I am writing this letter to encourage those that have an interest in improving the economic condition of our community to get involved in the coming local election. Having some good local political competition will result in a better community for all of us. I have not endorsed any one for the open city leadership positions. I will be waiting to see who decides to run for what positions. Electing leaders that can help create a common community vision that has leadership and negotiation skills to bring together land owners, with capital, and the right ideas to create jobs is the key to our future prosperity as a community.
Here are some of the qualities that I think are important for those that want to run for political office. First you must have thicknesses of skin. Second the ability to work with those of differing opinions and views. Third the desire to study out the best alternatives to the city problems. Fourth the ability to be a leader that has vision and the courage to do what is right for the city. Fifth, public servants should have the humility to reach out to those who have the knowledge to solve a particular city problem that they themselves do not have expertise.
I think there should be competition for every position. No one should get a free ride into a leadership position, even those that are currently serving in a leadership role. Competition will make all candidates better prepared to serve or continue to serve. A little competition makes us all smarter. Competition makes politicians get out there and meet the people in your community, and if they are elected they have connections with the community.
Just because you earned my vote last time, does not mean that you'll earn my vote this time. And don't take my vote for granted. Just because you're my friend does not mean I'm going to vote for you. And don’t make the mistake of thinking I don’t like you because I didn’t support or vote for you.
I certainly was disappointed when I ran for office and did not receive the vote and support of some of my friends. However that doesn't mean I should not like or work with them in the future after an election is over. I do. And I still like them and consider them my friends.
When I ran for public office two years ago, I remember how difficult it was. I remember many sleepless nights. I remember reading things about me in the Patch and the Courier Herald that were not true or fair. However I did have a reason for run. I am truly committed to improving the economic condition of the community and to make Enumclaw a better place for all of us to live. I felt that I had a skill set that could help the community that is why I ran.
I do get it. I think when you don't get a friends support in an election it is really disappointing. You think why in the world my friend is not supporting me. No matter whether a friend supports you or not during the election process, after the election it is important to try and work with those that oppose you during the election competition.
Democracy is the freedom of expression of speech. Democracy is the freedom to share your ideas and support who you will in a public election. It's the freedom to choose who we want to be elected, that is one of the ideals that makes this country great.
You could be great friends with somebody. You might be really good friends with your Barber. However, that does not mean your Barber friend is going make a great local politician. You might even oppose your Barber friend for running for a public position even though the person is your friend.
I am sure that my views don’t line up with some of my friends. In fact I know that we differ. However, I still think we can be friends and can work to communicate with each other, and come together on common ground to do what we can agree on for the good of the community.
Election time is the time to reevaluate all the potential candidates. One of them is your friend that's a barber may be the perfect candidate, however we all need to do our due diligence to find those can do the best job at leading the next four years..
Last month I wrote an article about some of the good things the city accomplished in 2012. I think our staff collectively at the city is working very hard for the good of all of us. They are a great bunch of people that work very diligently for our benefit. In some areas we have room for improvement. What we do need improvement on are the following: 1) Increase business revenues and sales 2) Control cost on public projects 3) Turn around enterprise fund accounts that are not self-sufficient 4) Get better community recreation use at some of our city owned buildings or lands that are currently underutilized.5) Find a better way to promote our local businesses and economy. 6) Find a better way as a community to help those with needs.
When it comes to a new term of an incumbent candidate seeking reelection we should be able to ask questions and seek to see if there are other candidates better suited for the challenges that we face at the time. This is the time we can decide to continue the course of direction or change direction as a community and this is the time to consider all options.
I think one of the most important qualities of a good politician is being willing to work with those who didn't support you in the election process. Being willing to try to communicate and try to find common ground is a very important key to success in politics. I think the people in our community that can bring a common vision for our community together, and that can bring people, ideas, and capital together to create modest economic growth and prosperity to our community are the types of people we should be looking to elect locally this fall.
Darrel Dickson, Enumclaw City Councilman