WAVERLY — The biggest hurdle for mayoral hopeful Dean Soash is getting people to remember how to spell his name on the ballot.
That’s because there’s no box to check next to Soash’s name like there will be with incumbent Waverly Mayor Charles Infelt, who filed papers before the deadline.
Though Soash, 80, said he had been mulling a mayoral run for years, he didn’t get “spousal approval,” as he put it, until two days after this year’s filing deadline. But he’s still going allin as a write-in candidate, printing up mailers and yard signs and sharing his Dean Soash for Mayor page on Facebook, convinced this is the year.
“There were some things that put it over the top this time,” Soash said.
One of those issues is the historic green bridge’s replacement, which Soash has been vocal about at council meetings. He is not pleased the council plans a pedestrian-only replacement.
“I would prefer (a) vehicle (option), and that’s what I hear on the street from 85 to 90 percent” of residents, Soash said.
He knows the mayor doesn’t have a vote on the City Council except in case of a tie, but believes Infelt could show more leadership on the matter.
“I don’t know if the current mayor really has stated a position, which he would certainly have the right to do so,” Soash said. “If I’m elected, I don’t intend to be a silent mayor.”
Soash’s bigger issue, however, is the city’s taxes and utility rates, which he said are too high.
“If this campaign is successful, I can begin to go through financial statements of Waverly and find out where the money is going,” he said. “I have a fair idea, but no information on how to nail it down.”
He has a broad idea of how to lower both, he said.
“There’s some (city projects) that have to be done, but we could see if some things could be postponed. That would maybe help the tax situation a bit,” he said.
As far as utility rates, he knows he would have to wait until there’s a vacancy on the Waverly Utilities board, and said he would “appoint people with a more conservative background.”
Soash, who is “semi-retired” from his electrician business, Dean’s Light Box, spent 18 years on the city’s planning and zoning committee and said he has “a fair knowledge of city government.”
But he maintained he was not the candidate for the “country club” crowd, though wouldn’t say if he thought Infelt fit that description.
He believes this election — with three incumbent council members stepping down — was a prime time to shake up the city council.
“We’re guaranteed three new council members to replace the three that are stepping down. We could conceivably have four,” he said. “This seems to me, and a lot of people, this is an opportune time to make a major change. We can all learn in this thing together.”