Projekt Bayern held their annual membership meeting at Kristall's Restaurant on Dec. 4 in Leavenworth. Unlike perhaps previous membership meetings, this meeting was attended around 75 people. It appears some were spurred to attend the meeting at the behest of Arlene Wagner, the founder of the local Nutcracker Museum, who wrote a letter critical of Projekt Bayern, which was later posted on Facebook. It encouraged people to attend the meeting. In her letter, Wagner accused Projekt Bayern of not allowing a vote for board members in 2013. She said several month ago, she attended a "hearing" of a member who had questioned some actions of the board which did not follow the bylaws.
It was the most contested election in recent memory. There were contested races for Leavenworth mayor and city council, and also for the Cascade School Board. The primary revealed there could be some changes coming, as the electorate appeared to be changing. And the general election revealed those same voting trends continuing. For the city of Leavenworth, Cheri Kelley Farivar easily won reelection, overcoming the last minute write-in candidacy of Craig Hess. As of last Friday, Farivar had 511 votes and Hess 242. For council races, the biggest surprise was Margaret Neighbor's upset of 12-year council member Tibor Lak. And voters also chose newcomer Mia Bretz over retiree Ray Laramie. The race between incumbent John Bangsund and challenger Gretchen Wearne is very close, with Wearne holding a 31 vote lead. "I think it is about what I expected to see. My election affirms I am doing a good job for the residents of the city. However, I am very surprised at some of the council races," Farivar said of the election. "That much of a change in the makeup of the council is going to change much of the discussion the council has about things important to Leavenworth."