By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
In the coming term, Steve Gault, Ward 2 Washington City Council member, hopes to address such things as the lack of housing in the city as well as the scheduled projects like the wellness park and the renovation of the water plant.
Gault, who has served for a year now after winning a special election for the Ward 2 seat when council member Russ Zieglowsky resigned, said he has learned a lot of about being a council member in that time. During Gault?s time in office, the council has faced several difficult issues, including the passage of the hotel/motel tax and the passage of a fireworks ordinance. He now sits on the hotel/motel tax revenue committee.
?There are a lot of things that go with being a city council member that you never really think about,? he said. ?I?ve had people call me because they didn?t like the way their neighbor?s lawn was mowed. I can?t fix that, sorry. There have also been things people have called me about that I could do something about.?
He said one of the most challenging issues the council has faced was the recent passage of the city?s fireworks ordinance. While he said that the ordinance wasn?t going to make everyone happy, he believes it is the best compromise the council could find.
Gault said one of the things he has learned over the last year is the ability to compromise with the other council members. He said the new members of the council will learn the same thing. He said anyone new to the council needs to go in to listen and learn about how things are done and that you aren?t going to always make everybody happy.
During the coming term, he said, there are plenty of large projects.
?One of the things we need to do over the next four years is get some affordable housing lots,? he said. ?I?m not saying the new development isn?t going to be nice, but it isn?t something a starting family would be able to afford. I?ve talked with Charla (Howard) while we were on the hotel/motel tax board and she said there are people waiting for houses in Washington.?
He said that is needed to draw people to town. He cited that he has friends in Iowa City who have wanted to move to Washington but are unable to find a place to live.
Gault said he is happy with the direction the city is going now, compared to how the city used to run.
?We won?t have to worry about how the city is going to be run in 30 years,? he said. ?It will be taken care of as it is needed.?
He said many situations the city has faced in the last several years could have been avoided if former city councils had taken care and kept up with problems, the city wouldn?t have had the some of the problems it has faced.
Gault encourages people to get out and vote during the Nov. 7 election. He also encourages people to examine the candidates? comments and fact-check what they are saying to determine the best candidate.