Category: City Council

Happy Birthday, George Washington, Centralia Founder!

If there’s any decent place in this world, I’m Going to find it!

George Washington, Founder of Centralia, Born August 15, 1817.

George Washington, a young African American man from Missouri, said this phrase before platting Centralia (formerly known as Centerville) in Lewis County, Washington. George Washington, the son of  a black slave and a white woman of English descent, George crossed the continent on the Oregon Trail and settled where the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers converge.

In these highly charged and political times, we must embrace our past and look at the people, like George Washington, who forever changed our community and destiny for the better. It is in our shared history and appreciation for trailblazers, visionaries, and humanitarians, like George, that we find common ground to communicate, cooperate, and endeavor to solve problems together. George, and his wife Mary Jane, left a legacy from which we continue to learn. Happy Birthday, George, and thank you!

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember and candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

According to

On January 8, 1875, George Washington (1817-1905) and his wife Mary Jane file the plat that establishes the town of Centerville, soon to be renamed Centralia, in Lewis County in Southwest Washington. George Washington, a pioneer from Virginia, is the son of an African American slave and a woman of English descent. For the next 30 years, he is a leading citizen, promoter, and benefactor of the town he founds.

From the Book “Centralia: the First Fifty Years” (Pg. 213):

When the first plat of the new town, just four blocks square, was finished, George Washington and his wife, Mary Jane, took the roll of paper and drove over tot he new county seat at Saundersville, later Chehalis, to the two-story courthouse on State Street. Before John West, the auditor, and his wife, Dora, as witness, on January 8, 1875, they filed their intention to lay out a new town. It read: This town of Centerville, Iys in the North Easte Corner of Section Eight, Township 14, Range two West. I have agreed to sell lots to any person for ten dollars per lot that want them to enny actual settlers. The Streets and Alleys are as follows, West Front Street 68 feet wide, East Front Street 66 feet wide. All the rest of the Streets are sixty feet wide, Three Alleys Twelve feet wide. Said Streets and Allays are hereby dedicated as highways for Public use.

Read more from the book, “Centralia: the First Fifty Years,” and about the founding of the city of Centralia here.

Building Industry Supports Peter Abbarno for 20th District State Representative!

I am very honored by the endorsements from the Associated General Contractors of Washington and Washington Affordable Housing Council. Important endorsements like these are evidence of my past efforts to increase and improve commercial and residential construction, as well as confidence in my plans for our future growth and needs.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

AGC of Washington is the premier professional association of contractors in the State of Washington, committed to enhancing the performance of our members, representing their interests, and building a better climate for construction.

Washington Affordable Housing Council, Building Industry Association of Washington and Olympia Master Builders, supports pro-housing and pro-business candidates working on housing and construction solutions.

To create jobs and increase our housing inventory, Washington needs to reduce burdensome costs, regulations, and barriers to smart and balanced growth. I look forward to successfully working on getting Washington back to work and supporting working families..

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

Woodland Zoom & In-Person Meet-and-Greet with Rep. Ed Orcutt and Peter Abbarno

Join 20th Legislative District Representative Candidate Peter Abbarno and Representative Ed Orcutt for a meet-and-greet at Luckman Coffee on Thursday, July 9th at 6:30pm. The event can be attended both in-person and via Zoom.

The event is hosted by Darlene Johnson, Carol Rounds, Chuck Halsig, and Ben Thomas Jr. Please RSVP at for in-person and Zoom attendance.

In-Person at Luckman Coffee

You can attend the Woodland Meet-and-Greet for Rep. Ed Orcutt & Peter Abbarno in-person at Luckman Coffee Company located at 1230 Lewis River Road in Woodland.

Zoom Available

Click on the link to join the webinar: ​

Merten Ranch BBQ with House Republican Leader JT Wilcox

Saturday, July 18 at the Merten Ranch in Toledo for an outside BBQ

Merten Ranch Fundraiser on July 18 to Support the Campaign to Elect Peter Abbarno!

On July 18, Dale Merten, Tina Merten, Fred Rider, State Representative Richard DeBolt, and House Republican Leader JT Wilcox are hosting a fundraiser at the Merten Ranch located at 1011 Tucker Road in Toledo! Supporters can buy their tickets today or RSVP before July 15.

Buy Your Tickets Today!

The Event is on Saturday, July 18th at 3pm. BBQ is provided by Bonanza BBQ. The cost is $50/person. Hosts of the event include:

  • Dale and Tina Merten
  • Fred and Laura Rider
  • State Representative Richard and Amy DeBolt
  • House Republican Leader JT Wilcox

RSVP with the Campaign to Elect Peter Abbarno by July 15 at

BUY your Tickets Today!

The event is outside and social distancing will be observed. Please bring a face mask, if appropriate. Western Bandanas (face mask) will also be available.

Can’t Attend? Donate Today!

Centralia College Foundation: Invest in our Students and Future!

Last night was my last meeting presiding over the Centralia College Foundation as President. I encourage the community to continue investing in the future of our students and community.

