Monday, November 30, 2009

Message From Ruston Police Chief

Ruston Police Chief Jeremy Kunkel left the following comment on the last post. I felt it was important enough to put it up here on the main page.


Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. This is a very difficult time for all of us as we not only lost colleagues, but friends as well.

We have chosen this profession because we are dedicated to service, honor, professionalism, and to the community we serve. When a heinous act like this occurs, it is not only an attack on us as law enforcement, but it is an attack on society as a whole. It makes all of us in the law enforcement community stop, question, and rethink why we got in to this profession.

Words of encouragement and support by the community are paramount and it reminds us of why we do what we do and keeps us focused on maintaining our professionalism and protecting the community.

I would like to let everyone know that funds have been set up to assist with the families of the four murdered officers. All donations go directly to the families and will help the nine children who lost their parents go to college. The goal is to raise enough money to put them all through college when they get older. If anyone is interested in donating, they can send a check to:

Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) Benevolent Fund
PO Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499

In addition, all Forza coffee locations are accepting donations for the families of Lakewood's fallen four officers.

Cash or checks can be made out to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) or online by going directly to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild’s website at WWW.IPIG.US.

My condolences and deepest regrets go to the victim’s families, the Lakewood Police Department and their families, and the entire community. We lost four great officers and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

Chief Jeremy Kunkel
Ruston Police Department

Long Overdue Thank You

As a community, we are all overwhelmed with shock, sorrow and anger at the brutal murder of four Lakewood police officers yesterday. Our police protect us, comfort us in times of emergency and maintain order for our society. They face daily threats, constant political pressure and ridicule from those who dislike authority.

It feels a bit superficial to say how much we appreciate our Ruston police department at this time. It's frustrating that it takes a tragedy like this to cause us to pause to say a much deserved and long overdue thank you for a job well done each and every day. But we should ~ and do ~ offer our heartfelt gratitude. We appreciate your sacrifice and dedication, not just at this emotional time but day in and day out.

And our hearts go out to our local police officers that are hurting at this loss. I encourage everyone to say thank you in person to Jeremy and his crew today.

Former police chief Sharon Reese is following the news from the east coast. She sends this message:

I am sickened by this event and my thoughts are with my law enforcement family in Pierce County. Ruston's Chief and Officers will be personally affected by this tragedy as they work closely with Lakewood PD on many occasions. Take care my friends and do anything you can to help your colleagues and neighbor agency through this difficult time. I'll be with you in spirit.

With Great Sadness,
Sharon Reese
Alexandria, VA
Former Chief, Ruston PD

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Walk To Shopping

Here is a chance to shop local for the holidays..... the following note comes from Bev Wombacher, owner/operator of Ruston's Ladies Workout Express:

Ladies Workout Express
3rd Annual Holiday Festival
4939 N. Pearl St.
Ruston, WA 98407

December 6th, Sunday
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Come do some Christmas shopping.
Avoid the malls.

We will have a number of vendors with
various items.

Crafts, jewelry, sewn goods,
PartyLite, Daughters of Norway, etc.
Come join the fun.

Bring a friend.
We look forward to seeing you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Updates And Things

Here are a few updates on things going on around town:
  • Community Center: The mayor reports that things are progressing slowly but surely at the new public space at Ruston School. There is some sheet rocking going on now and a new floor for the kitchen area going in soon. He hopes to start off the new year with council meetings at the community center.
  • Food and Toy Drive: Ruston's Fire Department is collecting non-perishable food and new unwrapped toys at Town Hall through December 17th. We had a very successful drive last year, with many of the donations coming from town hall staff.
  • Santa Is Coming: Santa Claus will blow in for his annual visit on the fire engine to Ruston Town Hall on Saturday, December 19th from 1 till 3 pm. Bring the little one (and your camera) over to visit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

I am so grateful for our small town. Ruston has the best of all worlds ~ a mall and big box stores close by but we are still small enough to know our neighbors. It's not perfect, but it sure beats the big city in my book. We have a lot to be grateful for. It looks like our big development projects are holding their own despite tough economic times. Our elected leaders are finding ways to cut costs until we can realize the tax revenue from these developments. We just finished the calmest election season in a decade. Our connections remain strong. We know and care for our neighbors. Yes, we are lucky....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tunnel To Open Today - Temporarily

The tunnel will open at the end of the day today and be open through the Thanksgiving day weekend. It was originally hoped that the road could be open all of this week, but the road patching work took longer than expected.

