Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson has named Councilwoman Kathi Hoder as the city’s official representative to the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority, effective immediately, ending the tenure of Councilman James Cook on the board.
In a letter dated Wednesday and sent to Flood Authority Chairwoman Vickie Raines, the mayor said he appreciates Cook’s “many years of service as our representative.
“I am confident that Ms. Hoder will also serve the city well as our official representative,” the mayor added. The mayor’s letter was sent out Friday by the flood authority to their email list.
Messages left for Cook and Hoder were not returned by press time.
The Daily World learned of the potential switch earlier this week and asked Simpson about it. On Tuesday, the mayor responded, “As of this date, Jim Cook is still the representative.”
At a meeting in Chehalis on Jan. 16, Cook was the lone vote against electing new officers for the Flood Authority because, according to a source, he was upset that the last meeting of the year in December was cancelled, a complaint he also voiced at the city council meeting. Because the authority’s rules require a unanimous vote to take action, Cook’s vote meant the issue would have to be delayed another two months.
Authority Facilitator Jim Kramer had requested the December cancellation because there were no action items coming up and Raines authorized it to save taxpayer money, she said. Last year, Cook was castigated by Flood Authority member and Grays Harbor County Commissioner Wes Cormier for misrepresenting several facts under discussion. At an earlier authority meeting in Aberdeen, Cook questioned the cost of the authority’s early flood warning system for more than an hour, earning a mild rebuke from Raines, who noted they had discussed a relatively minor matter at length instead of making decisions about millions of dollars worth of projects.
“I believe that Jim has brought some great ideas to the table and I appreciate his passion for representing the City of Aberdeen on the Flood Authority. I am sure he will continue to serve his constituents to the best of his ability,” Chairwoman Raines responded by email when asked for comment.
“With regards to Kathi Hoder, it is no secret that I believe she is a true gem of a servant for her city, she is well respected and not only cares about Aberdeen, she is a tremendous supporter of our Grays Harbor community. I look forward to working with her on the Flood Authority; she is tenacious, generous and she will certainly add a bit of spunk to the group!” she added.
Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @DW_Erin