I thoroughly enjoyed being president over the past 3 years and having the opportunity to work with a great Board and great staff to give back to the Centralia College campus, faculty, students, and the entire community. I am looking forward to remaining a board member and supporting the college and our students. Join me!

Investments in Student Scholarships!

In 2018, the Centralia College Foundation invested $776,000 in over 350 Centralia College students!! In 2019, more than 400 students received over $650,000 in scholarships and tuition waivers. This year, 359 students were offered a total of $540,000 worth of scholarships and tuition waivers!

Over the past three years, the Centralia College Foundation offered almost $2 million to Centralia College Students. Thank you to the amazing donors, sponsors, and community for supporting the Foundation’s efforts to open doors and opportunities for our students.

You can donate to the Foundation at the Foundation Donate Page!

Investment in Faculty and Programs!

Continue reading…

Letter to the Editor: Thank You Peter Abbarno for the Park-and-Ride Clean Up.

Thank you Gerry and Larry Bilyeu for the letter to the editor in the Daily Chronicle dated May 18th. The letter was in response to the Mellen Street Park and Ride and efforts to hold the State accountable.

Thank you to Bruce Foreman for his letter of April 25th regarding the RVs parked at the Mellen Street Park and Ride. It was an eyesore and certainly a sanitation and health issue.  We too, worried about the waste being thrown into the Chehalis River near there.

Thank you to Mr. Peter Abbarno for coming forward and making the necessary contacts to get the cleanup procedure started.

Thank you WSDOT for following through on the towing and clean up.

We appreciate how nice and clean the park and ride is again as of this date, May 12.

Gerry and Larry Bilyeu

The Letter was in Response to a video posted by Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro-tem and Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

Peter Abbarno posted this video one day before WSDOT cleared the Mellen Street Park-and-Ride.

The Daily Chronicle wrote numerous features on this issue that has plagued Lewis County and counties along the I-5 corridor.

Support the Campaign to Elect Peter Abbarno!

Centralia builds inclusive and accessible Borst Park playground.

On Tuesday, May 12, the City of Centralia moved forward and approved building a handicap accessible playground at Borst Park. The funds for the project come from the “Borst Construction” funds, a fund created with the use fees paid for renting park facilities, and can only be used to improve Borst Park.

I have been a strong supporter and advocate for greater inclusiveness and accessibility throughout our community. I’ve brought families and groups like SPARC, People First, Special Olympics, and the Autism Coalition to speak with city staff to share their ideas and opinions about the need for truly accessible equipment. This is a good step forward to meeting the needs of ‘all’ Centralia’s residents and visitors.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Mayor Pro-tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
Peter Abbarno speaking at the Lewis County Autism Coalition First Annual Inclusion Luncheon

At the City Council meeting in April 2018, Peter Abbarno urged City of Centralia staff to pursue “inclusion” when improving our city streets and sidewalks, parks, and when planning new playground equipment.

In May 2019, the Centralia City Council gave direction to City staff to begin planning Phase I of the Fort Borst Park Playground renovations which includes inclusive handicap accessible playgrounds and equipment for children with physical disabilities.

Continue reading…

Peter Abbarno speaks with former Monroe inmate Richard Dugger.

On May 6, Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District, spoke with former Monroe Correctional Facility inmate Richard Dugger. Mr. Dugger was released from prison by the Governor into Cowlitz County and tested positive for COVID-19.

The Governor bowed to the demands of inmates who threatened to “take hostages” and damaged the Monroe Correctional Facility. This is not the kind of leadership we need in Washington state.

According to the Governor, he released inmates from prison to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the prison. Instead, the Governor released a COVID-19 positive inmate into Cowlitz County. The Department of Corrections did not test inmates before release. Where are the Governor’s priorities?

Luckily, Mr. Dugger did the right thing. He identified that he could be COVID-19 positive and isolated himself to protect his family and others. That act should be commended.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

Join the Elect Peter Abbarno Campaign

National Police Week Honors Brave Men and Women!

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

We owe our police and law enforcement officers an unending debt of gratitude for the contributions and sacrifices they make every day to keep our families and communities safe. On behalf of my family, thank you and you have our support.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro-tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, “National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. It is a solemn occasion for America’s law enforcement officers to come together and honor their own.”

It’s important for law enforcement to have the support of our elected officials. I’m supporting Peter Abbarno for State Representative.  Peter has supported law enforcement and first responders as a City Councilmember, small business owner, and volunteer. As a State Representative, I am confident he will have our backs and help keep our communities and first responders’ safe.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza

May 7: National Day of Prayer!

Did you know? The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation”.

Each president is required by law (36 U.S.C.§ 119) to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. The fall observance was established by President Abraham Lincoln as the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. The spring observance was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 as the National Day of Prayer.

I can’t lie, I miss going to Church on Sunday since the freedom of religious expression in a church setting has been restricted by the State. However, when I get that feeling, I am reminded that Church is all around us and we don’t have to be confined by brick and mortar places of worship.

In times of crises, many people religious or not, turn to prayer and meditation for calm and understanding. This is an opportunity for all of us to think about what we have, not what we lost, and be thankful. The words “we are all in this together” are true regardless of your beliefs.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.