The road and tunnel will close again on Monday morning, November 30th and remain closed for three weeks, opening again on December 18th.

In The News

The News Tribune has an article today updating things with the Point Ruston project (read it here...). Federal and local political leaders visit...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Milestone for Commencement Condos

The Commencement condominium project reached a big milestone last week ~ they were granted a temporary occupancy permit for the first residents to move in Wednesday. Two units have owners with furniture in place and ready to set up home. The occupancy permit means the sales can be finalized and the books closed. It's been a long, hard battle for this project ~ it appears there is finally light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Council Meeting Notes: Nov. 16, 2009

There were two study sessions before the regular council meeting – 5:30 pm to discuss the electrical meter deposits and 6 pm to discuss the 2010 budget. I arrived at 5:50 pm and caught the tail end of the meter discussion.

Meter Deposits

Everyone was present except Council Member Huson. Council Member Hedrick summed up the consensus as having each landlord sign an affidavit and use the same policy as Steilacoom. I don’t have details on either yet. Council Member Hunt noted that Huson was excused from this study session, but he would attend the budget discussion.

2010 Budget

Huson arrived just as the discussion got underway at 6 pm. Chief Kunkel had invited Mr. Orr, the director of LESA, to discuss their recording keeping services. Mayor Hopkins explained that he had cut the $40,000 cost for these services that the council had authorized a couple of years ago (which did not include cutting the dispatching service). Chief Kunkel explained that having LESA do the record keeping meant their department could instantly share information with other agencies (which helps solve crimes). LESA handles all public information requests. Mr. Orr outlined other advantages, such as the annual statistical reports they do for the town. The bills are based, in part, on the number of fulltime officers in the department. Mr. Orr noted that our rate would go down slightly since there are not as many fulltime officers this year. After more discussion, it appeared the council was willing to add that cost back into the budget for 2010.

The mayor announced that $31 million in new tax value add been added in Ruston over the last year, generating $50,000 more in tax revenue. The increase was primarily from the sold units at The Commencement condos and Stack Hill homes. He is still researching the revenue that will be generated by the utility taxes, in part because Puget Sound Energy is not sure what accounts they have in Ruston. He is looking into getting Ruston its own zip code so we can ensure payment from these outside vendors. He also noted that the town needs a new investment policy. He would like to have the issue addressed in the next two months. He is estimating a deficit of $145,000 (plus the LESA costs just approved).

Council Member Albertson wanted to see a trend chart for how the deficit and budget compared year to year. He also wanted to add the current fund balances to the budget. The mayor noted that with the new building services, he discovered that building permit fees had not covered the cost of the old building inspectors monthly bill. Hunt thanked the mayor for all the work he had done on the budget, and thanked Clerk Carlisle for the new budget format. Once the budget was approved for the year, she wants the council to complete a 5-year plan that includes projected revenues from Point Ruston and The Commencement.

Regular Meeting

After the flag salute, agenda approval generated some discussion. Hunt wanted to see a fiscal impact statement for Ordinance 1299 (utility taxes). The mayor was guessing it would add $60,000 to the budget. He noted the taxes would not start until February so all the utilities would have time to prepare. His research showed most municipalities were charging the 6% allowed by law, although some had gone higher with voter approval. After the discussion, the agenda was approved.

The minutes from the last study session and council meeting were approved with only Hunt adding that she was excused from the last meeting.

