Puyallup and Ruston are very different communities on the surface. But human nature in general and politics in particular can make strange bedfellows. The Puyallup City Council faced a vacancy at about the same time as Ruston a month ago, with a candidate, Tom Swanson, who narrowly lost his race being considered for the open seat. He lost the seat by only 9 votes in a much larger race than our Hedrick/Albertson race. The Puyallup contest was close enough to trigger an automatic recount, while Ruston's 8-vote spread did not.
But rather than rush to fill the vacancy as the Ruston council did, Puyallup has opened their process. They had 19 applicants, all of whom were carefully considered. Ruston may very well have experienced the same thing if the council would have allowed it. The previous time Ruston had a vacancy (under the previous administration), the council went through a deliberative process that resulted in many new faces stepping up. Engaging new interest and new voices in our political scene would have made the process worth it.
He shares his thoughts on the Tribune's editorial page today. Here is a flavor:
"If we spend the next decade mired in the personality conflicts and spiteful politics that dominate much of federal and state government, we will find ourselves on the list of communities that have been destroyed by the unnatural disaster known as unmanaged growth.
Now more then ever, it is important that we have community leaders who are willing to operate in good faith to best serve our community."
Well said, Mr. Swanson. I only wish Ruston's council members were willing to listen.