Wednesday, October 3, 2007
GRANDVIEW - When the dust settled following the candidate filing period this past June, longtime Grandview residents Javier Rodriguez and Bill Moore ended up vying for the city council, position 5, seat held by Bill Flory, who will step down at the end of the year.
At one point, four candidates were vying for the position 5 post before a last minute shuffle during the filing period.
Rodriguez is actually the current position 7 council seat holder, but decided not to seek re-election to his seat when former mayor and county commissioner Jesse Palacios filed for that post.
"For the benefit of the city I decided to seek Bill Flory's seat since he wasn't running," Rodriguez said of the switch.
Moore said he is seeking the position 5 post because, "Over the years I feel that we as a people need to step forward and take leadership roles."
Rodriguez, a 44-year resident of Grandview, was first appointed, then elected to the position 7 post after former seat holder Norm Childress became mayor.
As a Hispanic and fluent in speaking Spanish, Rodriguez said his spot on the council has been helpful in reaching out to that part of the city's population, especially among senior Hispanics. "They ask why can't we do this or that," he said of opportunities to explain city policies. "It's like they have a voice."
Rodriguez is a realtor and also works with Snoqualmie Winery in Prosser. In both posts he said he interacts with a number of residents. At the winery, Rodriguez said he also has opportunities to visit with farmers and their workers and hear their concerns and thoughts about the city.
Rodriguez feels his experience on council is a plus, especially as the city is toughening its laws to combat gang crime. He said that effort is only a beginning and needs to continue into the future.
If elected, Rodriguez said he would like to see the city pursue more activities for children. He suggests a skate park or a streamlined version of the aquatic center proposal as possibilities.
Moore, operations manager for Kenyon Cold Storage, has lived in Grandview for 39 years. He said his experiences in working with company employees as well as the general public would be a good fit for public office.
Moore noted that he is also a past president of the Grandview Rotary and has served 10 years on his church's steering committee, the last three as committee chair.
If elected, Moore said his goal would be to listen first.
"I like to quietly listen and ask questions to see how other people think about things without making rash decisions," he explained. "I'm concerned for other people's needs."
Moore also noted that he'd like to see more of Grandview's citizens get involved in their city and schools in some way, whether it be through city council, planning commission, school board or some other organization.
"There are many organizations that serve the people and I think we need to step forward." Moore added, "It is a busy life, but I've found many times that if we want to move forward the time will be made."
Moore said his top priorities, if elected, would be public safety, quality of life and economic development.
Ballots for the Nov. 6 general election will be mailed out on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 6.