Who Best to Serve Yakima as Mayor — Dave’s Diary
Tonight I was sworn in for a second four year term on Yakima’s City Council. What and honor to be able to serve and have a say in the future direction for our hometown. Thanks again to all those who voted and little extra thanks to those who voted for me. Tonight the council also voted for the next Mayor and we did what I feared most. We turned our backs on the best choice to make government work for the voters.
Full disclosure--I am a personal friend of Micah Cawley and have been for many years. I first nominated him for Mayor out of friendship and out of a sense I had that he would do a good job. I nominated him a second time based on his track record of doing an excellent job. His performance should earn him a third term. There is nothing in the rules or the Charter or in any guiding document that says a person can’t serve more than two terms. There is precedent with Mayor Pat Berndt having served three terms in the early 90’s.
But now for some reason there seems to be a mini-rebellion by some against a third term. Councilman Ensey is against a third term. Why? Because. Just because. Not coincidently Bruce Smith of the local business paper is against a Cawley third term and even wrote about it in his paper. Councilman Lover says he has a problem with a third term too.
So the questions I would ask them are these. How has Micah abused his position? He hasn’t.
Who will be more active in representing as the face of the city? Nobody.
Who will do a better job running the meetings and working with the manager and staff? Nobody.
Who will do a better job of keeping the peace between various strong willed council mates? Nobody.
The answer is --Of all the current council members, Micah Cawley is best suited and has already demonstrated an excellent track record as mayor.
Why change? Why settle for a less experienced, less efficient council leader. Why add stress to staff to a working mayor/manager relationship? Why interject friction into a system that is often tense enough in the first place? Just because? Because of loyalty to a friend. Because of allegiance to an advisor or confidante?
And what about Kathy Coffey and Maureen Adkison? Coffey admits Cawley has done a good job but at the last minute says she wants the job. But on a council with just six members, Coffey can’t muster more than two votes beside her own to get the job. What does that say about a potential Coffey administration? She wanted it but it’s out of reach and she’s not happy . She's not happy about my assessment of her on the Morning News Radio Show and so now Cawley will pay. The process will pay and the best execution of local government for the people will pay.
So where does this leave us? Out of the blue Rick Ensey says he wants to be Mayor, an idea he has routinely protested and denied. Why? Why Now?
How about because - Ettl, Lover & Adkison don’t want it, Coffey can’t get it and you-know-who says it simply can’t go back to Cawley? So, the last resort is for Rick to run for Mayor, a job he has maintained he does not want, in a bid to keep it from Cawley, who by every measure has done a great job! But for what reason? What or who influences Rick?
Rick says it shouldn’t matter who the Mayor is. I get his point about nobody being bigger than the job but I still think he is wrong. We need a Mayor willing to do the maximum public outreach in a positive manner and to effectively promote what the council is working on. Rick is opposed to the plaza, mill site and just about everything else the majority of the council favors and is moving forward ! We need a mayor who can stay engaged and allow for debate at the council, something from which Rick routinely retreats. Finally we need someone who wants to do the job enough to put in the extra time and energy it takes to do it well and who isn’t going through the motions just to block someone else for some hidden agenda or political purpose.
The people of Yakima deserve so much more than that and that’s who we were elected to represent, not our friends, associates or newspaper publishers but the residents of Yakima.
So where are we? I voted for Micah, Maureen voted for Rick, Rick voted for Rick, Micah voted for Micah, Kathy voted for Rick and Bill voted for.......Micah. Locked up 3 to 3.
We then voted for assistant Mayor and Coffey won 4 to 2 and she took over the meeting and will run them until we sign on our 7th Council member sometime in the next month or two and then we'll vote again. What happens then is anybody's guess but that is such an unfair burden to put on the newcomer and it was unprofessional for us to do that....but they did.
It’s frustrating to see personal agendas get in the way of what’s best for the city, especially when it is clear that Micah is the best choice. Don’t forget Micah ran for a third term and was unopposed, the community has spoken in its support. Maybe time will let the smoke settle a little and people will be able to see straight.
There is a world of difference between Rick and Micah when it comes to style and support of city initiatives. Under the current circumstances the choice should be clear. Stay tuned.