Letters to the Editor

Elfers has been effective voice on Enumclaw council

I am writing to express my support for the re-election of Rich Elfers for Enumclaw City Council Position 2.

As president of the Mount Rainier Business Alliance I have had the pleasure of working closely with Rich Elfers regarding the various issues affecting the business community here in Enumclaw. When the MRIBA started Rich was one of the first council members to reach out and ask a simple question of our group. That question was “How can I help?” Over the past three years Rich, more than anyone else, would consistently stop into my business seeking input from the MRIBA on various issues that were before the City Council. He never came in trying to sell me his point of view. He simply wanted to learn how his votes would impact both the business community and the citizens of Enumclaw.

I appreciate his desire to fully understand an issue before jumping one way or another based on who was the loudest person in the room. I want to take a moment to point out just a couple of things Rich has done that warrant my support for a second term:

As a fiscal conservative I very much appreciate Rich’s focus on making sure the city is financially sound. His role as chairman of the Finance Committee has been used to make sure that our city stays within its budget without losing the core services we have come to expect of our town. There are very real budget issues facing the city of Enumclaw and I want someone who is going to strike a balance between the money available and the quality of life living in Enumclaw provides. I know that Rich is that type of person.

Rich also serves on the Expo Committee. His tenure there has been one of total dedication to seeing the Expo Center get in the black. Prior to joining the committee the Expo Center was burning through money like a house on fire. His work, along with Mayor Reynolds and Kristen Damazio, has closed an annual operating loss from several hundred thousand dollars to what looks like around $30,000 in just 18 months. Just look at the fiasco of our federal government to gain some perspective on how difficult this is to accomplish in the public sector.

I could write about several other specifics but you get the picture.

In closing I strongly believe Rich Elfers deserves a second term. The work he does isn’t glamorous and doesn’t garner amazing headlines. It is the steady work of a dedicated public servant that has chosen to use the extra time of his retirement to try and make a difference in the lives of you and me. None of these people are paid more than a token stipend. The job is often thankless and done while the rest of us enjoy our football, popcorn and families. For these reasons I think it would be a tragedy to “fire” a man after all he has done to protect your tax money and quality of life in Enumclaw.

Charles Bender



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