Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy is facing one challenger for a new four-year term on the April ballot.
Nathan Krausch, 30, has thrown his hat into the political ring in a bid for the position that Lucy has held for eight years.
Lucy, 62, is a Washington native and the co-owner, with her husband, of Gary R. Lucy Gallery.
The Missourian met with both candidates to discuss why they are running and their goals if elected.
Their comments are below. The candidates appear in alphabetical order.
The political newcomer is advocating for residents with special needs.
Krausch, 819 E. First St., is a Washington High School graduate. He is the dish tank manager at Marquart’s Landing, Washington, and works for Spaunhorst Catering.
He is a member of the Washington Knights of Columbus and St. Francis Borgia Parish, and has participated in the Special Olympics.
Krausch said he is running to raise awareness and reach out to businesses about special needs.
“I want to give awareness to businesses that we can do more,” he said. “We can be 40-hour-a-week workers.”
Krausch also would like to help veterans find good-paying jobs.
“I will help people with special needs and vets find better jobs so they can have a better living,” he said.
That would include monthly job fairs for veterans and residents with special needs.
Krausch added that he would like to encourage business owners to sponsor local events for people with special needs.
“We could hold community events once a week,” he said.
Krausch also would like to see services, like a food pantry, move to the downtown area for better accessibility to those residents.
Other needs he would like to address are infrastructure, including streets and sidewalks, as well as water quality.
“I want to help fix the town up and improve sidewalks,” Krausch said.
“Some of the roads are terrible,” he added. “Sidewalks have cracks and I am concerned that someone may break a leg.”
Krausch said the city needs a better backup water system in the event there is a power outage and no water service. He also wants weekly water quality tests for the city’s drinking water supply.
Krausch said he had thought about getting into politics for about two years following a proposal to cut funding for programs that help county residents with special needs.
The budget for Developmental Services of Franklin County (DSFC) was cut by the state 41 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Krausch, originally from the Villa Ridge area, had lived in Indiana for a few years in a community that held events for people with special needs.
“There were a lot more programs and social clubs held on city property,” he said.
Krausch said he would like to see events held more frequently here, and more businesses and individuals volunteering time and resources.
Mayor Lucy is the first female mayor in the city’s history. She was first elected in April 2010 and ran unopposed in April 2014.
In the 2010 election, Lucy handily defeated four challengers, winning in all four wards and amassing more votes than her two main opponents combined.
Lucy is the past president of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Washington Inc.
She has been actively involved in the community for over 30 years and has served on the tourism and historic preservation committees.
She also has served three times on the committee for the one-half cent capital improvement sales tax, as well as the one-half cent transportation tax to fund major improvements on Highway 100.
Additionally, Lucy is a member of St. Francis Borgia Parish, Washington Rotary Club, East Central College Foundation Board, Mercy Hospital Foundation Board and regional and state mayoral organizations.
She is a lifelong resident of Washington and her mother still lives in the house that Lucy grew up in.
Lucy is a graduate of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, attended ECC for two years and then earned a degree in speech pathology and audiology at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg.
During her two previous terms there have been many changes made at Washington City Hall. Each year, city officials continue to “raise the bar” in community service and professionalism, she said, and that is something she wants to continue to strive toward.
“There have been a lot of subtle changes at city hall and all of them to benefit the community,” Lucy said. “We have become more focused on customer service and general professionalism to make it easier to do business with the city.
“It is beginning to resonate with our citizens that things are different at city hall,” she added.
According to Lucy, Washington is known throughout the state as a “successful community,” by state-elected officials and state agencies.
“That’s because Washington has the reputation of doing things the right way,” she said. “When we work with state agencies, we use state programs to our advantage and how they are intended to be used — they like to be associated with Washington because we do things right.”
She added that former Gov. Jay Nixon often visited Washington, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt references Washington as a successful community when he is serving on Capitol Hill.
“I am very proud that we are recognized for how great a community Washington is,” she said.
Lucy noted that there have been several retirements of longtime staff at city hall. The city has been rebuilding the administrative team.
“We took that opportunity very seriously,” she said. “We made sure when we hired individuals who had the skills we are looking for — I am very comfortable with our new team.”
Lucy added she is proud of how the city handled those transitions, adding that the city staff has been supportive of her and the administration.
The renewal of the half-cent capital improvement sales tax is very important to the future of Washington, according to Lucy.
“We have accomplished so many things that there is no way we could have done without the tax,” she said. “There is a great track record of projects completed that came from the community.”
Turning to the future, Lucy said the new Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River will be a great addition to Washington.
“I think it is going to be a huge boost to the community to have a bridge with shoulders and wide lanes and other attributes,” she said. “I see the bridge as a calling card.”
Lucy said she has come to realize over the past eight years in office that one of her biggest strengths is that of “cheerleader.”
“The staff and community are thankful for that support and encouragement,” she added.