Shannon Theall, who grew up in Lakeview and has lived here since 2000, is running for one of the two Lakeview Town Council seats that are up for election this November.
Theall, who is a GIS-Mapper for the Bureau of Land Management, is running because he feels that there needs to be a fresh perspective on the Town Council and he wishes to give back to the community in which he grew up.
“I have seen a gradual decline of businesses in Lakeview and I want to try to bring Lakeview back to what it used to be,” said Theall.
Prior, when Theall lived in Lakeview there were multiple sawmills, and a thriving downtown shopping district with multiple pharmacies. Since then he said he has seen all but one of the mills shuttered, and many local businesses either close their doors or reduce what they carry.
Theall wants to attract businesses and residents to the community once more, but he said that certain things need to be done first. One of these is enforcing nuisance ordinances and other ordinances that are currently on the books.
“Lakeview needs to improve its look, we need to work on our image especially when people are driving into town,” said Theall.
He plans to deal with the issue of loose dogs that run around the community. He believes an agreement can be worked out with the County on what to do with the loose dogs, as it is becoming more and more of a hazard and making Lakeview look uninviting to tourists.
“Lakeview needs to capitalize on tourism; we have pristine landscapes at our door, with different recreation opportunities to attract people to the area,” said Theall.
Theall hopes that revitalizing the community will go hand-in-hand with attracting more tourists to spend money in Lakeview. He does not believe that this will lead to a large population increase in the community, as it is fairly remote to many services. Instead he envisions tourists making Lakeview their base when they go exploring and spending money in the community renting outdoor gear and eating in local restaurants.
Part of this overall cleaning up of the community includes refreshing the parks in the community and revitalizing the buildings downtown. According to Theall, working with business owners is important, especially to improve their facades and make the buildings look more inviting. Theall feels that will be important to attract tourists to spend time and money in the community.
In the long run Theall wishes to see Lakeview return to its glory days, with multiple local stores and services so that people do not need to drive to one of the larger towns. He knows that it will take time to implement such a vision.
Theall is married to Amy Theall, and has three step-children who are in school and three daughters, with the youngest recently graduating from Lakeview High School.
He is currently running against Jay Farmen and Sandra Wenzel for two council seats. The top two vote getters will win. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.