City of Chehalis Names New Public Works Director

City Council Proclaims Public Works Week

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Chehalis City Manager Jill Anderson announced that Lance Bunker will be the new permanent public works director for the city at Monday’s city council meeting.

For several months before the announcement, Bunker served as interim public works director for the municipality.

“Lance has spent more than 16 years with Thurston County working on a variety of street projects in a variety of capacities,” Anderson told the Chehalis City Council. “In fact, before this, he also spent some time in recreation for the City of Bellingham and at the City of Chehalis as an intern early in his career.”

Anderson touted the fact that Bunker has local ties, noting that his father is active and known in the community and his brother has been responsible for the signage at Recreation Park.

“We consider it a real privilege to have Lance as part of our team,” Anderson said.

She went on to praise Bunker’s performance so far with the city.

“While he was serving as the interim public works director — after only being here for only a couple of months — he really distinguished himself,” she said. “And he earned the respect of his colleagues by the way that he dealt with issues, by the way that he communicated and the way that he approached things head-on.”

Anderson expressed confidence that Bunker would be an asset to the city in a long-term capacity.

“So Lance, congratulations,” she said. “Thank you so much for being able to step up and take on this role.”

Prior to Anderson’s announcement, Mayor Tony Ketchum presented Bunker with a proclamation that made the week of May 16 “Public Works Week” in the City of Chehalis.

“Public works is one of those unsung heroes,” Ketchum said. “We hear a lot about first responders all the time, but if it wasn’t for all the entities of public works, they wouldn’t have the roads to get where they go and they wouldn’t have the water to put the fires out. So they get their special moment this month.”

Reading from the proclamation, Ketchum said, “Public works professionals focus on infrastructure, facilities and services that are of vital importance to sustainability and resilient communities, and to the public health and high quality of life of the citizens of Chehalis.”

He said such infrastructure, facilities and services could not be provided without the dedicated effort put in by public works professionals — those who are responsible for building, improving and protecting the city’s transportation, water supply, water treatment and wastewater water systems, along with public buildings and other structures and facilities essential for Chehalis citizens.

“It is in the public interest of our citizens to gain knowledge to maintain a progressive interest and understanding of the importance of public works and public works programs in the City of Chehalis,” Ketchum said.