Waterville mayor’s race: It starts with sewer upgrades

By Reilly Kneedler
Wenatchee World staff writer

WATERVILLE — Sewer system upgrades.

It may not be the flashiest campaign platform, but all three candidates running for Waterville mayor said that’ll be the first item on their list if elected. They re running to replace Royal DeVaney, who’s retiring after 27 years as mayor.

A fourth candidate, J.D. Greening, also began a campaign before dropping out at a public forum on June 28.

But because the election is so near, his name will still appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot, Douglas County Auditor Thad Duvall said.

The three remaining candidates — Loyd C. Smith, Charles Driver and Jill D. Thompson — are all town council members and have seen development in Waterville slow to a trickle due to infrastructure limitations, they said.

“The first priority would be the infrastructure, because right now that’s our big problem,” Smith said.

With both its water and sewer systems near capacity, the town implemented a building moratorium last year.

“We’ve got the water stuff pretty well under control now, our main problem is the sewer,” Driver said. If elected, controlled growth would be a priority for Driver.

“Waterville is in a pretty good place right now. I want to continue to build Waterville, bring new events to town and I want to have an open-door policy for anybody that wants to meet the mayor or city staff,” he said.

Once the infrastructure issues have been addressed, economic development will be a top priority for Waterville, Thompson said.

“If we’re going to survive, then we need to grow a little bit,” she said. “We know with our infrastructure, that our growth needs to be controlled. But we know with our downtown that the changes I would like to see is the tourism industry needs to grow a little more. Not to become an artificial destination like Leavenworth has become, but to highlight our historical pioneering heritage.”

For Smith, creating incentives for the business community will be an important step forward, he said.

“The problem with a lot of small towns, just like what we’re experiencing, is our retail sales area have gone into what I call a ‘stagnant static,’” Smith said. “A lot of the small businesses have moved and what we’d like to do is create some kind of incentive for them to become more active in the community.”


Know your candidates for Waterville mayor


Loyd Smith

Age: 73

City: Waterville

Work history: I have been a barber for 50 years and during this time have had an opportunity to be a driver and a supervisor for UPS for seven years. I have had an opportunity to be a general superintendent for construction, during the housing growth.

Experience: Formally a council member for the town of Sequim, Washington. And currently six years with the town of Waterville as a council member.

Education: Highline Community College

Personal: Married for 32 years


Jill D. Thompson

Age: 62

City: Waterville

Work history: RN, Transformation coordinator, Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics 2016-May 2019; Manager, Lake Chelan Home Health and Hospice 2012-2016; RN, Group Health Cooperative Home Health and Hospice, 2002-2012; Research Coordinator, University of Washington, 1992-2002; RN Urgent Care per diem, Group Health Cooperative, 1992-2002; RN Research project manager, NeoRx Corp, 1989-1992; Charge RN and Research RN, Group Health Center for Research Studies, 1982-1989; RN, Charge, St. Ignatius Hospital, 1981-1982; RN, Charge, Plains Memorial Hospital, 1979-1980

Experience: Councilmember, Town of Waterville, 2014-present; Board member, Chelan Douglas Public Health Department Board, 2015-present; Alternate Board member, Link, 2016-present; Board member, Secretary/Treasurer, Waterville Mainstreet, 2016-present; Board member, Chelan Valley Community Nurse, 2018-present; Board member and Financial Secretary, Waterville Federated Church, 2013-present; Chairman, Fabric and Fiber Arts Department, NCW Fair, 2009-present

Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing 1979, Washington State University; Graduate studies in Masters of Public Health, 1995-2002, University of Washington

Personal: Grown daughters, Stephani Thompson and Sara Moon; granddaughter Amelia Moon


Charles Driver

Age: 62

City: Waterville

Work history: Maintenance/Custodian, Waterville School, 20 years; Maintenance/Custodian, North Central ESD, 18 years

Experience: Waterville City Council, seven years; Washington Association of Maintenance and Operations Administrators, board for 12 years

Education: Waterville High School Class of 1975

Personal: Married to my wife Deena for 32 years, two adult children and three grandsons