Five individuals seek three open seats on the November ballot in a council race for Harrison.
Joe Cornell, Jordan Hall, Valerie Harris, Nick John and Linda Lacitinola are the five candidates. The three candidates with the most votes will take the three open seats.
A lifelong resident, Mr. Cornell owns his own business, Harrison Heating. His mother, Joan, owned the grocery store in the community for a number of years before retiring. He was first elected to the council four years ago and would like to continue to serve the residents if elected.
“I care about the direction of this community,” he said. “I want to make sure residents have access to water and sewer. I don’t want this town to fall into a moratorium.
Parking, Mr. Cornell said, is also an important issue that the city always needs to be thinking about and working to improve. He said he’d also like to see the city take control of the local docks again.
“We gave them to the county but I would like to gain control back. The docks are right here. This is a waterfront town and the city should be responsible for them,” he said.
Mr. Cornell said he makes it a priority to attend council meetings and would continue to do. He said has years of mechanical experience, which is helpful as he understands things and can help make sure the city is being treated fairly by contractors and engineers.
“As well as mechanical aptitude, I bring a tremendous amount of common sense,” Mr. Cornell added. “I’d appreciate another term.”
Having moved to the Harrison area five years ago, Mr. John retired from the motion picture industry as a set painter. He joined the council a year and a half ago when he was appointed to fill a vacancy.
“This city is going to be my home for the rest of my life and I want to be involved,” he said. “There are a lot of things I’d like to address.”
Mr. John said he lives on a road, Sunset Terrance, that has not been fixed for almost three years though there is a grant in the works. He said fixing that road as well as maintaining others is important.
“The sewage plant is one of my concerns as well,” he said. “As well as drainage for streets that are being washed out. I want to see new ideas for financially getting money back into our town.”
Mr. John said having been in construction his entire life and he knows “what is needed to get a job done.”
“My goals are to get our streets fixed, do things for our sewer so it’s there for new people coming into our town. I have some ideas, but you have to have everybody on board,” he said.
Mr. John added he wants to make sure these issues are brought up and not ignored. He added he has enjoyed his time serving.
“I am eager to continue serving if the voters so choose,” he said.
Mrs. Lacitinola and her husband, Robert, moved to the Harrison area at the end of May. Her husband took a job with the city in maintenance. They previously lived in Orofino.
“We had been coming here fishing for the last two years fishing and we really liked the area and so when the job opened he applied,” she said.
Mrs. Lacitinola said she decided to file for candidacy to be able to get more involved. She admitted she did not know a lot about the city and but would like to learn more. This is her first time to run for an office.
Also new to the ballot is Ms. Harris. She moved to Harrison in 1995 and has worked as a real estate agent both in Harrison and St. Maries before retiring two years ago.
She has served as the former president for the Harrison Chamber of Commerce, served on the city’s planning and zoning committee and is the current president of the Harrison Senior Center. She ran for an open council seat 10 years ago but was not elected at the time.
Ms. Harris said there seems to be a “lot of things going on” within Harrison and the council with “a lot of people quitting and leaving.”
“I got the time and I thought I might be able to contribute,” she said. “I’ve been self-employed my whole life, ran a business and I’m a family person and I love the people here.”
Ms. Harris said she would like to see slow, desirable development in Harrison. She said the city has had developers come in and make promises that never came to fruition.
“They would have changed the dynamics of Harrison. I want development that will blend in and not change the city,” she said.
Ms. Harris said she would like to lend some commonsense to city decisions. She said there is limited water and sewer available.
“I want to maintain the integrity of the city,” she said.
Ms. Harris said if the voters would elect her she is looking forward to serving and would make it a priority.
Mr. Hall did not respond to requests for comment.