Rich Elfers | Enumclaw City Council Position No. 5 | Thomas Mann

My goal has been to better inform the voters. Democracy only works when voters have enough information to make good decisions. This is one of the chief functions of a free press – to provide accurate information.

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  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013 2:08pm
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Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann

Editor’s note: Links to the Rich Elfer’s previous candidate articles are below. This is the last in the series, between Thomas Mann and Juanita Carstens.

Carstens would not participate in the newspaper’s series.

Morgan Irwin is running unopposed for Position 1. His opponent, Pamela Harding, withdrew from the race in September. Irwin did not submit any information.

If a resident is interested in a printed copy of the series come to the Courier-Herald office at 1627 Cole St.

Hoke Overland and Sean Krebs

Shelby DeVol and Mike Sando


This is my third and final Enumclaw City Council candidates profile. It pits Thomas Mann vs. Juanita Carstens for Position 5.

Juanita Carstens declined to submit any information for my column.

As with the other two candidate profiles, these are the words of the candidate. I have cut and pasted his submission to me to avoid bias on my part.

My goal has been to better inform the voters. Democracy only works when voters have enough information to make good decisions. This is one of the chief functions of a free press – to provide accurate information.

Thomas Mann

1. Background: Briefly describe your background and education as it relates to the Enumclaw City Council.

Prior to my retirement, I served as senior staff for Teamsters Local 174, with a membership roughly the size of the population of Enumclaw. I was part of a team which established and implemented policy items including amendments to our constitution and bylaws, operating budgets, pay levels, job classifications and healthcare and pension benefits. I attended and graduated from Madison Heights High School, attended the University of Virginia at Wise and graduated from the Anderson Area Vocational Technical School.

2. Vision: Describe how you see Enumclaw now and how you would like to see it five years from now.

Enumclaw is a picturesque, all-American City; a great place to live and raise your family. Businesses are struggling, feeling the effects of the real estate debacle which impacted every level of our economy. Supporting the Economic Development Task Force recommendations are necessary to make Enumclaw a destination city creating additional overnight accommodations with thriving downtown shops, boutiques and eateries. The senior community zoning code amendment hopefully will attract development for a major downtown project.

3. Specific areas of interest in the city if elected, and strengths you would bring to the council position.

I am interested in marketing the Expo Center as a competitive venue to compete with the nearby Muckleshoot Amphitheater and Kent’s ShoWare Center. I am also interested in sensible development and expansion, provided we have ample revenue to maintain facilities, roads and the infrastructure we are already responsible for. In my role as senior staff for the Teamster organization, my strengths included managing budgets and costs with direct contact and accountability to my constituents.

4. Contrast versus your opponent: Describe why you would be better suited for the council position than your opponent.

I really don’t know my opponent well enough to comment on her qualifications. What I do know is I enjoyed a rewarding career serving people and their families.

Again, I encourage you to save these columns until you receive your absentee ballot, which should be in your mail on or around Oct. 15. I hope you have found these columns useful.

Having served on the council for four years, I can tell you that getting the best candidates is extremely important to the future of this city. Vote carefully and thoughtfully, how you vote affects you.

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