What happens in the courthouse...

Unless explicitly noted otherwise, this blog represents my own opinions, not those of any organization (like the Kittitas County Democratic Party) that I might be involved with.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throw-back Thursday: the Daily Record's 2010 take on the commissioners race.

On October 28, 2010, less than a week before the election, the Ellensburg Daily Record ran an editorial about the race for county commissioner, which was an earlier version of this year's contest.

The editorial endorsed, in a way, Obie O'Brien, noting that "O'Brien would likely go along with the current board."

That was certainly the case once Mr. O'Brian got elected, and as a result the Board of County Commissioners got involved in a number of misadventures. It pursued the ill-advised Armory remodel project that is 200% over budget and unnecessarily paid $51,000 per acre foot in borrowed money to deposit water in the county-run water bank. Led by Obie, the commissioners approved, then botched, the marijuana policy roll-out, upsetting just about everyone.

Mr. O'Brien was directly responsible for the last two problems, and he's been struggling to fix the latest one by trying to modify the county code yet again in an effort to placate angry voters in an election year.

The editorial concluded that "O'Brien is the more comfortable choice," but it didn't work out that way.

To be fair, the editorial did acknowledge that there is value in "critical questioning and some level of dissension," which is what I would have brought to the board. Even though I'm pretty sure that, through critical question and, when necessary, dissension, I would have prevented any of those problems from happening if I had been elected in 2010, it's just as well that I wasn't elected then.

Why? Because I'm a much better candidate now.

Here are some of the ways in which I am a much better candidate: a series of experiences examples of leadership that are directly relevant to our situation in Kittitas County.

In the past few years I have been an officer in three different startup companies, two of which -- both in Kittitas County -- are still operating.1,2 I have continued my involvement in the community, leading a bipartisan inquiry into the long-running problem of the middle school in Ellensburg, and most recently as a member of the Team for a Common Vision, working on a solution to the same problem. While doing all this is I have helped guide an expansion of my family's farm following the death of my father.

These are all activities that have prepared me to address the most critical problem in Kittitas County: the need to attract and grow family-wage jobs.

It will be interesting to see what the Daily Record writes about the election this year. Mr. O'Brien has had a difficult term, while I have made good use of the time to become better able to serve Kittitas County at a very critical time.

1In the startup world, being successful in two out of three attempts is considered an extremely good record.
2The business that I am still involved with, the Cascadia Carbon Institute,  does international technical advising and consulting in the renewable energy and industrial chemical space.

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