PORT ANGELES — Sheila Roark Miller, a county code compliance officer, and incumbent John Miller were leading the pack of five candidates in the primary election for Clallam County’s director of community development post.
Roark Miller, 51, of Carlsborg, received the most votes Tuesday, getting 4,243, or 31.29 percent of the vote, while incumbent John Miller, 61, of Port Angeles, took 4,071, or 30.02 percent.
Alan Barnard, 65, of Port Angeles, received 2,828 votes, or 20.85 percent, while Timothy Woolett, 54, of Port Angeles, had 1,358 votes, or 10.01 percent, and Sean Ryan, 48, of Port Angeles, had 1,061 or 7.82 percent.
In the top-two primary system, the two candidates with the highest number of votes, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
Roark Miller, who is not related to John Miller, was reluctant to be too celebratory, but said she was appreciative of the votes she had received so far.
“I want to thank everyone who opened their doors to me and opened their yard for signs and for all the support I have received,” she said.
“I also want to show appreciation to all the other candidates and their families for the long process we have gone through.”
Roark Miller said that before developing a full strategy, she would await the final results.
John Miller, who is seeking a second term, said that, as the incumbent, he was surprised to come in second, but was ready for the race ahead.
“I’m surprised at the results, and I have my work cut out for me in the general election, but I’m ready,” he said.
He said he would talk to more people and get more signs to those who wish to display them, adding that he noticed Roark Miller had distributed more signs than he had.
Ballots were mailed to 45,796 registered voters across Clallam County. The Clallam County Auditor’s Office counted 16,459 ballots Tuesday night.
Another 3,690 ballots were in hand that were not counted Tuesday, for a total of 20,149 ballots returned, or a rate of 43.98 percent so far, and will be included in the next count on Friday, county Auditor Patty Rosand said.
She expected a large number to arrive on Wednesday and Thursday and was still estimating about a 50 percent return rate.
The nonpartisan, countywide community development director position pays from $64,2111 to $70,877 annually, depending on the number of years in office.
The director oversees a budget that in 2010 is $3.44 million with 32 employees.
The primary duties are enforcing and advising county commissioners on laws related to land use permits, land and shoreline development, natural resources, zoning, building and fire codes, mining and agriculture.
It is the only such position that is elected in the state, and one of few — if not only — in the nation that is elected.
John Miller’s opponents have said he should provide better customer service.
He has responded that in 3 ½ years, DCD has removed 4,000 junk vehicles, and “we have not denied one building permit in this county.”
Roark Miller, a Clallam County code compliance officer and deputy fire marshal, said she would work to make the department more efficient and provide more training to the staff.
Barnard, a real estate broker and agency owner, has emphasized his background in business and management, calling the position primarily a management job.
Woolett, who works in land use planning, emphasized that he has been on “both sides of the desk” as a developer and planner.
Ryan, a small business owner and a Clallam County Fire District No. 3 volunteer firefighter, said he would like to reassess the processes in the department.
__________Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.