Results from the May election showed across-the-board support for incumbent Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District Board members.
Su Coddington, Celeste Bodner, Michael Hinton, Erika Marshall Hamer and Katharine Parker staved off challengers Al Hernandez, John Huismann, Patrick Duhachek, Jackie Evans and Stephen Morrison after most of the ballots were counted.
“Congratulations — and so long as the results hold, I look forward to working with you all for the next two or four years depending on which seat you’re in,” Skyler Archibald, the park district’s executive director, said at last Tuesday’s board meeting, the first meeting after the May 18 vote.
Bodner and Marshall Hamer each garnered more than 60% of the vote in their races. Hinton, Parker and Coddington won 54%, 56% and 57% of the vote in their races.
The board plans to continue work on the strategic plan for the Sunset Recreation Center, Melissa Ousley, the park district’s director of marketing promotions and special events, said in a press release shortly after the vote. Board goals include child care, expanding indoor recreation and contributing to the local economy through sports tourism.
The election appeared to validate the park district’s decision to purchase the former Broadway Middle School. The park district closed on the property in January for $2.15 million, despite strong opposition throughout the process. Opposing candidates criticized the park district for a lack of transparency during the process.
“I’m excited to continue working with our board and helping our community grow,” Archibald said. “All five of these board members have a heart for service and genuinely care about improving the quality of life for patrons in our district.”
Final results will come from the Clatsop County elections division June 7 and will be brought before the board at the June 22 meeting. Board members will take the oath of office in July. Board leadership and meeting dates for the next year will be determined at the July meeting.
Diane Wells, a frequent board critic, had urged the park district to bring the elementary school purchase to a vote. She continues to challenge the decision, but shared hope for the future. “Congratulations to the board on your election,” Wells said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I hope you’ll hold true to your campaign promises of transparency and self-governance.”