Walla Walla City Council hopeful M. Rick Phillips is a longtime Walla Walla Valley resident who sees his opportunity to serve on the Council as part of the bigger picture of serving his community and ultimately his country.
Phillips, 55, is the director of property management at Coldwell Banker Walla Walla. He’s worked there since 1991 and said he’s seen first-hand how the booming housing market locally has helped the people who live in homes and the people who invest in them.
“My decision to run for local office has been developing over the last several years,” Phillips said. “My connection to the housing market and experience representing and working for private investors while striving to treat everyone equally, honestly and fairly are qualities needed ... at the City Council level.”
Phillips is running for the at-large Position 3, being vacated by Councilman Marty Huie, who is running to represent the South Ward in Position 1.
Phillips said he and his wife, Nikki, found it difficult as a young couple with children to find affordable housing when they first moved to Walla Walla — and that was in 1986.
“It has become alarmingly worse over the years,” Phillips said. “Especially these last several.”
His education from the real estate industry requires him to treat everyone “equally, honestly and fairly.”
He said his experience living and working here for more than three decades will bring a perspective that is grounded in reality.
“I know Walla Walla,” Phillips said. “I have been in the trenches in Walla Walla for many years and have grown to love the people here.”
He’s truly worked and played here as professional in real estate and in his hobby as a musician — some will know him from hosting local radio, booking the Downtown Walla Walla Farmer’s Market or hosting open mic nights.
Phillips said it truly is the people that have made Walla Walla the best place to live, although the beautiful setting helps, too.
Serving those people would be a joy to him, he said, and seeing others in the U.S. proudly serve has been inspiring to him.
“It really is the great men and women who serve our country in many capacities that inspire me to step up (and) be part of the solution process and serve my community.”
To that end, Phillips said he believes paying attention to the needs of law enforcement and emergency services is crucial.
He said “proper funding and policies” are needed to “keep the community safe.”
“Good management requires a system with strong independent parts all working together in a proactive manner for a common purpose,” Phillips said. “As a candidate, I am committed to being strong voice for all the citizens of Walla Walla on the City Council.”
You can learn more about Phillips’ campaign at councilmanrickphillips.com.