Staff Reports

Fire: Chief Torbet noted that all the fire fighters received the swine flu vaccine except one who did not want to be inoculated. The department had 5 calls last month, including the fuel spill call. He had one small correction to the fire department budget.

Police: Chief Kunkel said the Halloween celebration had gone well and thanked the fire department and town hall staff for their efforts. Ruston officer Joe Lawless received an award for DUI enforcement.

Public Comment

Jim Wingard noted the recent funeral for Fred Greer, who was one month shy of 100 years old. Mr. Greer had retired from the smelter and lived in the area all his life, an indicated for Mr. Wingard that the soil was fine even before remediation. He was disappointed that only Bill Walker has been allowed to comment at the EPA study session.

Sherri Forch congratulated everyone on the recent election and thanked the council members who were leaving for their service. She wanted to be sure the new light poles could be used to hang flags.

Eddie Tallman was not happy with parking on court days and suggesting paving the yard at the house next to town hall now that Ruston owned the property.

Chief Kunkel thanked Sherri for her donation of teddy bears to the police department to be used for upset kids they might encounter.


1. JW Morrissett & Associates – Proposed Amendment #1: The proposal is for engineering costs through bid implementation as outlined under Option 1 in their January 29, 2009 letter. He noted the USDA loan does not pay until the project is complete, even though it has been approved. The town needs a bridge loan. The mayor reminded the council that they had turned down the terms for a bridge loan from Bank of America, where the bank required that all town investments be placed with their bank. He is hoping that USDA will also provide a bridge loan once several banks have turned them down. The amendment to the agreement with the town engineers was approved 5-0.

2. Ordinance No. 1299 – Creating a new chapter 5.10 of the Ruston Municipal Code Relating to Utility Tax Rates (Second Reading): The town attorney said this is a tax on electricity, natural gas and phone service. Hedrick confirmed no public hearing or comment was required. Hunt noted this revenue goes directly into the general fund. If the council finds they don’t need the money, they can lower the tax rate. Hedrick was uncomfortable without the fiscal impact information, but felt they needed to get it done. It was time to bring Ruston into the 21st century tax-wise. The mayor said no one wanted to do this, but Ruston not a mill town anymore. The ordinance passed 4-1 with Stebner voting no.

3. Ordinance No. 1300 – Public Hearing for Ordinance 1300 of the Town of Ruston Providing for an Ad Valorem Tax Levy for the year 2010 (Second Reading): The mayor opened the required public hearing. Only Sherri Forch commented, supporting the measure. After the public hearing was closed, the ordinance passed 5-0

4. Ordinance No. 1301- Ordinance Amending Chapter 5.01A and 5.01A.230 of the Ruston Municipal Code for Fire Inspections (Second Reading): Huson confirmed the language that excludes in-home businesses from the fire inspection requirement. The ordinance passed 4-1 with Albertson voting no.

5. Ordinance No. 1302 – Ordinance Amending Chapter 17.01A of the Ruston Municipal Code Pertaining to Residential Utility Deposits (Second Reading): The ordinance was tabled until it could be updated based on the study session discussion.

6. 2010 Budget Discussion: The mayor gave an overview of his proposal. Stebner thought the mayor had done a great job. Hedrick agreed and had some changes to suggest. Hopkins asked the council to make notes and get them to him. The 2009 budget was forecast with at $600,000 deficit. No one likes the forecast deficit for 2010 either, but at least it’s less than last year.

Claims and Payroll were approved 4-0-1 with Albertson abstaining.

Mayor’s Time
He looked at a “dark sky” light the previous night and liked it. He talked to Cohen about changing the poles on Stack Hill. The new poles will cost about $1,100 more (cost for those the town is installing).

Council Time
Stebner had nothing.

Huson thanked the mayor for the work on the budget. He thanked the candidates for a “safe and sane” election season (and no yard signs). He also thanked Stebner and Albertson for their service to the town.

