Letter to Editor: Former Mayor Mike Schaub’s contributions to the city are significant
As we approach the end of 2021 and prepare for 2022, our municipal government faces a change of administration. Outgoing Mayor Mike Schaub has devoted the last eight years of his life to being mayor of Eatonville – a full-time responsibility with less pay than part-time.
Due to Mayor Schaub’s administration, our city has more police officers, including a full time police chief. We have a full time professional fire department.
The South Pierce Fire District has moved its administrative office to our downtown corridor.
We have a full updated plan.
We have a traffic light.
At the December 13 council meeting, Councilor Jennie Hannah alluded to the fact that Mayor Schaub has not celebrated or announced his successes and expressed his belief that he likely never will. For this reason, I support City Councilor Hannah’s inclination to celebrate Mayor Schaub’s successes over the past eight years and to sincerely thank for his time, commitment and sacrifice as mayor. .
The proof of its positive impact on Eatonville is evident if you take the time to look …
In 2017, the city embarked on a $ 770,000 street improvement project that included the installation of traffic lights at Center Street and Washington Avenue at a total cost to the city of approximately $ 15,000. . Mayor Schaub’s administration signed a developer agreement for the improvement of Center Street East and Weyerhaeuser Street North with an estimated price of $ 3,750,000. The cost to the city of facilitating this improvement project – $ 0. His administration initiated a $ 470,000 street improvement project for Rainier and Penn avenues. The cost for the city to complete the project was just under $ 47,000. His administration completed a $ 30,000 emergency repair project that cost the city about $ 1,500.
The entrance to our city hall has been renovated and is now accessible to the ADA, a $ 80,000 project that cost the city approximately $ 27,000. The administration continued with a $ 2,140,000 improvement project at Washington Avenue / Highway 161. The estimated cost to the city was $ 209,000. Let’s not forget the $ 46,000 street improvement project for Lynch Creek Road which cost the town about $ 3,000 or the $ 11,000 fingerprint reader for the police department which cost the city. city, well, nothing.
To combat and deter vandalism and recurring thefts in parks and at the water treatment plant, Mayor Schaub’s administration installed cameras, a $ 44,000 project that cost the city about 55% of this cost. Then there’s the electronic speed sign that slows us down as we drive around town, a $ 5,000 project that cost the town $ 1,500.
In what I would comfortably rank as one of the most significant accomplishments of his administration, Mayor Shaub lobbied for a $ 1.4 million water treatment plant improvement project that included the addition of an additional filter which exponentially increases the ability to perform maintenance and repair of the facility without interrupting the supply of treated fresh water to our community. Prior to this improvement, filter failures and maintenance sometimes required the plant to be taken out of service, resulting in the temporary disruption of fresh water production to the city’s water supply, a A frightening proposition given that during the peak summer months, the water plant operates at almost 100 percent of its freshwater production capacity just to meet consumer demand. This critical $ 1.4 million improvement cost the city approximately $ 10,000.
In these examples alone, the Schaub administration initiated and / or completed over $ 8.5 million in improvement projects at a cost to the city of approximately $ 350,000. The millions in savings for the city are the result of the relentless search for outside grants and funding and a dedication to fiscal responsibility. In these examples alone, the Schaub administration secured outside funding sources to save the city over $ 8 million.
There are countless other examples.
As we move forward into the New Year, there are many projects that are still ongoing and / or unfinished. The Schaub administration facilitated an agreement with the parties involved in the cleanup of the old landfill that ultimately reduced the city’s financial responsibilities from potential millions of dollars to tens of thousands, through seeking grants and partnerships. with its neighbors.
The administration’s emphasis on improving community awareness is evident in its drive to dramatically improve the community center. The upgrades include installing a new generator, with city spending only a fraction of the estimated overall price of $ 235,000. A partnership with Pierce County resulted in an agreement to install a large walk-in freezer / refrigerator to increase the capacity of the community center to serve local families in need. The only expense for the city for this project should be the cost of carrying out the construction work. As if that weren’t enough, the administration has sought to upgrade the community centre’s failing HVAC system, a project estimated to cost around $ 80,000 that will cost the city next to nothing due to the application of federal funds.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the contribution of former city administrator Abby Gribi to the financial success of our city. Abby was the face of the city and was dedicated to finding outdoor solutions to fund projects that the city simply did not have the resources to fund. The partnerships Abby cultivated with other municipalities and organizations have been essential in funding the infrastructure projects our city desperately needed: partnerships with the Transportation Improvement Board, Pierce County Regional Council, the state representative Andrew Barkis, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Weyerhaeuser, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Department of Ecology, or a number of other funding sources she has used to benefit our city.
Our city is a better place because of the work of Mayor Schaub and his administration over the past eight years. As a board member, I did not always agree with Mike on matters relating to the city, and I did not necessarily always agree with some of his executive decisions. However, I would never see examples of governing him maliciously or recklessly, and I believe his decisions were based on a sincere desire to serve the community responsibly and to govern in a way that he truly believed to be in. the best interest of Eatonville.
On December 31, Eatonville Mayor Mike Schaub’s chapter will conclude, a chapter that includes recovering from the delayed financial effects of the Great Recession and declaring a state of emergency during an infectious disease pandemic. When history is written and the book is closed on the mayors of Eatonville, we’ll likely look back and see this as one of the most successful and productive administrations in the history of Eatonville.
Council position n ° 4