New meeting date
The Winthrop Town Council’s next meeting, which would have been on Jan. 1, has been postponed to Jan. 8 to avoid conflict with the New Year’s Day holiday. The council will then convene on Jan. 15, its regularly scheduled meeting date.
Downtown Winthrop may have more parking spaces for disabled people if an informal Town Council discussion leads to action.
The topic came up at last week’s Town Council meeting, when council member William Kilby said he had been asked about the lack of disabled parking by citizens who were inconvenienced in trying to park downtown.
Mayor Sally Ranzau and other council members agreed that the town should consider some possible additional locations. One suggestion was to look at providing disabled space at each corner of the four-way stop (there is one space now). Kilby suggested that one disabled space be added on either side of Confluence Park on Riverside Avenue.
Town Marshal Doug Johnson said that a disabled space could be added to the marshal’s office parking lot, where there is ample room.
Ranzau said she would explore possibilities.
In other business:
• Ranzau reported that the town’s civil service commission has interviewed two potential candidates to fill the vacant deputy marshal position, and the commission recommended one candidate to move on to the next level of background checks. Ranzau said she hoped to have more information soon.
The town has operated with two law enforcement officers since former Marshal Daniel Tindall lost a legal appeal to stay his decertification as a police officer in Washington state in late 2018. Johnson, then a deputy, was appointed as marshal in April 2019 after holding the position on a temporary basis.
Johnson was hired as a deputy marshal by then-Marshal Tindall in December 2017. When former deputy Ken Bajema, who had also served as acting marshal, was rehired by the town in August 2018, that brought the Marshal’s Office to its full complement of three officers for the first time in several years. It has been at two officers since Tindall’s departure.
• The council ratified a new operating agreement between the town and the Visitor Information Center, which is operated by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce. The town will pay the Chamber of Commerce $6,000 per calendar quarter, for a total of $24,000 annually. Ranzau said the visitor center will be opened without staffing on some weekends. Otherwise, it will be opened and staffed on weekends from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., April 1 through Oct. 31.
• Council member Kirsten Vanderhalf was appointed mayor pro tem, to preside over council meetings in Ranzau’s absence.
• The council approved a contract with Methow Valley Media to redesign the town’s website. Methow Valley Media, which describes itself as a marketing services firm that specializes in online and social media strategies, was launched in October 2019 by Anne Young, according to the company’s website. Young also works under a separate personal services contract as the town’s marketing director.
• The council reappointed Kyrie Jardin and Rick Jones to the Westernization Design Review Board. The board is currently down to four members (there are seven positions), and anyone interested in serving can contact town hall.
Also reappointed to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee were Mike Pruett, Lynn Northcott, Melanie Whittaker and Kelli Rotstan.