Hedrick noted Officer Lawless’s award. He thanked Clerk-Treasurer Carlisle and the mayor for their work on the budget. He noted the burn rate for the town’s reserves is greatly reduced and we had a better chance to survive now until development comes on line. He said the time for SEPA appeals on Point Ruston has passed. He apologized for his clashes with Albertson in the past and thanked him for his service. He then announced he has a new baby due on May 18th.

Albertson appreciated his chance to serve. He felt he gave it his best effort and always said exactly what he thought. He urged the council to stay on top of the soils issue.

Hunt thanked the public for their votes on her re-election campaign. She was trading phone calls with her opponent, but he ran a good campaign. She noted that Albertson was one of the smartest people she had ever known and she hoped he would continue to volunteer. She congratulated Chief Kunkel for his appointment as chief.

Stebner noted that he had two more meetings, but that this was Albertson’s last meeting. Once the election is certified on November 23rd, Lyle Hardin will be sworn in.

The meeting moved into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation matters at about 8:15 pm. I left when the executive session started.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tunnel Closed Three More Weeks

Although the tunnel will be open next week for Thanksgiving, Point Ruston announced today that the road and tunnel will be closed for three more weeks beginning November 30th. Progress is hard, especially for our local businesses dependent on this traffic. Stop in and make a purchase or two to help keep our guys afloat!

Ruston Clerk Resigning

Ruston Town Clerk Karen Carlisle has given her resignation effective December 1st. She is moving on to more peaceful activities. We wish her all the best in her new adventures. Stop in to say goodbye and add your well wishes. More details later....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Everyone Is Happy?

There is an article yesterday in the News Tribune about the changes around the bowl at Point Defiance (click here to read). It appears not everyone is happy about the new landscaping designs for the area. The open house is planned for tonight at the lodge at the park, stop in to give your input (click here for details).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Point Ruston LID Update

Loren Cohen sent the following update on what is going on behind closed roads....

Five barge loads of fill material are being imported to the site, which includes approximately 20,000 tons of clean trench backfill and 5,000 tons of pea gravel. This material will be used for the construction of the first phase of master infrastructure project which will complete the installation of the deep 96” manhole and 2,800 lineal feet of sanitary sewer system. The road closure is planned to last through November 25th, with Ruston Way and the tunnel back open for Thanksgiving.

Here are some pictures from the work:

(1): The first bucket load of materials from the dig of the manhole.

(2) The 96” manhole area with a trench box installed to keep sloughing from occurring.

(3) Stockpile of clean backfill materials and pea gravel onsite.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Point Defiance Open House

There is an open house scheduled for this Thursday, November 19th to discuss the changes and improvements to the bowl area. If you'd like to comment and/or ask more questions about the sledding hill or other plans, please stop by the Point Defiance Lodge between 6 and 7:30 pm on Thursday.

2010 Budget (First Draft)

The first iteration of the 2010 budget is available on Ruston Reports (here). There were changes made at the meeting last night that already impact the budget; the police department won their argument to keep LESA record management and other services for $40,000 and the council approved the taxes on our utilities, estimated to bring in about $60,000 next year.

My scanner has trouble with legal size pages, so some of the notes are cut off ~ but you can get a flavor of what the mayor proposed. I believe full copies of the budget are available at Town Hall or let me know and I can get you a copy of mine (

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick Notes

Just a few quick notes about the meeting tonight, more details later...

  • All business items were approved except the utility deposits (which were tabled)
  • 2010 draft budget has forecast deficit of $130,000 (compared to $600,000 last year)
  • Lots of thank you's and congratulations for Council Member Albertson's last meeting. Council Member Stebner will serve until the end of the year because he was elected, but since Albertson was appointed, the winner of the election will take over as soon as the election is certified. Lyle Hardin will take over at the next meeting on Dec. 7th.

