The two candidates running for the open seat on the Walla Walla City Council could both handle the job.
But Richard “Dick” Morgan stands out as the best choice for this spot for a variety of reasons, starting with the impressive way he has prepared himself to serve if elected.
Morgan, a career employee with the state Department of Corrections, worked his way up through the ranks from correctional officer, to captain, to superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary and state director of prisons (with several stops in between). He retired in 2010.
He said his goal is to use his experiences to give back to this community through leadership.
Morgan has been attending City Council meetings, asking questions and reading to familiarize himself with the challenges the Council will face now and in the near future.
Morgan’s long career with the DOC gives him a firm grasp of working within government structures as well as understanding how to get things done. Morgan is intelligent and takes the time to study issues before taking a firm stand.
Dr. Robert (Rob) Smith, an anesthesiologist, also has a lot to offer. He, too, is intelligent and clearly well qualified to serve on the City Council.
Smith has not spent the amount of time Morgan has immersing himself in the details of city government. But Smith appears to be a quick study so he would be just fine if elected.
Smith envisions his role on the Council as someone who can bring people together. He has experience in medical administration that presented him with challenges similar to what he believes Council members might face.
His interest is in lighting a fire under Walla Walla’s economy to diversify it and help it grow. His goal is to see Walla Walla become a community that his children would want to return to as adults.
Smith’s confidence in achieving this goal is admirable, but it’s also unrealistic. City government’s role isn’t economic development, it’s providing services the people cannot provide for themselves.
Morgan is a better fit in that important role. Morgan showed a strong grasp of the nuts and bolts of local government.
Still, Smith would do a fine job. If he were not running against such an outstanding candidate, he would easily earn our endorsement.
Dick Morgan will do an excellent job and is our choice for Position 2 on the City Council.