WASHINGTON CITY – With the new year in Washington City came the swearing in of the mayor and the two newest City Council members.
In a brief ceremony held at the Washington City Offices Tuesday at noon, Mayor Ken Neilson and councilmen Daniel Cluff and Douglas Ward took the oath of office.
Ward and Cluff are newcomers to the City Council, having beat the incumbents in the 2017 elections. Neilson returns for a third term as mayor.
Each thanked their supporters and their families in short speeches following taking the oath and the meeting was adjourned.
Afterward, the mayor and new council members each shared the what issues they planned to give priority to as they moved forward as elected officials.
Neilson said a big priority will be addressing the lack of affordable housing in the community.
“We’ve got to find places for our children to be able to come and live and start their lives,” Neilson said. “That’s one of the issues I’m going to be addressing right off the bat.”
The mayor also said he’ll be watching the environmental assessment study for the proposed Interstate 15 Mile 11 project as it unfolds. Opponents of the project worry it will usher in the creation of a highway interchange in the heart of downtown Washington City.
Exact recommendations from road planners won’t be determined until the study’s conclusion, which is anticipated near the end of 2018.
The interchange and the city’s budget will be two of the items on Cluff’s mind as he settles into new role on the City Council, he said. However, he’s also already had many people call him with concerns of their own they want his help in resolving.
“I hope from the beginning to represent the best interests of the city,” Cluff said.
Making sure the city’s general plan and strategic plan account for and get ahead of the area’s projected growth over the next several years is a priority for Ward.
“We just need to make sure that we’re ahead of (the growth), so 10 to 15 years from now we’re still like the city we have and keep the city the beautiful place it is now,” he said.
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