Study Sessions Tonight

There will be two study sessions tonight before the regular council meeting to discuss issues in more detail. On tap:
  • 5:30 pm: Meter Deposits
  • 6:00 2010 Budget

Stop in for all or some of the fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Council Meeting Agenda: Nov. 16, 2009

There are several ordinances up for final readings at the meeting this Monday. One of them will add new taxes to all utilities in Ruston. Unlike reserve funds, these revenues will go directly into the general fund for use anywhere the council sees fit. This will tax things like electricity, garbage, sewer, phones (including cell phones), natural gas, gasoline.

The ordinance would take effect in February and does not list a specific tax rate, only that the rate will be "equal to the maximum percentage allowed...". The mayor let me know late yesterday that the rate is capped at 6% and can only go higher if approved by voters. He estimated the increase would average about $10 a month on energy costs (power and/or natural gas) and probably about $3 per month on phones (although the issue is still being researched). The full packet of information (including the ordinances) is availble on Ruston Reports here...

Also on deck, among other things, are increased scope and cost for the town engineer for the expanded sewer project, fire inspections and the 2010 budget. It should be a fun night ~ come by at 7 pm and let the council know your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tunnel Closure Delayed

UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 11th: The News Tribune has more details about the closure and future plans for the tunnel and Ruston Way (read article here). Final closure of the tunnel is scheduled for this spring ~ progress at long last!

The closure of the tunnel has been pushed back by a day. The closure is now scheduled to begin Thursday morning, November 12th. The closure is still estimated to last 2 weeks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tunnel Closes Wednesday For Two Weeks

Point Ruston has issued the following press release and detour map. The tunnel will close at 7 am Wednesday, November 11th and remains closed until Wednesday, November 25th. The closure is necessary to install the new sanitary and storm sewer lines for the Point Ruston development.

All our local businesses remain open. Be sure to stop by and make a purchase or two. Having this major roadway closed won't be easy for them ~ but it will be worth it in the end!

Citizens For A Healthy Bay Presentation

Citizens For A Healthy Bay (CHB) is a local environmental group that serves in a watchdog role for the environment of Commencement Bay. They have been following the clean up of the former smelter property since the early 1990's. They review each monthly report, monitor the sample results and comment when they see a problem.

CHB was invited to the Ruston study session last week when EPA gave their presentation, but time ran out before they could give this presentation. A full copy of their PowerPoint slides is available on Ruston Reports (a sampling below). Hopefully they will be invited back to provide their perspective to the mayor and council.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Council Meeting Notes: Nov. 2, 2009

6 pm Study Session

As soon as the mayor called the meeting to order, Council Member Stebner announced that Rule 10 of the council rules allow the senior council member to run the study session. He immediately handed that duty to Council Member Albertson. Albertson asked several questions, which Kevin Rochlin (EPA) told him would be addressed during his presentation.

Mr. Rochlin gave a PowerPoint presentation, where he pointed out that although the clean up number for this project was at the high end of their acceptable range, it is still protective of human health and the environment. There was a strong community outcry against any yard clean up, which EPA was required to take into consideration when they make their decision. But given the large size of the clean up area, this number meant dirt could be replaced rather than relying primarily on an educational program as the state had done with their program.

Their program includes an educational program for soils that fall between the state’s lower number and the level at which yards are reconstructed. The vast majority of properties in Ruston have had new soil installed that is below the state clean up level. The program has been going for 15 years, but there is still work to be done.

EPA has oversight people watching activity at the smelter property, and air monitors at the edge of the property. The monitoring has not shown any problems. The agency will resample some yards to check for the possibility of recontamination once the work is complete. Mr. Rochlin expressed concern that the pictures of dust he has seen do not show any problem – or are shots taken on the same day that dust was deliberately manufactured by cars spinning their tires. He also stated the sample numbers provided by Albertson do not follow prescribed protocol for this project and cannot be relied upon.

After the presentation, Albertson asked many more questions, as did Council Member Stebner. Audience member Bill Walker was allowed to ask two questions, but no one else was allowed to speak. Jim Wingard stood up as the meeting was ending to protest that only one point of view was allowed and noted his long history in the area with no adverse health impacts.

