A relative newcomer to city politics says his apparent landslide victory over an experienced and established member of the Oak Harbor City Council points to a widespread dissatisfaction with city leadership.
Shane Hoffmire predicts significant changes will occur once he and two other newly elected council members — Bryan Stucky and Dan Evans — take office.
“People will be heard. They will be represented,” he said, explained that the overwhelming message he’s heard from voters is that they don’t feel like city leaders are listening to them.
Hoffmire said the large margin of his victory should be a message to other council members, as well as city administration, that change is needed.
As of the Thursday night ballot count in the General Election, Hoffmire had 2,268 votes, or 73%. Joel Servatius, the incumbent council member, received 841 votes.
After he takes office, Hoffmire said he would like to revisit the purchase and siting of the controversial “Angel de la Creatividad” sculpture in Windjammer Park and the scheduled increase in utility rates.
Stucky, another city council candidate who is winning big, said he was surprised by how well Hoffmire did against a longtime council member. While Hoffmire was a good candidate, Stucky said, his big win was more about people being unhappy with “the current regime.” He added, however, that it’s not fair to lump all members of the council together as being part of the problem.
Stucky agreed that citizens don’t feel like they are being heard. His campaign message was similar to Hoffmire’s, and he also would like to revisit some council decisions.
“I have no agenda,” he said. “I just want to listen to people.”
Both Stucky and his rival, Andy Plumlee, are new to city politics. Stucky is ahead of Plumlee with 2,133 votes, or 69%. Plumlee has 929 votes.
Stucky, the owner of a funeral home, opined that much of his success with voters was because he’s well known in the community as president of the North Whidbey Sunrise Rotary, vice president of the North Whidbey Help House and a volunteer in other groups.
Stucky will take a seat held by Millie Goebel. Since she was appointed to the council, he will be sworn in once the election is certified later this month.
Evans and his rival, Fe Mischo, were running to replace Councilmember Erica Wasinger, who isn’t seeking reelection. Evans is ahead with 1,635 votes, or 53%, while Mischo earned 1,453 votes.
Evans did not respond to a request for comment by press time, but he has also expressed unhappiness with city leadership and vowed to make changes; he previously said he supported council members’ decision to issue a vote of no confidence in City Administrator Blaine Oborn.
Councilmember Jim Woessner ran unopposed and received 2,166 votes.