Two of the five Ocean Shores City Council seats up for election this fall have only two candidates and thus are not on the primary ballot that was mailed to registered voters for next week’s primary on Aug. 6. However, those candidates were also asked the same questions as the others.
For City Council position 6, incumbent Bob Peterson is challenged by Chuck Anderson.
Peterson, 70, Is a native of Little Creek, VA. He and his wife, Cathey, moved to Ocean Shores from Kirkland in 2011. He has been a school psychologist for 44 years. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he earned a Masters and Specialist Degree in school psychology in 1975 from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. In 1995, he received a secondary school administration degree from Central Washington University.
He also served as a coach for 30 years, ranging from college to youth programs. In 2001, 2002, and 2003 he coached the Kirkland National Little League Girl’s Fastpitch team to three consecutive Little League World Series, finishing third, fourth and fifth in those years.
He is a past president of Ocean Shores Library Board, chaired Library Levy Committees in 2014 and 2016, created and administered the Summer Fun program 2018 and 2019, and volunteers at various Kiwanis events such as Christmas party and placing flags around city on holidays. He was a member of an inter-agency mental health group working with children in foster placements from 2012-2015.
Anderson did not list his age, place of birth or educational background. After “coming down for weekends and holidays for about seven years,” he and his wife, Gale, moved to Ocean Shores from Renton WA in October, 2017. He is semi- retired, having worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years prior to working in the early childhood education field for 18 years. He and his wife now run a small book publishing business, three craft related Etsy shops and an eBay store, and work seasonal jobs cleaning vacation rentals.
Anderson is a member of the local Eagles club, the couple both volunteer with North Beach Children & Family Alliance and the annual 4th of July cleanup, promote local events that benefit the Ocean Shores Food Bank and provide items for the North Beach PAWS auctions. He is a published author with 25 books available on Amazon.
What is the number one thing you’d like to see the City accomplish in the next four years? What will you do to make that happen?
Peterson: I would like to see the city continue on our path of fiscal responsibility. As a member of the finance committee I have helped provide direction in how to use available funds effectively to pay down debt and fund necessary maintenance/building projects. I would continue to keep an eye on our spending and help support economic opportunities for our current and prospective businesses. I would also support improving our infrastructure in the downtown corridor.
Anderson: The city has a number of issues on its plate at all times, there is no one single thing that is most important. I think the question of what kind of growth we want our city to have is crucial, I am all for growth. I would love to see our city become the vacation jewel of the Pacific Northwest but I want us to grow in a reasoned careful manner. We have existing codes and regulations that need to be enforced equally for all. If elected I would work with the other council members to find the balance needed to grow successfully.
Should the City prohibit homeless shelters and services in certain areas, Which areas and why?
Peterson: As a city we cannot prohibit homeless services, shelters. We should, and will, work for proper zoning of those services and encourage additional social agencies and medical facilities to assist all people. I will be waiting for the Planning Commission’s recommendation on siting as they move through their process.
Anderson: Homelessness is a big issue with a lot of moving parts, due to recent legal decisions cities our size find themselves having to be very careful in how we address it. I have been criticized for calling for town hall meetings to get the publics input for every issue but I think that this one especially calls for citizen input. My own thoughts are maybe not in the main core of the town so as not to negatively impact tourism. Any decisions should be tempered with compassion for those who find themselves homeless.
Are you satisfied with the direction the city is taking with the Convention Center? If not, what would you have it do differently?
Peterson: I am very satisfied, and enthusiastic, about the direction the Convention Center is taking under it’s new leadership. Diane Solem is already proving herself to be a capable replacement for Cheryl Turner when Cheryl retires. The way she has stepped up with the Hog Wild event has been very impressive. I see only good things coming in the future.
Anderson: The Convention Center is an amazing resource that the city is lucky to have. I would love to see it used constantly. We should be booking it for more events, conventions, concerts and so on. A recent success story would be the Barbershop Quartet event, with only a few days to advertise they managed to fill the venue during an off season month. We need to attract more such entertainment based events.
Wouldn’t it be great if Ocean Shores could _____ ? (fill in the blank)
Peterson: Wouldn’t it be great if Ocean Shores could, recognize that we are a retirement town, a tourist town, and a home to many new residents. Wouldn’t it be great if we could continue to build our infrastructure and attract new businesses that our community wants and needs. Wouldn’t it be great if we could jumpstart the marina and watch the south end of town blossom. We need to recognize that all is possible when we share a common vision and consider all people.
Anderson: It would be great to see Ocean Shores use our coming 50th anniversary to launch a new era of civic pride and engagement. Let’s make our town an even better place to live, visit and start businesses. Whether I am elected or not I will continue to work towards this in every way that I can.