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Chapman: Change good, follow-through needed

By Staff | Nov 7, 2014

Pierce County voters should be congratulated, whether all their choices won or not. Voting is such a special process and nearly 2,000 of 2,192 eligible voters exercised the right.

In two of the three contested races in the county, voters opted for the challenger. The biggest gap was in the sheriff’s race, where challenger Josh Siegler won by a margin of 445 votes with 61.57 percent.

Sheriff Matt Lunde (723 votes, 38.11 percent) should be thanked for his service. Hopefully, we can see Siegler and Lunde work well together through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

Accountability was a major point of emphasis in all races, but specifically in this one. Siegler has a great opportunity to restore accountability. Voters are counting on him for honesty and integrity, and the public scrutiny applied to the outgoing sheriff should be continued with the new sheriff.

In District 1, Commissioner Joe Bohl was upset by challenger Mike Brossart by just 12 votes (154-142). District 1 voters narrowly approved this change, so Brossart will now need to show he can do a better job. Bohl should be thanked for his service.

For the newly elected officials, it is important that they realize the duty to be available and open to the public, even in the face of criticism. New officials should work to root out poor habits of other commissioners and officials (elected or not).

In District 5, Commissioner Dave Migler retained his seat for a fourth term. He held off challenger Joe Volk by a close gap, 227-200.

Though a change was called for in District 5 through this column, it is more important to recognize the people’s voice. Migler is an able legislator and has fought for his constituents. His dedication is appreciated. He will continue to be challenged by road and water issues to the south and his knowledge of the disaster money process will continue to be an asset. More can be accomplished and a stronger democratic representation of the people can be achieved.

Volk said he didn’t want to see another commissioner get by with an uncontested race. Volk should be thanked for stepping up and giving District 5 residents a choice.

The only commissioner vote that was uncontested was in District 3. Rick Larson won a second term. Because the people did not have another choice, it may be even more important that Larson get out and prove to voters he is worthy of the seat. His vote at the table is as important as the other four.

Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts on the election results by writing letters to the editor (not to exceed 300 words). Non-libelous, thoughtful submissions are encouraged.

Apology

I’d like to publicly apologize to Ward 1 Council Member Neil Lotvedt. I had a concern to address with Mr. Lotvedt following Monday’s council meeting and I failed to live up to my own standards of civil discussion. Though the public meeting was over, the setting was still public and therefore an inappropriate time and place to start a contentious debate. Mr. Lotvedt deserved more respect. I look forward to working with him in the future.

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