A Conversation With Bryan Campbell, Wenatchee Mayoral Candidate
Wenatchee businessman Bryan Campbell is in the Wenatchee mayoral primary race August 1st. Campbell is the CEO of Pro Active Business Solutions and Pro Active Real Estate. He spent nearly 30 years in the banking field and is a Wenatchee native.
Campbell is a former Wenatchee City Councilman and previously ran unsuccessfully for Mayor against Frank Kuntz in 2015.
"I love the community so much .......And loving the town that much I've been involved with a number of community organizations and I actually have over 100 years of combined community service"
Campbell lists community service with Rotary, the former Chelan County Fire District #1, Wenatchee Police Reserves, Wenatchee Applarians, Mobile Meals, Children's Home Society, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Misawa Sister City group, Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce and the organization One Wenatchee which focuses on community cleanup and safety projects.
Campbell recently appeared on KPQ's The Agenda program.
KPQ: Why did you decide to run for mayor?
Bryan Campbell: When I decided to run 12 years ago, through all of my interaction in my community organizations, I have a lot of engagement with the public and a lot of times when people run for office is one of the things that they say they really want to work on is transparency. And transparency is engagement. If you're out there in the community, working with people on a daily basis, you are engaged, you know what their issues are, you know what their concerns are, and why was hearing the concerns were centered around public safety, financial security, and also family and faith basically worried about their kids in the future worried about their finances. So in wanting to help people and being a problem solver 12 years ago, I decided that I would run for mayor and ultimately I decided to run for the council and get that experience from the inside of government which was extremely valuable. And being able to put my skill set together with all of my connections and in friends and leadership positions throughout the community. I thought it fit perfectly with the position of mayor. And if I could come in with I guess I call it a people oriented style of leadership, where there's a lot of consensus, a lot of collaboration and engagement from the community that we could help steer the future of the community in the right direction.
KPQ: Is there any issue with transparency with the city or on a particular issue you have?
Bryan Campbell: Part of it is COVID Quite frankly that made it much worse. There was a problem with transparency before that. But with COVID people are just some of them are afraid to go out. Some of them just have learned a new way of life, kind of an electronic way of life. And we need to get back to the face to face interactions. I think that's where the good work really gets done. I've since I was on the council. In the last 12 years, I've attended most of the council meetings. And I don't know how many times I've looked around the room and I'm literally the only one from the public. And that that bothers me. I really wish the community would be a little more engaged in their government. And that's where you need that that public outreach and you need to be involved in those community organizations where you're getting that constant feedback.
KPQ: You also mentioned public safety is an issue that's been raised to you from people concerned over Wenatchee being a safe place to live.
Bryan Campbell: We used to be one of those towns where a lot of people never even considered locking their doors. I mean they're just they just weren't the threats. The neighbors knew everybody. And if there was a strange person around, people knew about it and it stood out really quick and people were always watching out for you. That dynamic has changed a lot. I remember we weren't concerned about any kind of crime or safety issues. That is not the case today. People are concerned with gang activity. They're concerned with graffiti. kind of had a plan to work on cleaning up the graffiti for several years but haven't been able to enact it yet. And I'm hoping to do that. We've seen some of the graffiti stay up for months and that's just that's not acceptable. We need to get it taken care of. This sort of a mentality of defund the police has really gotten out of hand a lot of the people and the way they drive and the way they interact in the city, you can tell they're not a bit afraid of being caught. And if they are caught, they don't tend to have the consequences they should have. So there's a lot of things that can be done in order to increase that public safety and the feeling of being secure and safe. And we're looking forward to implementing some of the programs to do that.
KPQ: Is the City doing a good job addressing the needs of the homeless?
Bryan Campbell: Yeah, the city has been working hard on the homeless issue for quite some time. I know when I was in the council, they were working on some transitional housing on the south end. Recently they've had a big problem with the vehicles coming in. Most of these are people coming in from outside the area. Sometimes I think the services that you provide for the homeless might be too good when when they're encouraging people to come in from outside in exacerbate your problem. But we've have had a lot of trouble with the vehicles and the administration has done a good job of getting them relocated to lots now I believe. I don't know how many are housed it might be in the neighborhood of 40. I'm guessing that has done a great job because you don't see as many of the vehicles parked along the road. But it's obviously a bigger problem and decade's old. I've had many interviews with the homeless over the years. Back just last week, I took a couple down to the south end where they're sleeping so I gave him a ride down there. I've also talked with homeless in the past where they're just here temporarily. vehicle broke down whatever the case may be, and they're they're trying to get out of town. There's a lot of panhandling going on. The laws change where you can't have loitering laws and move people along. So I think we need to really work on that and get down to the root causes and see if we can't come up with a solution to help these people improve their lives.
KPQ: How can voters get in touch with you to learn more about your campaign for mayor?
Bryan Campbell: They can call me 509-630-0725 I like the face to face direct contact and interaction. We are working on a website and putting all that together as well but I'm I'm accessible and it would love to talk.
The August 1st primary election ballot will include candidates Mike Poirier and James McLaughlin.