The newspaper’s three-part debate for the position of Black Diamond mayor has been eye opening. Judy Baxley claims she will “reduce taxes and fees” and hire two new staff positions in the six figures, but how is that possible? You can’t decrease income and increase expenses and end up with a balanced budget. Baxley said that Mayor Benson “spent over $4 million more than the budget without prior council approval.” Really? How is that possible and where’s the proof? In a city our size, I’m sure there would have been huge consequences if $4 million dollars went missing. Baxley’s comments throughout the three part debate where full of unbelievable accusations and ridiculous statements.
Baxley admitted to having Brian Derdowski on her campaign team – he’s the same disgraced past King County councilman who led council majority, Pepper, Weber and Morgan into a recall and personal law suit for breaking Washington state laws. We can’t afford to have a mayor who will continue to follow the Derdowski’s advice and bring us more embarrassment and legal action against the city.
The biggest eye opener was what Baxley didn’t say – she didn’t mention having any experience managing a six-million-dollar budget, supervising employees or providing oversight to huge construction projects. Mayor Benson, on the other hand, has spent her entire career, over 50 years in financial management, much of that time working for a “conglomerate of businesses which included an engineering company, development company and a construction company as well as many LLC’s for various housing and commercial projects.” She has been supervising the 30 Black Diamond employees for the past two years and is endorsed by our local firefighters and the Black Diamond Police Officers Association.
The way I see it, the best way forward is to support a proven mayor and to vote in independent council members who are not controlled by outsiders. Please join me in voting for an experienced mayor, Carol Benson, and bringing two independent thinkers to the council chamber, by electing Erin Rose Stout and Melissa Oglesbee.