West Richland voters only have one decision to make for city government this year -- the mayoral race between Merle Johnson and Brent Gerry.
Council member Johan Curtiss will appear to have a challenger on the ballot, but Jay Bowman dropped out of the race. He announced his decision too late to remove his name from the ballot.
In the mayoral race, we find it compelling that at least three people who have held the job -- Donna Noski, Dale Jackson and Jerry Peltier -- all support Gerry.
Johnson gives much to the community, volunteering with West Richland Lions Club, Boys and Girls Club, Leadership Tri-Cities, Habitat for Humanity, Ignite Youth Mentoring and more. His community service is commendable.
However, he didn't accept our invitation to meet with the editorial board. We can't recommend a candidate who isn't first willing to help us understand what he intends to do once in office.
Gerry owns the Richland AutoCare Center, which gives him some valuable business experience and the flexibility to be a full-time mayor. West Richland doesn't have a city administrator, so it's crucial to have a mayor who can take on administrative tasks.
He has been on the city council for four years, where his priority has been economic development. It's the right focus for West Richland, a predominately residential community without enough sales tax revenue to support needed services.
The Herald editorial board recommends Brent Gerry for West Richland mayor.