Meet Wendee Odell, candidate for Auburn City Council Position 2

Odell has a background in the military and accounting.

Wendee Odell is running against Kate Baldwin for the Auburn City Council Position 2 in the Nov. 2 general election.

Odell said people should vote for her because her experience in the military and as a small business accountant will make her an asset to the council.

“I believe I would be an excellent asset to the Auburn City Council. I have many years of being a supply sergeant where I was responsible for supply, transportation, logistics, maintenance and budgeting within a battalion,” Odell said. “I bring a boots on the ground, hands-on, well-rounded worldwide background.”

If elected to the council, Odell has a lot of areas she wants to focus on, including jobs, homelessness, housing, lack of mental health and drug treatment programs and crime.

“All these things are factors together and create the same problem that our city and so many other cities are dealing with,” Odell said.

As a city councilmember, Odell said she would evaluate the processes and programs in the city and re-imagine the ones that aren’t working in order to solve those problems.

To help people recover from the economic recession brought on by the pandemic, Odell said the council should work to attract new businesses to the area.

Larger businesses are concerned about getting projects approved by the city, so the council should streamline that process to attract larger businesses, Odell said.

On the other hand, smaller businesses are concerned about cost, Odell said. If the cost of doing business in Auburn is too high, small businesses don’t have an incentive to come to Auburn, Odell said. So as a city councilmember, Odell said she would evaluate the fees and permits imposed on small businesses.

Odell said the GSA property for sale in Auburn is an opportunity to create jobs in Auburn and that the community should have a say in the decision. However, the GSA property is owned by the federal government, not the city.

“It should be based on the input of the community. We should figure out who is going to buy that 129 acres, what’s going to happen there, and how are we going to use that to help with the lack of jobs because of the pandemic,” Odell said.

To address homelessness in Auburn, Odell said the council should support the police and seek input from the community. Odell said the issue is that even if Auburn police arrest someone for a felony, King County is in charge of prosecuting that case. Instead, Odell said the city council should pass legislation to allow Auburn to prosecute those cases as misdemeanors.

“It’s a lower crime, but at least it will get them off the street for a year and it will send a message throughout our community that we will not tolerate the crimes here,” Odell said.

Other homeless people aren’t on drugs and they need help through local programs, Odell said, adding that she supports having homeless and mental health treatment in Auburn for people in the community.

Odell said she would like the people of Auburn to be their eyes, ears and voice on the council.

Election day is on Tuesday, Nov. 2. For more information on the election, visit the King County elections website.