The Town of Twisp’s search for a new police chief is underway, after Chief Paul Budrow’s successful effort to replace Tony Hawley as Okanogan County Sheriff.
Budrow — who has been the town’s police chief for more than a decade — bested one-term incumbent Hawley in the Nov. 8 general election and will take office in January 2023.
At last week’s Town Council meeting, council member Aaron Studen — a member of the Public Safety Committee — said a subcommittee will be formed to come up with a process for recruiting candidates and hiring a new chief.
“We won’t be in a hurry because we want to find the best person,” Studen said.
He said the town will continue to provide appropriate police services in the meantime, which may include reserve officers. The police force currently has two other full-time officers: Ty Sheehan and Stephen Purtell.
In other business at last week’s meeting, the council:
• Reviewed a draft of the town’s 2023 general fund operating budget, which is projected at $1.484 million. Public Works Director Andrew Denham said he has proposed that water and sewer service rates each increase by 5.5% next year to address increased costs for maintenance, repairs, fuel and staffing.
The council adopted a 1% increase in its local property tax levy, and a 1% increase in the Emergency Medical Services levy, the maximum amount allowed under state law without a vote of residents.
• Adopted the updated six-year Capital Facilities Plan, which includes improvement, maintenance and replacement projects for street, water, sewer, parks, buildings, airport and other town properties.
• Approved a change in overnight parking restrictions on Glover Street, extending year-round “no parking” hours from midnight-5 a.m. to midnight-6 a.m., between Glover’s intersections with Twisp Avenue and Highway 20. Denham said the change will facilitate the town’s snow plowing efforts.
• Renewed an agreement with Okanogan County to provide building inspection services to the town at an hourly rate of $120.