Meet the Council Members

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The Wenatchee City Council is comprised of the following seven members:

 Councilmember Position 1

Position No. 1
Jim Bailey (2021) 

844 Kittitas Street 
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 662-2751
Email Jim

In June of 2007, Jim retired from his 38-year teaching post at Wenatchee High School. In addition to his WHS teaching duties, Jim also served as adjunct faculty at Wenatchee Valley College and Seattle Pacific University. He has served on various state-wide professional boards and committees for a number of organizations, including the Washington Education Association, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington, and the Washington State Council for the Social Studies.

Jim has offered his talents to various City organizations for the past 25 years and considers his position as a City Councilmember a stewardship responsible for protecting and enhancing the property, facilities and programs of the City. As a Councilmember, his priorities include increasing citizen input and communication to the Council, encouraging sustainable economic diversity and supporting affordable housing efforts.

Jim and his wife have three grown children and six grandchildren. He enjoys reading, hiking, biking, backpacking, alpine climbing, traveling and spending time with family. 


Esparza Ruth

Position No. 2  
Ruth Esparza (2021)

2106 Sutton Place
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 881-7253
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Ruth Esparza is a Staff Attorney with the Northwest Justice Project (NJP), in Wenatchee Washington. She graduated from Westside High School in 1995. She attended Wenatchee Valley College earing her Associates of Arts Degree in 2000. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a Political Science Degree in 2002. At Gonzaga University School of Law, Ruth earned a Juris Doctorate Degree in 2005. After graduating from law school, Ruth moved back to her hometown of Wenatchee and began to work at Northwest Justice Project representing victims of domestic violence and procuring the safety of families.

Ruth’s passion for public service drives her to serve on the Chelan/Douglas County United Way Board. She’s also an active member of the Wenatchee Downtown Rotary. She has previously served on the Wenatchee Community Center Board, the Volunteer Attorney Services Board, and she also participates in various other boards and committees, which work on social justice issues in her community. In 2005 Ruth received the Westside High School Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2008, Ruth received the Wenatchee Valley Civil Rights and Social Justice Award in recognition of her commitment to the community. In 2011 Ruth and her siblings received the Wenatchee Valley College Distinguished Alumni Award. That same year, she also received a Certificate of Achievement from the Washington State Bar Association Leadership Institute. Ruth is dedicated to mentoring young college-bound minority and underprivileged children, ranging from elementary school to high school.

Ruth moved to the Wenatchee Valley in 1984. Growing up in a modest Latino farm worker family in the Wenatchee Valley, her family struggled, as so many working poor in our state. Her personal experiences and struggles drive her to ensure that all citizens of Wenatchee be represented. She also believes that understanding the unique challenges of our marginalized communities is important to alleviating social and poverty issues within the City of Wenatchee. Having lived in Wenatchee for the last 30 years, Ruth’s priority on the Wenatchee City Council is to maintain financial security and safeguard the small town values of this community.

Ruth enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, and dancing. 

Councilmember Position 3

Position No. 3 
Lyle Markhart (2019) 

635 Kittitas Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 665-0823
Email Lyle

Lyle is a retired Link Coach operator. He worked for Link for 20 years. He took 2 years of Spanish at Wenatchee Valley College and can still speak it some. After serving the public with Link, he decided to put his people skills to use on the City Council. While at Link, he received multiple safety awards. His top priorities for the City are transportation, senior citizens, and South Wenatchee where he lives.

Lyle served on the Board of Directors for the local bowling association for 10 years and served as president of Link’s employee club. He enjoys reading, especially history, and is an avid bowler and youth bowling coach.

Lyle looks forward to learning all he can about Wenatchee and the valley, and looks forward to learning how the City is governed and to contribute to that governance. Lyle stated: “Serving on the City Council is an honor, and it's my privilege to serve the citizens of Wenatchee.” 

Keith Huffaker

Position No. 4 
Keith Huffaker (2021)

1409 Kirby Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 885-3968
Email Keith

Born and raised in Pullman, Washington, Keith moved his family to Wenatchee in 1980. He worked nights at Chief Wenatchee while attending classes at Wenatchee Valley College. Keith then worked his way up the ladder to become a forklift and line mechanic, electrician and then a self-taught computer programmer. Keith now works for Westmark industries as programmer and consultant. Westmark is very involved with product identification and data collection in the fruit industry and other packing and manufacturing businesses.

Keith’s main goal is to reach out to the citizens of Wenatchee for their input. “The tax payers of Wenatchee deserve a voice in how their money is spent. My desire is to be one of those voices for the citizens of Wenatchee. I encourage all citizens of Wenatchee to get involved in the future of our great city! I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you.”

Keith also feels he can be a great asset in helping the city of Wenatchee get back to a position of financially stability, while continuing to provide ample safety and city appeal. He believes the city of Wenatchee is going to need to live conservatively for the next few years to recover from the current state of the economy and financial position Wenatchee is currently in. “These are tough financial times not only for the citizens of Wenatchee, but all of Washington state and America. Tough choices need to be made now for the future of Wenatchee, our children and generations to come.”

