City of Mattawa to lose city clerk

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Rachal Pinkerton/Sun Tribune

MATTAWA — Mayor Scott Hyndman, of Mattawa, gave the Mattawa City Council some bad news during a regular city council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 3. City Clerk Ann Hastie will be leaving the city.

“We’re on the hunt for another clerk,” Hyndman said, “which is tough to do.”

No date was given during the meeting for Hastie’s departure.

Mattawa Police Chief Joe Harris presented the council with crime statistics for the City of Mattawa.

“One of the things that jumped out at me immediately, a lot of our call volume has gone down,” Harris said. “Arrests have gone up. We’re starting to see more proactivity from our officers. We’re catching more people before they commit more crimes.”

He compared Mattawa’s calls to the calls of Soap Lake, Warden and Quincy.

“Mattawa is by far the safest city in the county,” Harris said. “We’re proud of that.”

Harris also reported that police department is emphasizing traffic safety during school hours. They have been alerting people to the emphasis via Facebook. One person stopped was found to have a warrant and was taken to jail.

“Most have been stop sign violations,” Harris said. “The public has been receptive to us. People are telling the officers, ‘I saw it on Facebook. I knew you were going to do this.’ They’re happy we’re doing it.”

Juan Ledezma, Mattawa Public Works director, reported on the preliminary results of the drone survey of the water reservoir and stem pipe inspection.

“The reservoir looks like at one point someone shot it with a BB gun,” Ledezma said. “Otherwise it looks pretty good.”

The BB gun shot area has some corrosion and will need to be repaired.

City Planner Darryl Piercy discussed park impact fees with the city council. A public hearing has been scheduled for the Nov. 7 city council meeting to discuss the subject further.

In other business, the council voted to have email accounts for the council members set up. The cost will be $8 a month per email address. The email accounts will allow members to separate their personal email accounts from city business.

The council approved the police department to work with Belenus Solutions to take an in-depth look at the department budget.

“I’m not an accountant,” Harris said. “The budget is not my strong point. I’m looking for someone to come in with a scalpel.”

Harris also hopes to look at what the department needs currently and what it will need in the future.

The council approved splitting the cost of a water rights survey with the Port of Mattawa. The port and the city are in process of annexation talks.

During public comment, Krystal Schmidt introduced herself as the new president of the Mattawa Area Chamber of Commerce. She discussed the upcoming annual food drive and other activities of the chamber as it relates to the city.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.

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