Student Spotlight

Graduate student wants to be Tenino’s mayor for a full term

February 26, 2015 by Margo Myers
Mayor Bret Brodersen talks with students

Tenino Mayor Bret Brodersen talks government with young ‘government gurus’ at the Tenino Elementary School in January.

A Brandman University MBA student and the current mayor of Tenino, Bret Brodersen, is throwing his hat into the ring, seeking re-election in November for the role he’s held since June 2013.

“It takes time to get things in place in city government, and 18 months just isn’t enough time,” said Brodersen. “I feel I can provide stability for the community by seeking a full term as mayor.” Brodersen was appointed Mayor when the previous mayor resigned.

Brodersen has worked steadily to improve the city’s financial footing and engage the business community in the town of 1,700. Tenino passed a B & O tax, with support from the Chamber of Commerce, when “businesses realized the cost of not having city services was greater than the financial cost.” The city can provide police and other services, aided by the tax revenue. “I’m also trying to bring in other services for the business community,” said Brodersen, “such as training for small business owners.”

One of his most meaningful accomplishments so far as mayor, is opening Tenino’s Quarry Pool last summer, operating it from early July through Labor Day with only a small financial shortfall for the city to make up. Brodersen said it was “very successful” and the former sandstone quarry converted to a swimming pool is one of the key outdoor activities for families and kids in Tenino. “Longtime residents place a high value on the pool, and it’s a treasured asset of the community,” he said. With funding now in the city budget for marketing, Brodersen is hopeful for greater success this summer, drawing even more people to the Quarry Pool.

Serving as Tenino’s mayor is only one of several roles for Brodersen. He’s a senior financial accountant for the state of Washington, setting policies for state employees’ travel rules and solving problems about financial processes. And he’s set to graduate in June with his MBA from Brandman University’s Lacey campus.

“The working materials in my classes are serving me both professionally and in my role as mayor,” said Brodersen. “It’s helped me facilitate various leadership roles.”

Right now, candidates can file to run for office in early May. While no one has currently filed to run again him, Brodersen is clear about what he would like to accomplish if elected to a full term. “I want to continue the improvements the city has started on infrastructure, technology advances, and financial stability,” he said. “I want to increase city revenue and help businesses improve their situation, too.”

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