Commissioners want a good retirement

April 14th, 2008 by Ken

Judy Wilson’s announcement that she’s going to run for Thurston County Commissioner as a Republican against current commissioner and former Democratic state representative Cathy Wolfe is just another peg in the interesting game of politics, but money plays a role as well.

Wilson has been off the commission since 2000 after two terms, while Wolfe is just finishing up her second four-year term.  Two former county commissioners going at it for one seat is unusual.  But it should make for good political commentaries.

Wilson has not been out of the public limelight however, she served one term on the North Thurston School Board before deciding not to seek re-election.   She has to move into Wolfe’s commissioner district in order to run against Wolfe.  All commissioners represent one of the three districts and must live in that district in order to be on the commission.

As quoted in The Olympian both Wolfe and Wilson have nothing bad to say about each other and if you read between the lines, you’d actually think they like each other.

Wilson has always been a Republican and has been elected under that banner, but going this year as a member of the GOP is taking a chance.  Wolfe has not been a bad commissioner, but she also hasn’t done anything to make me want to vote to return her to office.   I’ve always thought that she ran for county commissioner after serving in the state legislature because she wanted to up her retirement benefits.  Of course Wilson, who has been working for state government, can also increase her retirement benefits with a win.

The same holds true in Commissioner District 2, where former Democratic state representative Sandra Romero moved into the district to run for county commission.  I think she also is running to up her state retirement.  A $120,000 a year job pays lots of retirement benefits.  Her Democratic opponent former Lacey mayor Jon Halvorson is currently drawing state retirement, but will increase his benefits if he’s elected.

Both Romero and Wilson have or will move into the districts they want to represent.  In other times, they may have been called carpetbaggers, but trying to pin that label on either of them would be hard to do since most voters don’t really know what commissioner district they live in.

But it does seem odd that two people, want to represent you so badly, that they uproot themselves and move into another district.  Romero says she just wants to downsize after becoming an empty-nester and Wilson said she’s moving to a new place after a divorce.

Money and retirement benefits play a major role but they won’t talk about that.  Both want to be elected to the county commission and both are doing what’s politically expedient.  Would you expect less from old time political experts, particularly when there’s money to be made.

Posted in Local Politics, The Real News

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