Five candidates vie for Bellevue
Douthit drops out of April 7 election
The city of Bellevue’s 2003 election
will be held Monday, April 7, from noon to 8 p.m.
Bellevue City Hall will be the only
polling site during the election.
Terms for the council seats and the
mayor’s seat will last for two years.
Bellevue does not have voting
districts. The three council candidates with the most votes will gain seats, and
the single mayoral candidate with the most votes will assume that office.
The newly elected officials will assume
their seats at the Bellevue City Council meeting on Thursday, May 8.
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Five Bellevue residents will contend for
three Bellevue City Council seats up for re-election on Monday, April 7.
Tammy Schofield, Eric Allen, Vivian Ivie,
Monte Brothwell and Rob Mays have all accepted nominations from fellow Bellevue
residents to be candidates to serve on the City Council for two years starting
Also at stake in Monday’s city election is
the mayor’s seat. Incumbent Mayor John Barton is seeking a second two-year term
in office. He is being challenged by Larry Plott, a retired state police officer
and former Bellevue City Council member.
The terms of Mayor Barton, Councilwoman
Tammy Schofield, Councilman Wayne Douthit and Councilman Dale Shappee will
expire at the end of the month.
Of the three council members whose terms
are expiring, only Schofield is seeking re-election.
As part of the city‘s charter-driven
nomination process in late February, Shappee was nominated to run for
re-election, but declined to have his name included on the April 7 ballot.
Councilman Wayne Douthit was nominated by
candidate Brothwell, and showed an intention to run for re-election until last
Thursday, when he abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. In submitting a
letter to the city to have his name taken off the ballot, Douthit gave no
explanation for his decision not to run again.
Monday’s election will certainly play a
critical role in determining the city’s near-term future. The City Council in
the last year has often been split on key issues. With Shappee and Douthit
giving up their seats, a new order of alignments is certain to be established.
Schofield, an employee of the Blaine
County Sheriff’s Office, has been very active as a member of the City Council.
She has been a staunch supporter of programs aimed at improving the city’s
parks, infrastructure and public services. Throughout the last year, she has
acted as the lead proponent of establishing a skateboard park in Bellevue, and
recently unveiled plans to acquire a federal grant to help improve the city’s
Schofield has shown support for certain
agenda items advocated by Barton, but has proven over time to be an individual
force on the six-member council.
Candidate Monte Brothwell, a lifelong
resident of Bellevue, has served the city previously as a council member and as
the city’s mayor. He said last week that he believes the primary issues facing
the city are proper maintenance and reconstruction of the city infrastructure,
and management of noise impacts from airplanes that use Friedman Memorial
He said Bellevue should accommodate
growth, but should encourage projects that blend in with the existing city.
Brothwell noted he would like to see the
city more aggressively pursue impact fees for new subdivision developments, and
noted that he would like to advocate legislation that benefits all residents,
"not just a few."
Candidate Allen is a five-year resident of
Bellevue. He currently serves as the chairman of the Bellevue Public Library
Board, a member of the city’s Tree Committee, and as an unofficial
representative for the city on airport noise issues.
Allen said he believes the city is facing
three major issues: water supply, growth, and noise from passing airplanes. He
said he believes the city should enact temporary restrictions on new water and
sewer connections while the city develops a "long-term plan that will take into
account future city needs in water, waste, fire protection, street maintenance,
and police presence that will be sufficient for future needs."
Allen noted that he believes Bellevue "is
at a vital growth junction," and city officials should seek to manage growth in
a way that discourages high-density housing and "high-volume, large business
chains that feed off our local business owners."
Candidate Ivie is a 25-year resident of
Bellevue, and is employed at the Blaine County Assessor’s Office. She has
previously served multiple terms on the Bellevue City Council and Planning and
She said she believes city officials
should focus first and foremost in the next two years on properly managing the
city budget. "Every department head and council person should work on the budget
to make sure the money is spent in the right areas each year," she said. "Water
and sewer improvements could be handled through grants and future annexation
fees. The last resort should be the taxpayer."
Ivie also noted that she would support
changes to the city’s parking ordinance to help promote business growth in the
downtown area, and is in support of a long-standing initiative to rezone Second
Street so existing residences are compliant with the zoning code.
Candidate Rob Mays, after numerous
attempts over two weeks, could not be reached for comment on city issues. Mays
was nominated in February by Eric Allen.