Keith and his wife Robin have raised 6 children in the Wenatchee valley and now have 16 grandchildren. Robin was born and raised here and enjoys all the Wenatchee valley has to offer. She recently retired from a long career in the dental field and currently enjoys working at the Gilded Lily.

In their free time, they are members of the Wenatchee Row and Paddle club, love to walk and bike on our many trails, gardening, camping, reading, frisbee golf and attending their grandchildren’s many activities.

Mark Kulaas 2016

Position No. 5
Mark Kulaas (2019) 

PO Box 994 
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 668-2658 (h) (509) 884-7173 (w)
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Born and raised in Wenatchee, Mark is grateful for the opportunity to serve the public. He was elected in 2003, and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Mark is a graduate of Eastern Washington University and brings more than 35 years of professional land use planning experience to the Council. He also currently serves as the Land Services Director for Douglas County in East Wenatchee.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mark is currently serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Washington State Association of County and Regional Planning Directors, is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP), the Professional Advisory Committee for Eastern Washington University Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Rotary Club of Wenatchee (Downtown). He also holds the designation of Advanced Certified Municipal Leader bestowed by the Association of Washington Cities.

Mark is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Council and be part of a team of elected officials and employees who share a dedication to creating a world-class community, and believes that together we can build a better City for current and future generations.

Current Council/Intergovernmental Assignments:
• Chair, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
• City of Wenatchee Disability Board
• City of Wenatchee Grievance Committee
• City of Wenatchee Cemetery Advisory Committee
• Wenatchee Downtown Association Board of Directors

City Council Priorities:
• Our physical community should develop in a manner envisioned by our citizens for the benefit of the public as a whole and not for narrowly focused, specific interests.
• Our natural community should be protected and conserved so that the environmental qualities that make us an attractive City are not lost.
• Our social and cultural community should offer a wide range of educational, financial, housing, recreational, and entertainment opportunities for all citizens, regardless of age, economic status and cultural heritage.
• Our City services, and the finances to pay for them, should be managed in a manner that assures efficient delivery at a sustainable cost.


Linda Herald Picture

Position No. 6
Linda Herald (2019)
PO Box 844
Wenatchee, WA 98807-0844
(509) 670-0309 (c)
Email Linda

Linda has been a resident of Wenatchee and the Wenatchee Valley since 1979 where she met her husband David and has raised their two sons, John and Jason.  Linda and David have five grandchildren with whom they spend much of their time.  She enjoys camping, hiking, reading and photography.  Wenatchee has remained their home because they love the many recreational activities available and the sense of volunteerism and hospitality that Wenatchee embodies.

Linda attended Spokane Falls Community College and Wenatchee Valley College studying business.  Since 1986, she has worked in the hospitality industry and for the past twelve years has had the privilege to serve as the Director of Sales at the Wenatchee Convention Center.  Her love for tourism and the benefits it brings to our community is the reason for her interest in serving on the Wenatchee City Council.  Tourism is our second largest industry and she feels it is a key component in the solution to many of our current economic problems.

Currently, Linda serves her community in the following organizations:  Wenatchee Central Lions, Past-President, Lion Tamer, and Board Member; Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, Board Member; Wenatchee Applarians, Roundtable Member; Washington Society of Executives, Past Board Member and Associate Member of the Year.

Linda's concerns for the City of Wenatchee include resolving the outstanding debt with the Town Toyota Center, economic development, the development of Riverside Drive, promotion and expansion of our tourism base, maintaining our quality of life and safety in Wenatchee.  As a long-time resident of Wenatchee, she is very excited to serve her community on the Wenatchee City Council. 


Councilmember Position 7

Position No. 7
Mike Poirier (2019)

118 North Chelan Avenue
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 888-8007 (ext. 204)
Email Mike

Mike Poirier has a 28-year insurance career and is President of CPW Insurance, Inc. Mike graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1982 and continued his education, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1986 from Eastern Washington University with an emphasis in Recreation and Leisure Services and Business Administration. His area of priority is infrastructure for balanced growth and with keeping Wenatchee the best place to live.

Mike’s volunteer service includes volunteering in Wenatchee School District classrooms and sixth grade camp. He has been involved in land development for needed housing in the Wenatchee Valley. He has served as a board member of Hospitality House and Haven of Hope, and as Board President of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. His experiences will allow him to make the best decisions for our community, including balancing land development with the valley’s beautiful trails.

Mike loves the outdoors and uses the trails in our valley for hiking and biking with friends for daily exercise. He and his wife of 30 years, Maureen, have three grown daughters. Mike appreciates the diversity, education, and small business climate of Wenatchee. He will use his business and leadership skills to serve the Wenatchee citizens well.