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Pos. 2: Retiree vies against challenger

An incumbent retired Benton PUD executive and a small-business manager who serves as vice chairman of the Richland Parks & Recreation Commission are vying for Richland City Council Position 2.

Ed Revell, 70, was appointed to the council in February 2006 and has served as mayor pro tem since January 2008.

He had a 40-year career in management as a civilian for the Department of the Navy, Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration and most recently Benton PUD, before retiring in 2006 as the utility's director of retail services.

Revell, a 26-year Richland resident, also has decades of community service under his belt, including volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-Columbia Symphony Board, Benton Franklin Boys & Girls Club, Rotary clubs and several economic development organizations.

Revell said voters should re-elect him because of his breadth of experience and the time he has available to fulfill council duties.

He also said his experience with electric utilities is valuable to the city, which is the only one in the area to operate its own electric utility.

"I feel like a lot of the experience I have is different than other council members," Revell said.

But Brad Anderson said he decided to challenge Revell because he believes Revell isn't much different than other council members, and he believes more diversity of background is needed.

Anderson, a Richland native, is a manager for Total Energy Management, where he has worked for 11 years. Prior to that, he was in the sheet metal trade. He volunteers for Christ the King Church, where his wife works as the school principal, and the Richland Jaycees.

"I am looking for bigger and better ways to get involved," Anderson said. "Volunteer work has meant so much to me, and it's a way to give back. This is a community I care about and love so much and want to see move forward."

He said his private business experience and youth would add something to the council that isn't already there.

"I believe diversity of representation is essential," Anderson said.

In particular, Anderson said he sees too many retired people and too many people associated with Hanford, and believes someone should be there to speak for the city's young families.

"I really do think it's important to have representation from Hanford because it's the area's largest employer," Anderson said. "We do have John Fox, who is a Hanford retiree. The current front-runner to replace Sheila Sullivan is a Hanford retiree. Bob Thompson is a lawyer. Sandra Kent is a current Hanford lawyer. The only private business person is Dave Rose, who also is older. Nothing against older people, but we know we have a growing number of younger families in Richland. ... I want to be able to reach out to a group of people I don't feel are represented and give them a voice as someone who is approachable on a day-to-day basis."

Revell acknowledges the council is lacking younger members, but said Anderson needs more "seasoning" before he's ready to serve on the council.

"When I look at Brad, I see myself at age 37," Revell said. "When I was 37, I was doing the same things he was doing. I had just started getting engaged with kids' sports and Scouts. ... My concern is it all comes down to how can you divide your time up? When I was that age, I could only allow so much time for outside activities. I had to work to earn money. When I joined the city council, in the first year I was averaging probably 100 hours a month."

The issue of youth vs. experience has made the campaign one fraught with tension after Revell said during a public meeting he believed former Parks & Recreation Commissioner John Butterfield may have been pushed out because of his age. Anderson, along with Kent, recommended replacing Butterfield with Tony Maya because they said Maya gave the better interview.

Anderson said he started getting emails and phone calls asking why he disliked "old people."

"My dad even called," he said. "It shouldn't have been said, especially during a council meeting."

Anderson said he is qualified and ready to serve.

"My experience in my professional career makes me just as qualified as Ed Revell, except his resume is longer," Anderson said. "I feel I'm off to a great start. My work experience is huge. Couple that with my parks experience, and I feel I am ready to contribute."

The council position pays $1,038 a month.

Council terms typically are four years, but the winner of whichever race is closest in the general election will get a two-year term. That's how Richland's charter ensures a majority of the council is up for election every two years. Ballots are due Tuesday.

On the web:

-- Ed Revell: reelectedrevell.com

-- Brad Anderson: electba.com

-- For more election stories, go to tricityherald.com/election.

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