'F' as in Frank

A quick draw on a district dilemma

My drawing skills are rudimentary, at best. Stick fig-

ures, smiley faces and a flat horizon are in my limited repertoire.

I can't even draw a weapon, though I had a bb gun as a youngster. No, I didn't shoot my eye out.

So, far be it for me to re-draw the district boundaries for the three Yakima County Commissioner seats.

But I think some tweaking is in order.

There are five candidates seeking the District 3 position, which represents Sunnyside and Grandview, among other areas. But only one of the five is actually from the Lower Valley.

That's not an indictment of the other candidates, or necessarily a nod to the lone challenger from this area.

What it is, is an observation that there may not be a Lower Valley resident among the Yakima County Commissioners come next year.

Granted, District 2 Commissioner Ron Gamache hails from Toppenish, but that's a bit on the bubble when it comes to what many folks here would call "Lower Valley".

According to the map on the county's website, our district also includes Moxee, Union Gap and a portion of Yakima.

That's right, Yakima.

Like a river, all three districts run through Yakima, creating the potential for a triumvirate of sorts with all three seats being held by Yakima residents.

So, I think some tweaking could include making District 3's boundaries a bit more representative of the Lower Valley. That would include putting Mabton in District 3, which is oddly-it seems to me-situated in District 2.

Even though Sunnyside and Mabton share a highway, Mabton-Sunnyside or Sunnyside-Mabton depending on your preference, they were somehow separated at birth-make that by different berths-representing them at the county level.

I am still relatively new to these parts, and I realize the district discussion thing is probably not new for most of you.

So, thanks in advance for your understanding if my thoughts on re-drawing or tweaking the district boundaries display a lack of local insider know-how.

But here's what I do know.

The reason only one of the five candidates is from our parts is because only one of us bothered to put our name on the dotted line.

Any of us could have signed up during the candidate filing week last month. So we share a portion of the blame for our limited local choice.

Ultimately, then, the problem goes beyond district boundaries.

As the cartoon character Pogo quipped, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

. John Fannin can be contacted

at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail jfannin@eaglenewspapers.com


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