By Pat Jenkins
Time is marching on, and Bob Schaub wants to spend some of it on things other than government.
Schaub has decided that a combined 16 years of being a decisionmaker for Eatonville – 12 years as a Town Councilman and four years as a member of the Planning Commission – are enough. He didn’t file for re-election to the council when candidates for this fall’s election could sign up in May, and he’ll step down at the end of the year.
“I’m 70 now. I just need to take things a little easier now. It’s time to let somebody else do it,” Schaub said.
By leaving office, Schaub also avoids the possibility of being part of a council that would vote yea or nay on proposals by a mayor who could be his son, Mike Schaub. “That would have been awkward,” the elder Schaub said.
Mike Schaub, currently the town’s elected treasurer, is one of four candiates running for mayor in the primary election in August. The top two in that race, which also involves Bud Lucas and council members Gordon Bowman and Jim Valentine, will face off in the general election in November.
Bob Schaub said he’s backing his son. “I have to,” he quipped, but added, “He’s a good candidate. He has a lot of experience on the financial side of running a town. This town can use that.”
Bob Schaub has been openly critical of some of Eatonville’s financial management under Mayor Ray Harper, who isn’t seeking re-election. For that reason, Schaub is supporting Bob Walter in the race this fall for the council seat he’s giving up. Harper is the other candidate to replace Schaub, who thinks Harper should have stepped aside and let “new blood” become part of the town’s elected leadership..
“The mayor has had his time, and we’ve had some problems with him,” Schaub said. As an example of disagreements he and others have had with Harper’s administration, Schaub cited the transfer of private donations for the Bud Blancher Trail project to other uses. The state auditor criticized that management of funds, and the town is in the process of replenishing the trail money.
Schaub said Walter is “knowledgeable and hard-working. He has helped the town” with his contracted animal-control services, all reasons why “I’m endorsing him.”
Schaub is leaving public office but not community activism. “I’ll still get involved once in a while with (community and town) projects,” he said. One he’s helping is the effort to enlist volunteers to take care of hanging flower baskets that the town is struggling to provide manpower and resources to water and maintain.