Pasco voters will decide two city council posts in the November election, and the quality of candidates in both races is solid.
For Position 5, David Milne, the incumbent, is making his first re-election bid since unseating longtime former Pasco Councilwoman Rebecca Francik two years ago.
Milne is challenged by a man he recommended for the Pasco Planning Commission, Isaac “Ike” Myhrum. The two have known and respected each other for some time.
In the at-large race, newcomers Zahra Roach and Patrick Guettner are vying for Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins’ seat, which he will give up at the end of this year.
While we have no doubt about the dedication and drive of all four contenders, we’ve decided civic experience is a key, separating factor in both races.
And that means Milne and Roach get our recommendations.
Milne vs. Myhrum
When Milne first ran for Pasco City Council in 2015, we suggested he gain more leadership experience to better prepare for the job. He heeded that advice by joining the Leadership Tri-Cities program and the Pasco Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He also became treasurer for the Franklin County Republicans and international chair for Sunrise Rotary.
After getting elected to the city council in 2017, he has continued to push himself. Milne has become a go-to representative when the city needs someone to attend ribbon cuttings and special events. He even braved the Celebrity Pepper Gauntlet at the recent Fiery Foods Festival.
He owns Milne Nail Power Tool & Repair on West Lewis Street, and being his own boss allows him flexibility to respond to constituent concerns. His availability is a plus.
Myhrum, on the other hand, is among the most polished first-time challengers we have ever met. He is eloquent and thoughtful, and his work as a regulatory analyst at Cascade Natural Gas gives him a unique insight into issues pertaining to utility regulations. He is vice-chairman of the Pasco Planning Commission and he helped organize a crowdfunding program that provides startup funding for Pasco-based businesses and nonprofits.
We think Myhrum is certainly on his way.
But after years of being a spectator at city council meetings, Milne finally has arrived and is doing a fine job. He deserves another term.
The Herald recommends David Milne for Pasco City Council, Position 5.
To read our recommendation for Zahra Roach for Pasco City Council, click here.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Behind Our Election Recommendations
Who decides the recommendations?
Members of The Tri-City Herald editorial board interview political candidates, as well as advocates and opponents of ballot measures. The editorial board is comprised of experienced opinion journalists and community members, and is separate from The Herald’s newsroom. Conversations are on the record.
What does the recommendation process entail?
Whenever possible, The Herald editorial board meets with opposing candidates at the same time. The questions are largely focused on a candidate’s qualifications and goals, and the hour-long session resembles a conversation more than a scripted interview. The editorial board then discuss the candidates in each race and decides who to recommend. In the case of ballot measures, we strive to have representatives from both sides of the issue in the room at the same time so we can get past the political rhetoric and obtain firm answers. Board members seek to reach a consensus on our recommendations, but not every decision is unanimous.
Is the editorial board partisan?
No. In making recommendations, members of the editorial board consider which candidates are well prepared to represent their constituents — not whether they agree with us or belong to a particular political party. We evaluate candidates’ relevant experience, their readiness for office, their depth of knowledge of key issues, their understanding of public policy and their ability to work with the current board . We’re seeking candidates who are thoughtful and who offer more than just party-line talking points. The editorial board will endorse both Republicans and Democrats.
Why are the editorials unsigned?
Our election recommendations reflect the collective views of The Herald’s editorial board — not just the opinion of one writer. Board members all discuss and contribute ideas to each editorial.