Say Hello to Rainier’s Two Newest Council Members

Dennis C. McVey, left, and Ronnie W. Kemp are the newest additions to the Rainier City Council. 

The city of Rainier has two new city council members. 

Councilors Ron Kemp and Dennis McVey are the two newest additions to the small Thurston County town’s main leadership body. Kemp serves in Position No. 4 and McVey serves in Position No. 5. 

McVey was sworn in last August to fill a seat vacancy on the council. Kemp was elected to his post last November during the general election and replaces former council member Jonathan Stephenson. 

The Rainier City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Rainier City Hall.

The Nisqually Valley News sent a short questionnaire to both freshmen council members to get to know them better. Here are their responses. 


Name: Dennis C. McVey

Age: 78

Years lived in Rainier: 29

Originally from: California

Other public offices held: Planning Commission, Arts Commission.

Favorite thing about Rainier: Its residents.

Favorite event Rainier hosts: Roundup Days.

Interesting hobby or fact about yourself: I am no more interesting than anyone else. I am a pragmatic optimist!

What drove you to serve on Rainier’s City Council?: A desire to help the community and its residents provide a safe and pleasant life in a caring community.

What are you hoping to accomplish during your tenure?: Improve our parks and the TRY (Tenino-Rainier-Yelm) trail, establish a Rainier Parks District, continue the beautification projects (flowers, decorations, etc.), clean up derelict properties, attract new business.

Anything you’d like to say to your constituents and neighbors?: Get involved with our community, participate in the "We Love Rainier" organization, come to a council or planning commission or arts commission meeting and see who is helping to shape our community and what the goals are.

Finish this phrase: “The world would be a better place If …” : I have no illusion that anything I say or do will improve the world. I am concentrating on our city, county, state and country. Respect your fellow citizen and reach out to help those in need”


Name: Ronnie W. Kemp

Age: 73

Years lived in Rainier: Five

Originally from: I lived for 10 years outside the city limits of Rainier, 10 years in Yelm, 18 years in the Tacoma area. I grew up in Michigan moving to Washington in 1976.

Other public offices held: Precinct committee officer for Macintosh Lake Precinct

Favorite thing about Rainier: Small town atmosphere (the friendly waves you get when you are out for a walk, conversations at the post office, greetings all around town) along with the terrific Rainier schools.

Favorite event Rainier hosts: Rainier Roundup Days with the parade and activities in the park.

Interesting hobby or fact about you: I love to build and fly scale model remote control airplanes

What drove you to serve on Rainier’s city council?: With retirement I have a lot of time to donate to the city and help with improvements and growth. I think fresh ideas can come from new councilmembers.

What are you hoping to accomplish during your tenure?: I would love to see all city parks improved with more activities and improved facilities. Pocket and neighborhood parks are essential for a wholesome community attitude and sense of belonging to Rainier.

Anything you’d like to say to your constituents and neighbors?: As a city council member, it is my privilege to listen and serve the community. It is not a selfish job but one of sacrifice and dedication. 

I am available for any concerns or problems you feel need addressing. If I cannot assist you, I will do my best to direct you to someone who may be able to assist you.

Finish this phrase: “The world would be a better place if”: We respect our differences and strive to work for mutual ground.

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