There was much, much more discussion. As always, please attend the meeting to get all the details that may be of interest to you personally.

7 pm Regular Meeting

Council Member Hunt had contacted the mayor to let him know she was out of town. After the opening formalities, the agenda was approved after adding Resolution 451. The minutes were approved after Council Member Albertson had the sentence struck where someone during public comment felt he was not acting in a trusting manner as a councilman.

General Public Comment
Jim Wingard disagreed with how EPA was so aggressively questioned at the study session.
Kevin Moser reported that he is working with the town electrician on Stack Hill lighting. He wants new light fixtures installed.
Dick Peterson did not like light pollution.
I protested Albertson’s false statements about me at the last meeting.
Tom Kryger wanted a citizens task force to review Ordinance 1302 and all the issues related to the utility code rather than the current proposal that only addressed part of the problem.
Fire Chief Don Torbet asked that both fire ordinances be passed immediately.
Mike Cohen noted that the town had required twice as many lights on Stack Hill as needed. These new fixtures are better than the old ones.

Executive Session was moved to the end of the meeting.

1. Resolution No. 456 - Authorizing the Mayor to appoint Police Sergeant Kunkel as Chief of Police for the Town of Ruston: The mayor explained that he felt Kunkel had proven himself (10 years with Ruston), shown great attitude; what he may lack in experience he makes up for in dedication. The resolution was approved 4-0.

2. Ordinance No. 1298 – Adopting the 2006 International Fire Code (Second Reading): passed 4-0 with no discussion

3. Ordinance No. 1300 – An Ordinance of the Town of Ruston Providing for an Ad Valorem Tax Levy for the year 2010 (First Reading): Council Member Stebner was concerned that the town is not doing enough to collect all the taxes due and did not support this ordinance. Council Member Hedrick confirmed this is the normal tax levy done each year. The clerk said if it was not passed by the end of November the town would not collect any property tax.

4. Ordinance No. 1301 – Ordinance amending Chapter 5.01A and 5.01A.230 of the Ruston Municipal Code for Fire Inspections (First Reading): The town attorney said that businesses would have the option of hiring their own fire inspection. The business license will require a fire inspection. Council Member Huson pointed out that most of Ruston’s businesses are home based, not in commercial buildings. The language will be changed to reflect only commercial structures. Because of the changes, there will be a second reading rather than being passed tonight as requested by the fire chief.

5. Ordinance No. 1302 – Ordinance amending Chapter 17.01A of the Ruston Municipal Code pertaining to residential utility deposits (First Reading): Albertson agreed with Mr. Kryger and wants the town to look at how other jurisdictions collect deposits. The mayor confirmed he had looked at several before putting this together. Hedrick said this would not solve the problem with bad debt, that problem would always be around. Stebner felt that landlords were making money from their rentals and leaving the taxpayers holding the bag when the tenant did not pay their bills. He wanted the landlords to get together and come up with a solution. Huson suggested a study session to discuss the issue further from 5:30 til 6 pm before the next council meeting on Nov. 16th.
6. Resolution 451 – Ratifying the labor agreement between Ruston and its non-police employees: passed 4-0 with no discussion

Mayor’s Time
Hopkins said he had informed The Commencement management at 7:30 am that morning that their exterior lighting did not meet the town’s dark sky requirement. He is working to amend the town’s process so these problems are identified earlier. The loan has been approved for the sewer project. The engineers are preparing their costs and begun testing the soil in the areas where they are going to work. He noted that Tacoma is requesting a new sewer contract, but it is not due until 2013. There are two options; retail (Tacoma takes ownership of all the system except the main trunks – which Ruston keeps and must maintain) or wholesale like we have now. He said Tacoma mistakenly thought they would own all the sewer lines in the Point Ruston development.

