Northwest NEWS

October 18, 1999

Front Page

Sharp challenges Osterday for council seat

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   CARNATION--Joan Sharp, former Sno-Valley Children's Services executive director, filed last week as a write-in candidate against Mary Osterday for City Council Position No. 3. The seat is currently held by Ron Chapin, who is not running for re-election.

   Osterday, like the four other candidates for Carnation City Council, had been unopposed. As a result of this year's switch from the mayor/council form of government to council-manager, all five council positions are up for election.

   Sharp said she was persuaded to file because of her experience and background. She is a 20-year resident of Carnation who recently left Children's Services to accept a job with United Way. Both Sharp and Osterday have been active in town politics.

   Osterday, 59, began attending council meetings 11 years ago and says she has missed only four meetings since. She ran unsuccessfully for the city council in the 1980s.

   Osterday said she began going to council meetings because, "I saw some things going on ... the city was in need of roads, and I wondered why some streets were being fixed but not others, and noticed that all the money seemed to be spent on the east side of town."

   That problem continues to this day, she says, complaining that parents on the west side of town have to block off streets to make play areas for their children because there are no parks suitable for toddlers there.

   Osterday says the business tax base in Carnation is slim, resulting in insufficient revenues to run the city, but praises the new staff in town which has helped "untangle the previous mess."

   She encouraged more citizens to become involved in government. "People have a voice and a vote and you can be heard," she said. "It takes effort and time, but the real issues are easy to find. Mary Otness (city clerk) keeps everything up to date and available at City Hall."

   Sharp, 50, was a member of the citizen's committee that recommended adoption of the council-manager form of government in Carnation and served on the Snoqualmie Community Plan Citizens Advisory Committee to the County's Comprehensive Plan.

   She is a summa cum laude graduate in English from the University of Washington and a member of the first graduating class of the Seattle University Master's of Non-Profit Leadership program in 1996.

   She has also served on the Carnation Library Board, as president of the Lower Snoqualmie Valley branch of the American Association of University Women and as a member of various PTSA and school district levy election committees.

   Sharp says she wants to improve city services by emphasizing accountability and customer service. "We need to keep a close eye on changes implemented recently to ensure they are living up to their expectations," she said. "Carnation has gone through major changes related to growth. We need to continue to look for ways to enhance the sense of community that is threatened as our traditional rural, smalltown way of life gives way to the new realities of the 21st century. It's not unreasonable to expect community leaders to at least help create an environment where good things happen in our community."

   Both candidates feel strongly that the city's lack of sewers is a key issue. Osterday says sewers have "been studied to death" in Carnation.

   "It's a hot subject--there are people for it and a lot of opposition, but there are a lot of older buildings on septic tanks, and if they fail, there are problems," she said. "Over the years, so much money has been spent on studies, we could have had a wonderful treatment plant."

   Sharp agrees that the sewer issue has come up again and again, "leaving some bitter divisions while remaining unsolved. It's important that the process used to consider the issue is fair, comprehensive, open, and thoughtful so that we can feel comfortable with the outcome."

   The remaining candidates include: incumbent Councilmember Stuart Lisk for Position No. 1; Yvonne Funderburg, currently on the planning board, for Position No. 2 (previously held by Paula Turner, who recently moved to Texas); incumbent Don Raybuck for Position No. 4; and incumbent Bob Patterson for Position No. 5.