One of the great clichés in newspaperdom is the “get out and vote” editorial that appears religiously every election season.
Editorial boards coast to coast preach the importance of making one’s voice heard, pointing out how others in the world are literally dying for the opportunity to cast a ballot. There’s no unique way to preach the message.
But, still, we try.
This year’s round of mayoral elections should have voters flocking to the polls in Black Diamond, Sumner and, certainly, Enumclaw in between. It’s been a long time since three races of such vital importance were running simultaneously. In each case, an incumbent mayor is being challenged by a sitting member of the city council and, in each town, a changing of the guard will surely bring change to city hall.
Black Diamond voters, with their city on the cusp of great change, will give longtime mayor Howard Botts four more years or choose Rebecca Olness.
The once-sleepy town is in for a major upheaval with a pair of YarrowBay developments coming full speed ahead. The city isn’t the only entity about to be rocked by change, as the Enumclaw School District is looking at a potential population boom, but Black Diamond’s voters are the one’s now deciding who will lead them into perilous new waters.
Enumclaw features a mayor race that has gotten personal, as John Wise seeks a third term and Councilwoman Liz Reynolds looks to oust him from office. Each has had the opportunity to take shots at the other, and made the most of those chances.
Voters will either support the course set by Wise and give him the opportunity to carry out an agenda already in place, or determine the city is headed in the wrong direction and vote to change captains.
Things have gotten personal in Sumner as well, with public charges of sign-stealing reaching the chamber of the city council.
The scenario is similar to that found in Enumclaw. Sumner voters will decide if they like the direction their city is headed and retain Mayor Dave Enslow, or make a philosophical break and elect Councilman Matt Richardson.
The candidates with the biggest smiles this season surely must be Neil Johnson and Pat Johnson, the unrelated mayors of Bonney Lake and Buckley, respectively. Both are running unopposed, assured of an easy stroll to four more years in office.
The Courier-Herald long ago decided against making political endorsements, instead choosing to let voters gather information, consider the pros and cons of each candidate and then make an informed choice.
This year, more than ever, it will be a tough decision with long-lasting consequences.