Dominick Elia has done an excellent job as a member of the Walla Walla City Council.
Elia is a fiscally conservative, pragmatic leader who understands Walla Walla and its residents well. Elia takes the time to fully understand issues and get community input before taking action.
Once Elia has taken a position, he is willing to advocate for it with passion. He isn't afraid to be a lone voice on an issue if he believes his stand will benefit the public.
Elia was the only member of the City Council to originally favor merging the city and county planning departments. Elia felt a merger would increase efficiency and save money, so he continued to push forward. Eventually, he persuaded the other Council members to see it his way. The departments merged and the result has been a success.
Elia is as energetic and committed to his work as a City Council member as he was when he was first elected 20 years ago.
He is a partner in two local businesses and brings that important perspective to the Council.
Elia faces a strong challenger for re-election in Mary Lou Jenkins.
Jenkins has experience in business and social services. She has deep roots in the community and has been involved in a broad spectrum of activities. Jenkins would bring valuable perspectives to the Council.
Jenkins' understanding of city government is, at this point, modest. However, she is clearly a quick study and could in a short period of time get up to speed.
Jenkins has the right demeanor to serve on the Council. She is willing to listen to concerns and gather information necessary to make reasoned judgment. She also has the confidence and tenacity necessary to be a successful Council member.
But, in the end, we see no reason not to re-elect Elia to the Council. He has done an outstanding job for two decades and has earned another term.
If Jenkins were elected, we are confident she would do a fine job. If she is not elected this year, we would hope she would make another run at a Council seat when three more positions come up for election in two years.
At this point, we see Jenkins as a good choice and Elia as a better choice.
We recommend Dominick Elia be re-elected to a sixth term on the Walla Walla City Council.