Dialed In: Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins has love of public services - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dialed In: Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins has love of public services and of adventure

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PASCO, WA - He's a Hanford contractor cubicle-dweller by day and a public servant by night - and most days, too. Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins is the truest form of a Tri-Citian: he was born and raised in the region and grew up to have a deep love of all three cities and for adventure.

Watkins' family has deep family roots in the Tri-Cities. Some of his grandparents ended up homesteading and starting a farm north of Pasco. Watkins moved to Kennewick as a child and graduated from Kennewick High School, eventually moving to Pasco because of "close proximity to quality tacos," good mortgage rates and a diverse culture.

Watkins has been volunteering in the Tri-Cities for years. He has served on Pasco City Council for over a decade, much of that time spent acting as Mayor. He credits strong familial support and his volunteerism for the easy transition into local politics.

Watkins posts fairly regularly to his blog, Matt Meandering the Blue Marble, about exciting motorcycle scavenger hunts that have taken him all over north America. A 2015 motorcycle vs. sheep accident was well-publicized and got him thinking about a 'safer' hobby. So, Watkins took up flying. However, he shared publicly, for the first time, that his flight instructor failed a maneuver and ended up 'pancaking' the plane in June 2016. He and the pilot walked away from that crash. 

Mayor Watkins has roughly two and half years left of his term on Pasco City Council and says he may re-think his future at that time. He hopes to do some world traveling and gain some perspective.

In addition to serving on Pasco City Council, Watkins is the board chair for Ben-Franklin Transit, has helped with Franklin County Emergency Management and also serves on the Tri-Cities Public Facilities District.

"The hook is deep to do community service just probably in a few years I will be doing it a different way," said Watkins.

(Click the video to watch the full interview.)