Jerry Cummins has a clear understanding of this community and its people. He listens, develops clear plans based on thoughtful analysis and takes action.
He is a tireless worker who gets results. Cummins, for example, has been out front in the effort to make U.S. Highway 12 a four-lane road from Walla Walla to the Tri-Cities.
Cummins, now in his 20th year as a Council member, has served the citizens well. He is the clear choice for Council Position 4.
Cummins' challenger, Dick Swenson, is enthusiastic and passionate, but unprepared to serve on the Council.
Swenson moved to Walla Walla in 2007. He, to his credit, has thrust himself into the community, particularly the arts. He also has shown an interest in city governmnent.
It is here, however, where his knowledge is shallow and his expectations somewhat unrealistic. Swenson, for example, believes the city has mishandled the Inland Octopus sign/mural controversy, but when discussing it fails to take a strong stand either way. In the end, he believes a compromise could have been reached or, perhaps, a way could be found to make an exception to the sign ordinance in this particular case.
Swenson talks about the need for Cummins and the current Council members to have a long-term vision for Walla Walla. Yet, he doesn't seem to offer any vision of his own.
Swenson simply offers enthusiasm and a promise to work hard.
Cummins is equally enthusiastic, but his work ethic is proven with results and his understanding of city government is impressive.
Even more impressive is Cummins' willingness to listen to his constituents and then take action to address their concerns. Cummins doesn't always give folks the answer they want to hear, but he gives them an honest answer. And when a situation can be corrected, Cummins follows through to make sure appropriate action is taken.
But Cummins also shows a clear understanding and respect for the role of a Council member. He understands it's his job to set policy and it is the city staff -- led by the city manager -- that must carry out the policy.
Cummins' experience as a Council member continues to be an asset to the community. We would urge voters to re-elect him to a sixth term.