Our Battle Ground is in dire need of sensible leadership. Partisan politics are creating wedges in every aspect of our lives and our town is certainly not immune. Every choice we make in our lives now is taking on the tint of either being the blue or the red choice. Left or right. Sensible people know, deep down, that not everything can be boiled down to such stark contrasts. Our town is facing many meaningful challenges at the moment. How do we manage growth while maintaining our identity? How do we provide family-wage jobs and keep housing affordable? How do we keep the next generation of Battle Ground citizens well-educated and engaged? These are complex challenges that require nuance and thinking that does not fit neatly in one ideological box or the other. We need leaders who can resist the temptation of partisan politics. We need folks who can rise above the bickering and posturing and put our community first.
This is why I support my friend and neighbor Neil Butler for the city council. I’ve known Neil for several years. Our kids play together. I come from the same field of the private sector as him, and I’ve spoken with him at length about his goals and approach to make Battle Ground a place that works for all of us. I’ve seen people try to prod and provoke him into choosing one ideological box or the other, but he is reasonable enough to know that this is not a choice that has to be made. He’ll talk your ear off about how we can manage growth with better planning and responsibly maintain and repair infrastructure. He’ll let you know why he thinks it’s a good idea to bring lucrative jobs to Battle Ground. He’ll talk about what the job of the city council is and what it is not. And he’ll do it in a way that both makes sense and demonstrates proficiency.
The residents of Battle Ground have the privilege and opportunity to elect their leaders. We should treat these elections as if we were employers hiring employees. What are the qualities any good employer seeks? You’d want to know if they’ve already researched the job, you’d want to know if they have experience that is relevant, and you’d want to know if they have good character that is going to reflect your company admirably. My friend Neil knows how the city council works and is already involved with local government as part of the planning commission. He has a private sector and managerial background, which shows that he can be responsible and accountable with our hard-earned money. And finally, he has great character. Ask his neighbors, ask his fellow churchgoers, really, just ask anyone who knows him.
This election I urge you to do your research and vote. Weigh what is most important to you and your family and I believe you’ll reach the same conclusion as my family and I. We can’t wait to vote for Neil Butler.
James Carlton, Battle Ground
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