, Sonia Padron and Gina Saldaña — are vying for a seat on the Quincy City Council. Saldaña currently holds the position, to which she was appointed in May.
The trio will be narrowed down to two candidates following the primary. The Grant County elections department sent out primary ballots last week. Ballots must be postmarked or turned into the elections office in Ephrata or a ballot drop box by Aug. 4. There is a drop box at the Quincy Public Library.
The three candidates are vying for position No. 6 on the city council, a two-year, unexpired seat. The position attracted interest from seven candidates earlier this year. Former Councilman Dustin Petersen stepped down from the seat in April after a little over a year in office because he moved out of state. All three candidates were among the seven interviewed by the city council, which appointed Saldaña to fill out the term through this year.
The two candidates with the most votes in the primary will move on to the Nov. 3 general election. The winner will fill the remainder of the term, which ends in December 2017.
The city council candidates were asked to fill out an election survey by the QVPR:
Warren Lybbert: Local business owner
I grew up in Quincy and graduated from Quincy High School in 1999. I moved away briefly and, after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in political science, I returned to raise my family here. I interned in Olympia with Sen. Mark Schoesler, where I worked hands-on in state
government. I worked on budgets, legislative research and communicating with the public. I’ve worked in service-driven professions, including the Boy Scouts of America, insurance and the local rental company that I own. As a local business owner, I’m invested in the success and growth of the Quincy Valley.
I am open-minded to view issues from different perspectives. Through my educational and work background, I have gained an understanding of how to view things from a needs-vs-wants perspective. I am personable and excel at building relationships – especially difficult relationships. Not everyone will see eye to eye, and I am a mediator and am willing to listen to all perspectives.
Quincy’s economy is evolving and we need to be proactive to continue to draw in businesses that will help support our growth and keep our small-town appeal. The police department plays a large part in keeping Quincy safe for residents and attractive to businesses. I see myself being actively involved with community safety by being informed and keeping citizens aware of what is happening in our community. I see myself being an active voice for local businesses to keep Quincy growing and making it a place people want to move to.
There are two projects I would like to support: addressing the traffic congestion at the corner of Ace Hardware and the building of a local recreation center. Quincy has added new businesses and expanded but it has not addressed its infrastructure to support the added businesses. This has increased traffic congestions during peak travel times and has, at times, become unsafe for our community. The building of a recreation center will provide our youth with more activities that will keep them off the streets and hopefully out of trouble.
Quincy is my hometown, I brought my wife back here because I believe in small towns. People in this community are invested in its growth and support it like no other. I want to see the community continue to grow and move forward in the right direction. This is where I am raising my family, and I love this community. As a local business owner, I truly believe in the motto “Opportunities Unlimited.” I want to be a part of that vision — for the future of Quincy.
Sonia Padron: EMT & volunteer firefighter
Being a Quincy native, I have lived here for 40 years. For the past 20 years, I have been heavily active within the community, including various boards, committees and service groups. Having also raised a child in Quincy, I have a wide perspective of the community and its goings-on.
The Quincy City Council needs deep-rooted Quincy citizens who are passionate about the city and its residents – a council member who strives to improve our school system, economic development and city budgeting while maintaining an open relationship with the community and its citizens. I am a strong individual who would complement fellow city council members. I am confident I can help implementing positive change.
As Quincy continues to grow, I foresee that we will be challenged by a three-fold issue: infrastructure, economics and our city budget. These will be the city’s top priorities. I feel I am capable of voicing the opinions of the community while helping make informed decisions that will improve Quincy as it currently is while also encompassing growth.
If elected, I would like to see improvements made across the board equally. Quincy has much to offer its people. However, I feel a new councilmember with a fresh take, out-of-the-box thinking and deep ties to the community would be beneficial in implementing change.
As a potential candidate, I do not have a personal-driven agenda. Through open communication I hope that the community will bring issues and concerns to the table, trusting fellow council members and myself to address each of them in a satisfactory manner. Thus allowing the community to offer input on future city agendas.
Gina Saldaña: Executive assistant at Royal School District
I was born and raised in Quincy. I lived in Lacey for four years while attending Saint Martin’s University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in women’s studies. I have a passion for politics and love working with people.
As you may recall, in April 2015 the city council advertised filling seat No. 6, vacated by Dustin Petersen. Seven candidates applied, all with exceptional backgrounds. After a thoughtful deliberation, the council appointed me to fill the vacated seat through November. It was and is an honor to have been selected. Throughout the last couple months, I have been busy attending meetings, talking with constituents and familiarizing myself with city functions and needs. I feel as though I have added meaningful and constructive feedback.
Maintaining Quincy’s charm, growing population, and promoting economic growth are important for the City of Quincy. Great things are happening in Quincy and it would be a great honor to continue to serve all the citizens of Quincy.
The role of a city council member is to make policy in the form of passing ordinances and resolutions. My goal as council member is, and will continue to be, to be well informed and make responsible, fair decisions on the ordinances and resolutions presented for the city.
No matter who you choose to support this election season, exercise your right to vote. Your vote matters.