It won’t be long before General Election ballots begin arriving in local mailboxes, and what voters in Washougal will find are eight City Council candidates — all with very different backgrounds and viewpoints on local issues.
During the past three weeks articles profiling these candidates have been published in the Post-Record, and four of those individuals stand above the rest.
When considering the Washougal City Council elections, voters should cast their ballots for Rod Morris (Position No. 2); Joyce Lindsay (Position No. 4); Jennifer McDaniel (Position No. 5); and Molly Coston (Position No. 7).
In the Position 2 race, incumbent Rod Morris is the clear choice against Caryn Plinski. Morris possesses the experience of 16 years on the council, during which time he has demonstrated balanced decision making and thoughtful consideration of the issues that are important to the citizens of Washougal. He also has shown a general willingness to work with his fellow council members, even those he may disagree with.
And while Plinski seems to have enthusiasm directed toward a run for the seat, she lacks knowledge of the issues or distinct opinions on how Washougal can and should move forward successfully.
In Position No. 4, Michael Delavar’s experience of two years on the council does not outweigh Joyce Lindsay’s clear passion for Washougal and her desire to keep the city on the right course. Lindsay has done her homework. From mailing out questionnaires to citizens, knocking on the doors of residents, and setting up meetings with business owners and local officials, she has set out to understand what the city’s constituents think about local issues. Her life experience, which includes owning a small business, will serve her well as a councilwoman.
Delavar, on the other hand, has spent a good deal of his efforts on City Council championing state and national issues that Washougal doesn’t need to spend its time addressing. While topics including immigration, abortion, the ethics of using stimulus funding and the state and federal deficit are important, they are best tackled in different arenas.
In Position No. 5, while Niki Anderson has that hometown spirit and seems to truly want to listen to and give back to her community, incumbent Jennifer McDaniel has served the city well during her first term in office by working hard, weighing the issues and making the best decisions she can — even when they are not always popular with all of her fellow council members. Her style is quiet, civil, and straight forward, yet strong and authoritative. She should be allowed the opportunity to continue to serve the city.
In another election, against a different opponent Anderson might be the choice to serve. But in this election, she doesn’t offer enough reasons to unseat McDaniel.
Sitting in Position No. 7 since May 2005, Molly Coston has consistently been a diligent, hard working council member, who stays abreast of the issues and votes her conscience. Although her desire to have a City Council that works together better and more efficiently is noteworthy, she could stand to take a harder stand on issues of importance.
Coston’s challenger Connie Jo Freeman seems enthusiastic about becoming involved in the city, and wanting others to be involved. But she falls short when it comes to having a real knowledge of the issues, or offering ideas on how to solve problems impacting Washougal. Coston, by contrast, has earned a second term on the council.