East Wenatchee Mayor Steve Lacy bids farewell

East Wenatchee Mayor Steve Lacy leaves legacy after decades of service

I am pleased to be afforded this opportunity to comment on my years of service to the city.   I was appointed to fill the vacated of seat of Dawn Collings when she became Mayor in January, 1992.  After   serving on the city council until July of 1998, I was appointed to fill a the vacancy created by Mayor Collings’ resignation.  As of the end of this year I will have served 21 1/2 years as Mayor and 28 years in office with the city.  I am grateful for the support I have been afforded throughout those years by the public, the staff, and my fellow elected officials both in the city and throughout North Central Washington.
As I review the accomplishments which I find most significant and memorable from my years of service, I realize that they are all accomplishments which I didn’t achieve alone.  All resulted from the cooperation and participation of city staff and other members of the greater Wenatchee Valley, people who were just as interested as I in doing something meaningful and good for our community.  So in recounting some of those things, I am mindful that none of the things I  mention are attributable to me alone.  Here are some of things I will remember with pride during future years:
• Community Building and Cooperation:
Right at the outset of my tenure as Mayor managed an endeavor to redevelop the mall, including the creation of a new Baker Street and 3rd NE and an expansion of Mall property to accommodate the addition of two new anchor stores, JC Penney and the Bon Marche to that development.  As we hoped, that $2.1 million dollar city investment expanded the growth  of the retail community in East Wenatchee.  It was the original driving force behind the eventual success of our Central Business District. I also count among the significant events during my first few years as Mayor the creation of both our city theme, centered around the 1931 first transpacific flight of Miss Veedol, and the Wings and Wheels Festival, which is celebrated on the anniversary of that flight each year.  We also reacquired management of the Classy Chassis parade. That parade, the theme and the festival, with the associated development of our Japanese garden and the formal inclusion of East Wenatchee in our sister city relationship with Misawa, Japan were critical to our development.  In addition, when things were looking pretty dire with respect to the Town Toyota Center debacle about ten years ago, I initiated and helped to spearhead a plan for all nine jurisdictions in NCW to come together in support of a sales tax increase to prevent the bankruptcy of the City of Wenatchee and preserve the Town Toyota Center as a key asset for our valley.  More recently I proposed and spearheaded a plan to join with the City of Wenatchee in a long term financing plan to insure the viability of the Wenatchee Valley Museum. All of those achievements have been instrumental, in my view, in contributing to a better sense of community in East Wenatchee and the greater Wenatchee Valley.
• Financial Stability and Expansion of Infrastructure:
When I became Mayor the city was operating on a very small budgetary margin, having a year-end carryover of less than $300,000 with a total operating budget in the neighborhood of $5 million  and a population of under 5,000.  Through two major annexations and a series of financial moves I proposed in the first 5 years of my service as Mayor the city has more than tripled its population and now enjoys a year-end carryover exceeding $6 Million.   Along the way we have created a funded storm water facility and  secured state and federal grant funding in excess of $25 million. The funds for those efforts have allowed for the redevelopment of Eastmont Avenue, Grant Road, Valley Mall Parkway, Baker Street, 9th-8th Streets, and various other street and storm water projects in East Wenatchee, including a new city parking lot in old downtown and our recent creation of a park at the bottom of 9th St. NE.    All of those improvements were achieved while leaving the city with no bonded indebtedness.   That has allowed the city to embark on a plan to finance much needed street department facilities, a new police department, city offices, and, hopefully, a new city library in the coming few years.
I congratulate Mayor-Elect Crawford on a successful campaign to replace me at the head of city government.  I believe that she will take the city in even better and new directions.  I am happy she begins her service with the city in good stead in so many ways. I extend my thanks to all who have provided me the chance to be of service for these many years. 

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