The U-B’s endorsement of Jim Johnson is of no surprise whatsoever. During my meeting with the editorial board, its members were at times argumentative and other times did not show any interest in points I wanted to make.
I came out of that meeting with the feeling their minds were made up before I walked in the door.
In regard to the mall and my idea of building a hotel/casino on the site: I told the board from the very beginning that creating jobs in this county was my number one goal. If a hotel/casino COULD be built, imagine the construction jobs that would be created to build it. Then imagine the blue- and white-collar jobs created to run it. On top of it all, there would be a new source of property and tourism tax dollars created. The “out of the box” reference is toward my ideas for economic growth in Walla Walla County. Ideas that I don’t see proposed by anyone else.
In respect to the budget: My newly expanded seven-member budget committee would work with each department to review their budgets — line by line. If budget items are not needed in the coming year, then take them out. If they are, work to properly fund them. To me, it’s an efficient way to budget how the county will spend your taxpayer dollars.
To the editorial board: You would think I was creating a new accounting standard. I’m not sure how job creation and efficient budgeting are bad things, but the editorial board sure sees it that way.
In conclusion, I have but one request of the citizens of Walla Walla County — please vote. From the president down to county commissioner, this is an important election year and everyone should have a say in electing our leaders.