By Chris Hendrickson
Gold Bar mayoral candidates were looking rather sparse in May. When the regular candidacy filing period closed on May 17, nobody was seeking the position.
In Snohomish County if no one files for candidacy during the normal filing period, a special three-day filing period is held. Linda Loen, Elizabeth LaZella and Larry Dum all filed during the special session that was held immediately after the Aug. 6 primary, from Aug. 7 through Aug. 9. Dum has since decided against running in the nonpartisan race, while Loen and LaZella both remain as candidates.
Loen was the first to file for candidacy, joining the race on Aug. 7. Loen is a 57-year-old accountant who has lived in Gold Bar for six years. Loen, who worked in the United States Air Force for nearly 13 years, feels that her accounting background can be a true asset to the city.
“I am running to do a job,” said Loen. “If the people of Gold Bar hire me to do that job, I will do my best for them.”
Loen has observed the tumultuous state of government in Gold Bar for several years. She has watched residents take either one side or the other, and has remained an observer. She wants citizens to be able to trust their local government, and she wants to work together with the community for the betterment of Gold Bar.
She also wants to reestablish good faith when it comes to the city’s finances.
“The basic accounting principles and controls have been compromised and need to be fixed,” said Loen.
Loen has begun researching reports on Gold Bar’s finances which have been prepared by Washington State during recent audits.
“I believe the City of Gold Bar can once again be the quiet little community that attracted those that live here,” said Loen. “It should be a place to relax away from the pressures of work. It should be a place to raise a family, a home.”
LaZella filed for candidacy on Aug. 8. LaZella served for nearly a year on the Gold Bar City Council, resigning in February. LaZella has cited many reasons for her resignation including health issues, along with a general distrust of Mayor Joe Beavers and frustration with the city’s government.
“Now is the time for Gold Bar to rise out of the ashes of old long grievances and make the citizens the main priority,” wrote LaZella in her candidate statement. “I hope to fix this mess and take on the mantel of Gold Bar Mayor with a new view and new ideas.”
LaZella, who is 63 years old, has lived in Gold Bar for nearly 20 years. She is a retired federal employee with a background in the medical field including medical secretary and medical records and coding clerk, along with patient care.
“I can promise that I will listen to the citizens,” wrote LaZella. “Listen, and try to fix the problems. Some problems take longer than most so patience and perseverance is the key. I have patience and I have the drive.”
LaZella wants to set Gold Bar back up on its feet and lead the city away from financial ruin.
“Gold Bar city government has become destructive,” wrote LaZella. “Destructive for its citizens by lawsuits that eat away at the very funds that run the city.”
Both LaZella and Loen have stated that an important priority to each of them is to improve the state of Gold Bar’s city finances.
Larry Dum, the third potential candidate, has decided to drop from the race. Originally from Arkansas, the 70-year-old filed on Aug. 9 but has since reconsidered his decision. Dum, who has a background in journalism, has health issues and he feels that they could negatively impact his ability to do the job.
In Snohomish County if no one files for the position of mayor within either of the candidacy filing periods, it causes a state that is referred to as “lapse of election.” When lapse of election occurs, the incumbent is allowed, per state law, to remain in office until the next election. If the incumbent does not wish to remain in the position, the city council must fill the position via appointment.