Hopkins noted the report from the new building inspector services was available. He liked the new format. He said the monthly staff meetings were going well. He noted the road closures coming up soon. He thanked Albertson for how he questioned EPA during the study session. He will schedule EPA to give an update quarterly.

Council Time
Stebner noted that the town electrical planner is doing an excellent job.

Huson had no comment.

Hedrick was glad to have Kunkel on board as the new police chief. The sewer loan was great news. He noted that the mayor did much of the work to make that happen. He felt we had the right person in that seat for this time in our history.

Albertson hoped The Commencement would address the lighting issue quickly. He wanted to know if Point Ruston had paid the town’s costs for the bond counsel yet (the clerk will confirm). He was not happy with EPA’s answers at the study session. He wants a health study done in Ruston on cancer and heart attack rates.

The meeting moved into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss litigation. When the meeting convened again, it was immediately adjourned.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Point Ruston In The News

The Tacoma Weekly had a story yesterday about the LID approval and new roads through the Point Ruston project. Read the article here....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Town Employee Union Agreement

UPDATE: 4:18 PM: Someone asked about wage increases for the town employees ~ so I thought I'd add this page from the agreement that outlines the wages. Everyone but the town clerk gets a pay increase with this new agreement retroactive to January 1, 2009.

One item was added to the agenda at the last council meeting. The town has reached a labor agreement with the union representing the non-police employees. The agreement was approved via Resolution 451, which passed 4-0 on Monday. The agreement is available on Ruston Reports here... I'll get notes on the rest of the meeting out by this weekend. ~ Karen

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Results

UPDATE: 10:37 PM: The earlier numbers were all absentee votes, the numbers below include some of what came in via the polling booth today. I'll have more in the morning....

84 ~ Bruce Hopkins (86.6%)
13 ~ Write In (13.4%)

Council Position 1
76 ~ Lyle Hardin (82.6%)
16 ~ Write In (17.4%)

Council Position 2
72 ~ Deborah Kristovich (86.8%)
11 ~ Write In (13.2%)

Council Position 4
58 ~ Jane Krock Hunt (59.1%)
37 ~ Bryan Ficiala (37.8%)
3 ~ Write In (3.0%)

I'll keep a running update for a few hours tonight of the Ruston election numbers ~ then a daily update on the side banner for a few more days. You can always check the results yourself on the county elections page here....

73 ~ Bruce Hopkins
13 ~ Write In

Council Position 1
65 ~ Lyle Hardin
16 ~ Write In

Council Position 2
62 ~ Deborah Kristovich
11 ~ Write In

Council Position 4
48 ~ Jane Krock Hunt
36 ~ Bryan Ficiala
3 ~ Write In


Today is an important day for Ruston. We will set the direction for our community for the next 4 years. Voters will elect a new controlling majority of council members and new mayor. The people we put into office today will lead us towards a stronger community where dialogue is possible even when we might not agree; or back to the days of political games and attacking those we label as enemies.

On a side note, I confirmed with the elections office this morning that Bill Walker has registered as a write in candidate, but Dan Albertson did not register before the deadline. That means any vote for Dan will not count.

So, I urge all of us to take the time to vote today. We have a unique opportunity here in Ruston. Our vote counts for so much more ~ many of our elections are decided by only a handful of votes. Research the candidates and vote for those you think will lead Ruston forward, those who can be a positive influence. Just my opinion ~ I welcome yours.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Council Meeting Agenda: Nov. 2, 2009

The fun begins at 6 pm tonight, on the eve of another interesting election in Ruston. A study session starts at 6 pm with the EPA project manager, Kevin Rochlin giving an update on environmental issues.

At 7 pm the regular meeting begins. On the agenda are items such as the appointment of Sergeant Kunkel as the new police chief, fire codes and tax increases. There is also a first reading for a change to the ordinance regarding collecting utility deposits from both the landlord and tenant. The full packet of background information (including the draft ordinances) is available on Ruston Reports here...