Councilman jumps into mayoral race

Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Councilman Jim Rackley announced Thursday he is running for mayor of Bonney Lake.

Rackley is the second council member to seek the job. Councilman Neil Johnson threw his hat in the ring March 27.

Mayor Bob Young has yet to declare his candidacy.

Rackley said he intends to base his campaign on improved management of the city and consensus building with the City Council and constituents.

"I want to be a mayor that works with the City Council," Rackley said. "Bob has never learned to do consensus building with the council."

Management of the city's various department directors is a central element of Rackley's bid for the job.

"Bob has never had managerial experience," Rackley said. "He has run off every department head we had. When (Chief of Police) Bryan (Jeter) left that was the last straw."

Rackley said he will emphasize neighborhood parks and trails, but not a new City Hall.

"I stridently believe we are not ready for a new City Hall," Rackley said. "If we have $10 million, it should be spent on parks and trails."

The 58-year-old councilman noted he will be a 24-hour mayor. Rackley retired from the U.S. Gypsum Company where he worked as an accountant and plant manager.

Another issue Rackley points to is expansion of state Route 410 between 214th and 234th Avenue East.

"A plan for (SR) 410 needs to be in place before there is any more expansion," Rackley said. "We need a workable plan and frontage roads."

Rackley and his wife Johanna have three grown boys and five grandchildren. They have lived in the Bonney Lake area for 16 years.

He graduated from Lakewood's Lakes High School in 1966 and the University of Puget Sound with a bachelor's degree in economics and accounting in 1978.

Rackley suffered a heart attack March 2. He said two stents were surgically implanted and an angioplasty procedure was performed.

"I'm in very good health," Rackley said. "Better than I was before."

The mayoral election will take place Nov. 1.

Along with the mayoral seat, three of the council members' seats, Johnson's, Councilman Dave King's and Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman's, will be on the ballot in November.

Johnson is running for mayor and will relinquish his at-large seat. Swatman's seat is in Ward 4, but he is considering running for Johnson's seat.

King said he is undecided whether to seek re-election in Ward 1.

The filing period for candidates with the Pierce County Auditor is July 25 to 29.

If there are more than two candidates for a mayoral or council position, there will be a primary election and the top two candidates move forward to the November general election.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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