Richard Elfers

Be vigilant against emotions hijacking your votes | Rich Elfers

Same-sex marriage. This is the most recent, commonly used hot button that is rallying the troops on either side of the political spectrum. The topic raises people’s blood pressure, cause the veins in their necks to pop out and reddens their faces.

Editorial | Ask what you can do for your city | Rich Elfers

“Plan with the end in mind.” This is one of the seven points in the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. I think it applies to the recent decision by voters to go with the King County Library System rather than keep control of our own library. There were two different and competing visions for Enumclaw in that close vote. Consider the two perspectives, because how Enumclaw will look 20 years from now will depend on which vision is accepted by the residents.

Editorial | Economy in precarious position | Rich Elfers

It was October 1929 and the stock market had crashed. It was well known by the public at that time that some commercial banks had loaned money to stock speculators who had then gone to their stockbrokers and bought stocks on margin. That means they only put a small percentage of the cost of the stock down (say 10 percent) and promised to pay the balance when stock prices rose. Unfortunately for the stockbrokers, the speculators and the commercial banks, they couldn’t be repaid because the speculators had lost all their money with the crash.

Editorial | Three Emotions Determine Political Decisions | Rich Elfers

Let’s face it; we humans make political decisions based largely on emotions. We like to think we’re rational and logical, but in reality three emotions really govern our political decision-making: trust, fear and hope. Being aware of these three emotions and how they interact can help us make better decisions when we vote this fall.

Editorial | Elections bought by rich, powerful | Rich Elfers

In the first decade of the 20th century Teddy Roosevelt came to the presidency by the fluke of an assassin’s bullet. His goal as president was to regulate and control, but not destroy big corporations or “malefactors of great wealth” that had a stranglehold on the nation.

Editorial | Reflections from four years on the Enumclaw City Council | Rich Elfers

In 2009, the Nestlé company wanted to come to our town and establish a water bottling plant. Their proposal involved taking over “first rights” of Enumclaw’s water supply.

Editorial | Get elected, lose a bit of freedom | Rich Elfers

I was elected to the Enumclaw City Council in November 2008. In January 2009 I attended a workshop for newly elected officials workshop where I was trained in the art of being a good public servant.

In Focus | Pay now, or pay even more later | Rich Elfers

I watched the April 24 Enumclaw City Council meeting with dismay when the topic of funding our streets came up for a vote. Since 2007 the city has paid consultants more than $27,000 to do evaluations of our streets. The findings were that the longer we wait to fix our streets, the more it will cost us.

Be realistic about your finances before taking on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages still a raw deal | Guest Column

ARMs were created in 1982 to make borrowing easier. The advantage was low interest rates for the borrower. The Federal government wanted people to be able to buy homes because it spurred the economy. Once Americans got a new home they were likely to fill them up with washers, driers, refrigerators, and furniture. These purchases would further spur the economy, especially in the real estate industry, banks, construction, and insurance companies, creating jobs and wealth in a ripple effect.

Be realistic about your finances before taking on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Adjustable rates mortgages still a problem | Rich Elfers

Recently I received a second offer in the mail to finance the purchase of a house using a low rate adjustable mortgage (ARM). My first reaction was to think, “Déjà vu.”

What politicians say and what politicians mean are often two different things. Only experience will help you distinguish them.

Guest Editorial | The reasons for elected officials’ actions goes more than skin-deep | Richard Elfers

The first clue to find out what is going on in local government is to come to council meetings on a regular basis, at least until you understand the personalities, perspectives and agendas of the various council members. Watching the program on television at home can give you some clues, but actually observing body and facial language and tone of voice can give you deeper understanding. Much of that can only be gained by actually being in the room.

What politicians say and what politicians mean are often two different things. Only experience will help you distinguish them.