Of three candidates who applied to fill a vacancy on Coupeville Town Council, the relative newcomer was appointed to the seat.
Rick Walti retired in 2002 and moved to Whidbey Island where he and his wife started building their dream home in Coupeville. They’ve been in town for three and-a-half years now.
The other candidates were Gary Piazzon, a 27-year-resident, and Sally Garrat, who’s lived in town for eight years, but who’s family has ties to the area dating to the early 20th Century.
Since moving to the island, Walti has been active in the community, serving on the board of the Coupeville Lions Club and on Coupeville’s Neighborhood Emergency Team as a safety officer.
He’s also served as the president for the board of trustees for the Island County Historical Society and Museum and as president of the Whidbey Golf and Country Club.
Walti worked for California State University from 1979 to 2002, holding a variety of jobs within the school’s library program.
“My past employment with California State University, Long Beach provided me with budgetary and financial experience as well as management and personnel responsibilities,” Walti said.
“I have always sought to maintain a cooperative working relationship with both employees and the public.”
Some of his experience includes managing construction and reconfiguration projects, writing a safety manual and coordinating budgetary-saving measures.
Some of the questions the council asked were how candidates would interact with the public, deal with citizens who didn’t agree with choices and what their top priorities as a council member would be.
“I strive to be one of the people who still has ‘compromise’ in my vocabulary,” Walti said.
He added that he wants to stay true to the town’s rich history while still moving forward into the future.
Walti has a particular interest in making sure the town’s infrastructure such as the wastewater and sewer treatment plants, stormwater drainage and streets are in good working order and moving in a positive direction.
The position Walti is filling was vacated Dec. 31, 2017 by Lisa Bernhardt.
The term ends Dec. 31, 2019, according to the Town of Coupeville.