Richard Elfers

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.