Crowded field for Woodland mayor illuminates frustrations

Woodland’s mayoral race has the most candidates (five) of any race in Clark County this fall. Not among the number: Mayor Chuck Blum.

Blum’s rationale for not seeking re-election was not known Friday. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The mayor’s actions this spring likely led to the large field, councilman Benjamin Fredricks said. Among the candidates, three are council members — Marilee McCall, J.J. Burke and Darwin Rounds. Former Woodland Police Chief Grover Laseke and attorney Janna Lovejoy are the other candidates.

Blum issued scathing critiques of several Woodland council members, including Fredricks and McCall, in an independent audit of the city’s government. The report highlighted several flaws among the mayor’s administration.

Multiple Woodland council members said recently they believed that Blum ignored the report’s findings.

“There’s a high level of frustration,” Fredricks said. “That’s apparent.”

The city government is “ineffective and inefficient,” the councilman added.

He described himself as “optimistic” that one of the five candidates would be the answer to the city’s problems.

“Kudos to them,” Fredricks said. “They’re willing to step up and serve the community.”

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