Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney says he plans to run for re-election. He said on Facebook over the weekend that “Making sure that our Hoquiam waterfront does not become a massive tank farm and that Hoquiam is more proactive rather than reactive about industrial development is a high priority with me.”
The former mayor of Aberdeen also recounted some of his accomplishments over the last 4 terms, including upgrades to neighborhood parks, the Eastside Fire Station, a new boat launch being constructed soon behind Swanson’s, and the city’s Tree City USA designation.
Durney added “more still needs to be done and I want to continue to be a part of it.”
I am announcing that I plan to file for re-election as Mayor of Hoquiam. I continue to have the energy, enthusiasm, and passion about serving my home town. My grandfather Durney came to Hoquiam in the 1880s, built our family home at 5th and K where my father was born and I grew up, and a town that my family business – now in its third generation – is located.
With the help of about 200+ residents 10 years ago, we created the Hometown Hoquiam strategic plan to improve sidewalks, abate dangerous structures, improve our police protection by focusing on community policing and re-opening our jail, improve our parks, make the necessary updates to our aging underground infrastructure, and focus more on economic development. With the cooperation of a great city council, I believe I have brought to the city a strong management team who over time have made the changes and come up with the creative ideas that have allowed Hoquiam to fulfill these goals.
- We have obtained grants to improve mobility in Hoquiam by replacing several blocks of sidewalks, have installed quite a few handicap ramps, and have created an innovative partnership with individual property owners to replace dangerous neighborhood sidewalks by tearing out the old sidewalk and installing a new one if the property owner pays for the materials.
- We have obtained grants and low interest loans to replace much of our aging water and sewer infrastructure and right now are replacing about 2-3 miles of our water transmission line from the treatment plant on the Quinault Highway in to town.
- We have created a unique partnership with the Washington Department of Corrections to house some of their probation violators which has allowed us to re-open the jail on a very cost effective basis.
- We have upgraded all of our neighborhood parks and installed a water spray feature in the totally renovated Art Pocklington Central Play Park. John Gable Park has also been modernized and new entrances and sidewalks are to start soon. Funds from these projects have come from the general fund but a large percentage has come from donations and grants.
- We are looking forward to starting construction of the new boat launch and docks on the Hoquiam River later this year behind Swanson’s that will allow 20-30 boats to dock there.
- A 100% grant has allowed us to totally rebuild the East Side fire station to better serve the neighborhood and also the growing industrial development on that side of the river.
- I am also very proud of our effort to plant over 200 trees along the main streets and in the new sidewalks to enhance the environment and beauty of the community. We created an Urban Forestry Board and have received the Tree City USA designation – the only city on the coast of Washington to with this honor!
- But so much of what is going well in Hoquiam is a result of the cumulative effort of a number of individuals or groups outside of the city hall who contribute to this community that I like to call Hometown Hoquiam – our service clubs, Scout groups, school groups, Loggers Playday, Polson Museum, 7th Street Theatre, the Elks, our faith community, and just regular citizens who support our events and serve on various citizen committees.
But more still needs to be done and I want to continue to be a part of it. Making sure that our Hoquiam waterfront does not become a massive tank farm and that Hoquiam is more proactive rather than reactive about industrial development is a high priority with me. Other priorities include finding opportunities to grow housing (as with the new Summerhaven Homes development past Woodlawn), following through on our water and sewer infrastructure, expanding even further recreational opportunities, and focusing even further on working collaboratively with Aberdeen and Cosmopolis on joint public safety opportunity to reduce costs and improve service.
I believe we have a lot to be proud of in Hoquiam. I want to be able to continue to play a part in that and continue to work with the superb public works, police, fire, finance, court, and parks staff who provide exception service to my hometown. I wish my grandfather were alive today to see what his hometown is doing.