By Ann McCreary
Josh Thomson, a civil engineer who works for Okanogan County Public Works, was appointed last week by the Twisp Town Council to fill the vacant council seat previously held by Bob Lloyd.
In naming him to the board, council members said they welcomed Thomson’s background in civil engineering, transportation, public works and budgeting.
“His particular area of expertise is one that the town has great need for right now,” said council member John Fleming.
Thomson, who has lived in Twisp for three years, told council members that he is interested in projects that are underway to improve Twisp’s infrastructure and promote economic development.
“Public works … is what I do and what I know. I want to support and help where I can,” he said during an interview with the council at the Dec. 13 meeting.
Thomson has been an engineer for Okanogan County for three years. Because the Public Works department has no director at this time, he has assumed those duties as well, he said.
A graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in civil engineering, Thomson worked for 10 years in Reno, Nevada, for a large engineering firm, primarily doing road projects.
The majority of the work he does for Okanogan County is related to roads and transportation, and there is some overlap with Twisp and other municipalities in terms of project funding and budgets, he said.
Thomson said he hopes to help Twisp move forward on infrastructure needs including streets, water, sewer and a new civic building and public works shop.
“The infrastructure is aging. It’s going to need replacement,” he said. Infrastructure upgrades will be essential to the town’s future economic development, he said.
Asked about challenges facing Twisp in coming years, Thomson replied, “Funding — it always seems to be funding. It’s always going to take grants” to accomplish the town’s goals.
“I’m excited about what the council and mayor and town are doing. They are doing a lot. Building a new town hall and a new [public works] maintenance shop is pretty impressive,” Thomson said in an interview after the council meeting.
He moved to the Methow Valley three years ago to be closer to his parents, who live in the valley. He and his wife have four children.
Thomson will serve the remaining year of Lloyd’s council term, which expires in December 2017. If Thomson wants to continue serving on the council, he will need to run for the council in next November’s election.
In response to a question from the council, Thomson said he would consider seeking election to the council.
Lloyd resigned from the council in September after his construction and excavation business, Lloyd Logging Inc., won a large street construction bid, which disqualified him due to conflict of interest laws from continuing to serve on the council.