Although the City of Pacific has shown plenty of progress over the past 18 months in its recovery from the disastrous reign of former mayor Cy Sun, the woman chosen to replace Sun still feels her job is not yet done.
Back in July of 2013, after city residents recalled Sun, Leanne Guier’s fellow councilmembers appointed her as the new mayor, with the expectation that she would lead the City’s recovery efforts. Mere months earlier the City had faced the dire possibilities of being annexed into Auburn or dis-incorporating, owing to the loss of its municipal insurance coverage.
Now, with her appointed term set to expire at the end of 2015 and eager for the next step in the progress of Pacific, Guier recently announced that she will run for reelection.
“I feel like we have a lot momentum and I want to keep that momentum going,” Guier said. “There are a lot of things in the works that are going to probably take longer than the next nine months to bring to fruition.”
Ever since the city voted overwhelmingly to recall Sun, Pacific has been on the rebound, with Guier and the council filling vacancies and reorganizing staff at City Hall.
Work is progressing as well on two crucial road improvement projects, Valentine Avenue and Stewart Road. Both projects were on life support during Sun’s administration but now have the potential to attract retail and commercial businesses to the city.
“It’s going to take a little time to keep nursing and massaging and getting it out there, and I want to keep working on that,” Guier said. “I’m excited about the two road projects that are going on. They are going to be finishing up soon, and I want to work with staff and try to attract some real good businesses and get a revenue base, something that really compliments Pacific.”
Although Sun may have been in office for only 18 months after winning a write-in campaign in 2011, the effects of his tenure – which included the loss of most of the city’s department heads, either by firing or resignation – are long lasting, according to Guier.
“I think it will probably take us about five years to recover from all the damage that was done in 18 months,” Guier said. “We keep uncovering things.”
But the City is heading in the right direction because of the spirit of cooperation between council and administration, Guier said.
“I think the majority of the council is real pleased about the direction,” Guier said. “And I wouldn’t want a council that were all yes men. I like the conversation and the debate that we have about different things we’re trying to do and move forward. But it’s a different feeling now then it was 19 months ago. I just feel like people are coming out more and more and getting back to that community feel.”
The real key to the continued recovery, Guier said, is continuity.
“There is always a start up and transition time,” She said. “I’d hate to see some of the things that I, staff and the council have worked on take a back seat, or take another course, or just drop off the map altogether.”
In addition to capitalizing on the City’s infrastructure improvements and beefing up the revenue base to move the City forward, Guier said should she win, she also has a couple of pet projects she hopes to complete.
“I’d like to create a walking park system that talks about the heritage of our city,” Guier said. “It’s an idea from our planning department. You could go point-to-point and learn about the city. We’re small enough you could walk the whole system and have a little piece of history at each place. I’m kind of excited about that.”
Guier cited her ongoing involvement in several regional committees, including the Sound Cities Association, as reasons for another term in the big chair.
“I want to be viewed by the people of Pacific that not only did I help move us out of all that, but that I also have a vision to keep the City moving forward,” she said. “It took all of us, the council, everyone to get out of that. And we need all of us to keep this moving forward.”