Last week, the Sumner community was sad to hear of the passing of former Mayor Barbara Skinner. Please enjoy this tribute from current Mayor Kathy Hayden:
Did you know that I have Barbara Skinner to blame—I mean thank—for all this? For many of us, she was our mayor, councilmember and County Council representative. For me, she was also my neighbor, my friend and my mentor. She was instrumental in getting me elected on my first term to City Council, and she did not hesitate to give me “tips” on being an elected official. Two of my favorites: 1) Always dress to impress no matter where you go. You never know who you will run into, especially in Sumner. 2) Never drink beer from a can or a bottle in public; always put it in a glass.
You may or may not know that Barbara lived here all her life, going to Sumner schools, raising her family here and getting involved in everything from St. Andrews to Sumner Rotary. She could play a mean piano. She drove…well, let’s not talk about her driving. And at every Courage Classic, she’d help Sumner Rotary haul corn and pots for soup to the top of Blewett Pass to feed riders, all to help Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. That’s a big deal.
She was not one to be silent about her opinions, not at all. And she loved a good debate. Go back and look at the Council minutes when she was mayor—they often note a bathroom break at midnight. How late did those meetings go when midnight was the break? But at the end of the day, she loved all of Sumner and was always your neighbor and friend first and foremost. Maybe that’s the best tip of all.
We lost a big part of Sumner when she passed away last week. But, she left her mark, including having yours truly in the mayor’s seat. Please join me in thanking Barbara for all she did for Sumner and for each of us. I’m lifting my glass to you, Barbara!
Mayor Kathy Hayden
And, here’s Mayor Skinner’s last article in the Community Connection newsletter, printed in December 2005: