This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
For Lakewood council: Anderson, Thomas, Neary
The City of Lakewood is doing fine; that’s good reason to keep its incumbents on the job.
Lakewood is a well-governed city.
In recent years, its municipal government has built sidewalks and a new city hall, successfully launched its own police department and maintained healthy financial reserves. Its City Council has been doing a good job and hardly needs a radical course correction – which could take it in the wrong direction.
Two current members of the council are up for election this year. We think they’ve earned new terms. Our endorsements:
This is the only open seat on the council. The contest pits attorney Don Anderson against Bruce Banfield, a specialist in operating heart-lung machines.
They are both fine candidates – engaging, intelligent and civic-minded. The city would be well-served if either were elected.
It’s the kind of tough, good-vs.-good choice all races should offer. We give the edge to Anderson, a Navy veteran with a broad and impressive record of community service.
Among other things, Anderson has been a school board president, president of Tacoma Goodwill Industries, a volunteer firefighter and provider of pro-bono legal services to the needy. He’d make an exceptionally strong council member.
This is an easier call. Mayor Claudia Thomas has served on the council since Lakewood was created in 1996. She’s thus acquired considerable experience in governing the city, and this comes on top of a long career in education, a Ph.D, lots of community service and heartfelt concern for struggling youth.
Her challenger, Lisa Ikeda, is an earnest café operator who is campaigning hard. But the city is already doing well, and Ikeda doesn’t make the case for ousting one of its seasoned leaders.
Walter Neary, who was elected to the council in 2003, is a former newspaperman – but don’t hold that against him. He’s also a bright and collegial civic leader who’s done much to preserve Lakewood’s heritage.
Neary’s love of Lakewood is evident in his service as a board member of the Fort Steilacoom Museum and the Lakewood Historical Society, as chairman of the Lakewood Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board, and as co-author of a history of the city. He’s also been a leader of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
Neary’s opponent, J. Paul Wagemann, is a retired Marine Corps pilot and a real estate developer. He is thoughtful and an incisive thinker, but this is another race in which the incumbent has earned re-election.