The last meeting of the Aberdeen City Council saw the council hold its own election to fill out the remaining term of Ward 5 Council seat of the late John Erak. John was, in the words of one of the councilman, a political titan.
I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mayor Simpson, Council President Hoder and the rest of the city council for electing me to fill that honorable seat. John was passionate about the entire city of Aberdeen, indeed all of Grays Harbor County. I share his passion. This is where my wife and I live, and the numerous conversations and discussions that John and I had will always be at the front of my mind as I carry out the duties of this office.
I also wish to shout out a huge thank you to Courtney Cook whose name was also placed in nomination for the position. Courtney is young and enthusiastic, sharp and compassionate, and a tremendous asset to the rebuilding of the city. She and her friends are doing very important work with the homeless, indigent and disadvantaged members of our society. She’s doing the type of work that very few will step up and offer to do — and she is doing it with vigor.
John may be gone but to me he’s not gone far. I’ll always remember what he taught me, how he offered to help and I will be calling on his words of wisdom from time to time. John’s name will still be on the ballot along with mine in November. And I consider it an honor to have my name placed with his. John was steadfast in his belief that Aberdeen’s bad times are passed and that great things are ahead. I am honored to take the political baton for the fifth Ward from my mentor, my neighbor and my friend.
John liked the campaign slogan on my stamp: “Together, let’s do this.” Great things are ahead for the city and for the county. Wait and see.