McKinley Street resident Brian Casey has called Walla Walla home his entire life and said the city’s work is important to him.

Casey lists himself as a farmer, business owner and family man in his campaign information.

“I was born into dry land wheat farming, learned circle irrigation and eventually added irrigated row crops — Walla Walla sweet onions and asparagus. I learned to produce, process, label, market and ship my products,” he said.

He’s farmed throughout the Walla Walla Valley. Farmers, Casey emphasized, are the lifeblood of Eastern Washington, supplying locally grown food and bringing new business.

The plan is to bring this kind of experience to Walla Walla City Council’s Central Ward position. The timing is right, as Casey finds his business in agriculture decreasing in demand and with his children grown, he said.

“As my grandchildren are growing up in this city, I hope to make a positive difference for our future here.”

Casey and his wife, Jane Casey, have three daughters and a son, all of whom live with their families here.

Housing is a priority for the candidate. Planning for that must be critically considered for future growth while keeping in mind development that allows Walla Walla’s small town feel and overall composition to continue, he said.

“Other issues that we face are homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction, which are also very complex problems and touch so many of our citizen’s lives.”

For the past 13 years, the farmer has been working with the Walla Walla County conservation district, the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency through the United States Department of Agriculture.

He also works with private landowners in developing wildlife habitats.

“For over a decade now, I have been installing creek bank restoration projects- planting native trees, shrubs and grasses, to create buffer zones that preserve fish and wildlife, as well as enhance water quality.”

Running for and winning a City Council seat, starting with the primary election on Aug. 3, will allow him to address these and other issues facing Walla Walla and to bring a “common sense” approach to solving them, Brian Casey said, adding he believes an ability to listen to all sides of situation and problem solve in a way that works for all will benefit his constituents.

“We must engage in well thought out planning in both the development of our land and the use of our water,” he said, noting that fully supporting law enforcement is also critical.

The lifelong resident treasures the atmosphere of Walla Walla, he said, including the geographic assets of the area, its prize-winning downtown, lauded restaurants and excellent wineries.

“I love the friendly and diverse population in this city. The people are what makes this a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers health, social services and city government in Milton-Freewater, Athena and Weston in the Walla Walla Valley.

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