Eight years ago we moved to Walla Walla to be here for the birth of my first grandchild. We had visited here many times before and thought it would be a great place to retire. For the first four years I was such a cheerleader for Walla Walla people often teased that I sounded as though I was working for the city's Chamber of Commerce.
However, these last four years have been disappointing and I've kept a low profile in my praise. I still love living here because of good friends, good cultural and art experience ... and now two grandchildren, but I have become disillusioned with whomever is in charge of any "vision" for our city.
The "great mall fall" has hurt the town's image in many ways. Now, there is question about the viability of the new retirement center at the edge of town. I go by it nearly every day and see little or no progress. We have a city manager with a six-figure salary while our programs to those with low or no income are in constant need of funding.
Our roads are only beneficial to those in the tire replacement and alignment business. Our Pioneer Park Aviary is always just a hair's width away from closure.
And so as the election process for new Council and Port commissioners began, I was thinking of doing something I have never done ... just not voting.
Then I heard that Mary Lou Jenkins was one of the candidates for City Council.
For the first time in four years I felt that we might have a chance at some new thoughts, some new vision on that Council. She admits she is "far from polished" but is willing to learn and grow and be available to the residents of Walla Walla.
I know that she is a person of integrity with a strong work ethic. Personally, I feel it's time to give a new voice and a fresh face a chance. She's getting my vote!