WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - West Richland is one of the only cities in the area with a strong mayor-run government and now that seat is up for grabs and the primary election is just days away.
Three qualified candidates are vying for the spot. Brent Gerry, Nancy Aldrich and Merle Johnson all have city government experience and all bring something different to the table.
"The mayor is the CEO of the city but yet the mayor has a number one boss and that's the citizens," said Johnson.
None of the three candidates are strangers to West Richland nor the city's government. Johnson served six years on the council. As Mayor, he said he would focus on people driven issues rather than economic development.
"This is a more rural, bedroom community. And if there's one thing I've learned, it's the citizens enjoy the peace and quiet of this community," said Johnson.
Nancy Aldrich served 12 years on the city council and is backing ideas of economic development. She wants work to continue for a possible Red Mountain interchange and improvements on the Van Giesen corridor.
"My goal is to develop a long-term redevelopment plan from the bridge to the end of the city limits and then work towards that," said Aldrich.
She hopes to find resources for things like a senior center or water park. Aldrich claims her opponents just don't have what she has.
"They're well qualified for the job however when you talk about experience, I far surpass them. And that's what I plan to bring to this position. Experience and knowledge of how a city can be run," said Aldrich.
Brent Gerry also served some time on the West Richland city council. His web site quotes him as saying, "if given the opportunity to be your next mayor, I will continue to move our city toward financial stability while being conservative and sensitive of our rural lifestyle and atmosphere."
The primary election deadline is Tuesday, August 6th.