Shon Small pays price to keep campaign promise

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of campaign promises and even easier to forget about them after election day.

Sometimes candidates make promises that are completely beyond their power to deliver once they actually get into office.

Other promises, although reachable, seem to fall by the wayside.

With that in mind, it's good to see Benton County's new commissioner, Shon Small, returning his 3.5 percent pay raise -- just like he said he would do when he was on the campaign trail.

Other county commissioners in the Mid-Columbia ought to make the same pledge. Budget constraints have forced county governments to cut spending on essential programs. Taking a pay raise while reducing services sends a terrible message to constituents.

OK, so it's only a couple of thousand dollars. That's not enough to make a dent in the Benton County budget. It's not even enough to cause the Small family much hardship, although we're certain they could have put it to good use.

But Small's gesture adds up to much more than pennies and dollars involved.

Benton County total biennial budget: $109,000,000

One commissioner's pay raise: $2,301

A politician keeping a campaign promise: priceless.