Candidate attends Waterville meet-and-greet event

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

State legislative candidate Ann Diamond talks with a group gathered at the Blue Rooster for a meet-and-greet on Oct. 6. (Provided photo/Bruce Clark)

Ann Diamond, a candidate for 12th District state representative,?attended a meet-and-greet event at?the Blue Rooster in Waterville on Oct. 6.

About half a dozen people from Waterville and the Wenatchee area who attended the event had the chance to talk with Diamond both one-on-one and in a group setting.

Diamond, a physician and founder of the Country Clinic in Winthrop, is running as an independent for the 12th Legislative District Position 1. Cary Condotta has served in the position since 2003 and chose not to run for re-election.

The evening began with guests, Diamond, her campaign manager Betsy Cushman and a volunteer mingling in the caf?.?Blue Rooster owners Bruce and Cathy Clark served tea and maple bars?to everyone.

Diamond introduced herself to the group and told how being the operator of a medical clinic in a small community naturally led her to community activism and to work with others to solve problems. For example, she founded the Association of Parents and Teachers in Winthrop.?She also started a program to provide free physical exams for local school athletes every August.

Diamond said that after a day of canvassing in Waterville, she got the sense that a strong community spirit pervades in this town.

Because of her experience as a physician, Diamond said she is especially concerned that state lawmakers work to make health care affordable and accessible for all Washington residents. She also is particularly concerned about education, housing and climate issues.

Diamond said she chose to run as an independent because she has observed the two major political parties so entrenched in their own interests and their own party platforms that they are unable to work together to address the needs of the people.

?Facing off does not allow them to hear what the voters need,? she said.

The group spent some of the time discussing the state-mandated levy cap that led to Waterville School adopting a four-day school week this year.

Duane Biggar, a longtime Waterville resident and former Waterville School Board member who is now living in Wenatchee, said that he feels it is unfair that the state is capping the levy amount at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value when Waterville residents have consistently voted in favor of higher levy amounts.

Diamond discussed how the levy cap is disproportionately affecting communities with low assessed property values.

Mayor Royal DeVaney brought up severe funding cuts for road work that have affected the town?s ability to maintain its roads. He also expressed frustration that he doesn?t feel state legislators respond to questions or listen to problems that he has presented.

The group also talked about the potential impacts of tariffs on wheat farmers, along with the Trump administration?s plan to subsidize farmers to reduce the impacts of the tariffs.

Richard Prevett of East Wenatchee commented, ?The loss has been passed onto the citizens.?

The group also discussed the difficulty with keeping businesses in town, so that the Main Street can be vibrant.

Prevett said after the event that he came because he wanted to get the chance to meet Diamond. He said that he agrees with Diamond regarding the current difficulties in our state legislature.

?I think it?s broken, too,? he said, ?I don?t think either one of our political parties can fix it.?

Prevett?s wife Charleen Prevett also attended the event and said that she liked Ann.

?She?s somebody I can relate to,? Prevett said.