Three of Kennewick's council members face challengers this year, and two are getting a run for their money from serious-minded candidates with solid credentials.
The third challenger has drawn nationwide headlines with an anti-immigrant stand that advocates deadly force to stop illegal aliens from crossing the border. He has gotten enough publicity.
Of course we are going to recommend the re-election of Steve Young to the Kennewick City Council.
We've differed with him in the past, notably on the subject of closing Vista Field. He was in favor, we weren't.
Young was first appointed to the city council long after the carousel, the golf course and Columbia Park decisions were made.
Last election, he ran against an excellent candidate, Chris Smart, who we encouraged voters to support. We called it a tough choice, but said, "We're confident in Smart's potential."
Young won and has been a diligent and open-minded member of the council, pledged to open government. He's fulfilled that promise helping to make city government more transparent and accessible to Kennewick residents.
Young was appointed mayor by his fellow council members and has performed well in the role, devoting much time and energy to the ceremonial aspects of the job and demonstrating real leadership in shepherding council meetings.
His opponent is unworthy of mention by name. The sooner his hateful proposal to shoot illegal aliens on sight is forgotten, the better.
Kennewick is a good, clean town with a fine reputation.
As mayor and council member, Young has helped foster that. He deserves a better opponent.
We encourage voters to support Steve Young and turn their backs on hateful rhetoric.
Olson v. Baker
Bob Olson has been a steady and important presence around Kennewick City Hall since 1979.
That's when he first signed on to the Board of Adjustment. Since 1988, he has been a member of the city council.
That's 32 years of public service.
He was part of the many advances in personnel and systems that have occurred in Kennewick over those years. He was not a supporter of the carousel bail-out which played a big part in last campaign season's Kennewick elections.
He voted against it.
"Well, maybe there's someone out there who is as stupid as we were," Olson declared in calling for the carousel to be sold.
Opposing Olson is an able and business-oriented candidate, Gloria Tyler Baker, owner of a car dealership.
She's both quick and thoughtful, and has a desire to see Kennewick better prepared for what difficult economic times.
"I've seen the boom and bust cycles here. And I fear what will happen with the loss of federal dollars when the Hanford cleanup project ends," she told the Herald editorial board.
"The Tri-Cities have done a good job so far, but I'd like to help get us more diversified for the future."
"I want to try help run our city into the next generation," she said at a recent candidates' forum.
Olson looks forward to seeing Southridge and other projects he helped foster come to fruition.
We recommend voters give him another chance to do that.
Parish v. Crawford
Citizens of Kennewick, at least those in Ward 2, are pretty well satisfied with incumbent Paul Parish, and it's easy to see why.
Four terms on the Kennewick City Council do not seem to have slowed Parish down in the multitude of volunteer activities he takes on.
From the Lampson pits during the Water Follies to installation of the memorial tribute for 9/11 victims at Southridge to every kind of tough, hands-on construction work for charities in the Tri-Cities, Parish is an outstanding leader.
His opponent, Diane Crawford, is a minister and describes herself as the underdog in the race.
She clearly is that. Parish received 57 percent of the vote in the primary; Crawford received about 27 percent.
Her credentials are excellent and her attitude regarding the city is both sensible and strategic. She is the kind of earnest, well-motivated citizen who would add character to any board.
However, even she agrees that Kennewick is running well and has no specific criticism of Parish.
She is for term limits for council members and she's an advocate for more diversity on the council, especially for some female voices.
Against a lesser candidate she would be an easy choice.
But Paul Parish is no lesser choice. Gruff, sometimes terse, he can be off-putting at times, but he is a genuine asset to the council and to the community.
Much as we like Crawford, and as much as we agree with her sentiment for more diversity on the council, we cannot imagine gaining it at the cost of losing Parish.
The Herald editorial board recommends voters re-elect Steve Young, Bob Olson and Paul Parish to the Kennewick City Council.