Ridgefield candidates bring experience

Incumbent, challenger served on city councils

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 

Ridgefield voters will decide between two experienced city councilwomen this fall in the city's Position 7 council race.

The incumbent in the race, Sandra Day, was appointed to the post last year when the city council expanded from five to seven members. Her challenger, Linda Tracy, is new to Ridgefield but served as a La Center councilwoman from 2004 to 2012.

Day is the only Ridgefield city councilor on the 2013 ballot who is facing a challenger. Ron Onslow, Ridgefield's mayor, is running for re-election to his Position 1 council seat, Don Stose is running for re-election to Position 4, and John Main is running for re-election to Position 6; all three drew no challengers.

Ballots will be mailed Oct. 16 for the Nov. 5 general election.

Day said her priorities for Ridgefield include improving the growing city's infrastructure; preserving residents' quality of life by protecting clean air, water and parks; revitalizing downtown and the waterfront; and responsibly managing the city's budget. Day, a Ridgefield resident for the past five years, said she has the skills it takes to address those priorities.

"I have worked in corporate America for over 30 years in a management role," Day said, touting her master's degree in business administration. "I'm very good at efficient management, and I'm on the budget advisory committee right now."

Ridgefield, the fifth-fastest-growing city in Washington between 2011 and 2012, is home to more than 5,200 residents. Councilors are considering whether the city should join the Discovery Corridor Wastewater Transmission System, a regional sewer main that would connect the city to the Salmon Creek Treatment Plant, opening the area up to more business development. Day said she supports connecting Ridgefield to the system, and responsibly managing Ridgefield's growth.

Tracy, Day's challenger, has lived in the northern area of Clark County since 2000, but is new to the city of Ridgefield. She said she got to know the city well, though, when she was a La Center city councilor and worked on projects with the Ridgefield council. While on the La Center City Council, she served for three years as mayor pro-tem.

Tracy said the Ridgefield City Council should focus first and foremost on job creation, affordable housing, and ways to raise revenue for the city, either through grant and loan opportunities or by enticing large companies to take root in the city. She also wants the city to crack down on drivers who speed through neighborhoods, where children and pets are present.

When it comes to whether Ridgefield should link up to the Discovery Corridor Wastewater Transmission System, Tracy said she needs to do more research before forming an opinion.

"I haven't really gotten into all the facts and figures," she said, adding that she looks forward to learning more about the system if elected. "I like to be very educated on whatever subject we're talking about or learning about before I comment or before I take votes."

Tracy sells formal attire out of her home, is director of the Miss Teen La Center Scholarship Pageant, and works for Abby's Closet in Portland, which provides free prom dresses for girls who can't afford to buy their own dresses.

In her spare time, Day said she attends community events and provides free grant-writing services for five nonprofit groups.

Ridgefield city council members serve four-year terms, earn $50 per council meeting; their pay cannot exceed $3,000 a year. The mayor, who also serves a four-year term, earns $100 per council meeting; the mayor's pay cannot exceed $6,000 a year. The council, which meets twice a month, is responsible for setting city policy, appointing a city manager and choosing one council member to also serve as mayor.

photoSandra Day

Sandra Day

• Age: 67.

• Occupation: Retired, previously a business administrator at Raytheon, an international defense tech company.

• Major endorsements: Building Industries Association, and the H-Roc Pac, a bipartisan committee that supports women candidates.

• Campaign funds raised: $1,600.

• Website: http://www.day4citycouncil.com/.

photoLinda Tracy

Linda Tracy

• Age: 66.

• Occupation: Self-employed; sells formal attire, including prom and pageant dresses, out of her home.

• Major endorsements: None.

• Campaign funds raised: None.

• Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elect-Linda-Tracy-for-Ridgefield-City-Council/208780885950211.