I will be voting for Randal Son. So what, you might ask. Or better, you might ask, Why?
First, I am voting for Randal as he seems to be the only candidate who will be a full-time commissioner. He pledged this in his letter to the editor published in the July 24 issue of the U-B.
In that letter he also committed himself to “opening up” the activity of the commissioners. Today much of the activity of the county commissioners (and City Council) only permits individual participation on an advisory level. Presumably, our government is too complicated for ordinary citizens to participate in.
Son has pledged to make the workings of the budget conflict prone county government (due to the state’s structuring of that government) understandable.
In the July 17 “election” issue of the U-B, all the candidates answered six questions in 150 words or less. Here he responded, “inclusive and forward-looking Commissioners can encourage partnerships between citizens’ organizations and county departments.”
Second, he seems to have a vision of a commissioner’s responsibility that recognizes that commissioners are employees of all the taxpayers of the county — rural, business, retirees and just us ordinary folks.
We are the ones for whom they work. It seems that no one who is elected to county or local office has any responsibility to meet any performance criteria or explain in easily accessible forums why they make the decisions that they do. I believe Randal has made such a commitment in noting that he would publish regular Commissioners’ Reports. Having worked on a Community Council Study on Communications Between Government and Citizens, I believe we should expect our local governments to explain frequently and thoroughly why they do or don’t spend our money the way they do. Randal is committed to behave this way.
He is also committed to transparency in our local government that for reasons of size we can never expect in state or federal government. He has experience in working at jobs that pay a salary. And he has managed such employees. He has pledged to work as hard as business owners and wage earners who are providing for their families, and paying taxes.
Lastly, the issue of “safety” always comes up in elections. Walla Walla is the safest community in which I have ever had the privilege of living. He will maintain this.