Incumbent Dave Enslow and challenger Nancy Dumas are running for Sumner mayor.
Enslow vows to continue to work collaboratively to build a “livable community” for families. Yet Dumas, a sitting city council member, believes Enslow excludes the public when he makes decisions.
The race will be decided Nov. 5 during the general election.
Puyallup Herald: What experience do you have that makes you the right choice for mayor?
Dave Enslow: As Sumner’s current mayor, I’ve worked with citizens to do great things. We weathered the recession while keeping the lowest property tax rate in the state. We lowered our sales tax rate. We recruited a YMCA and revitalized the senior center. We improved our fire service and earned elite accreditation for our police. We brought family-wage jobs during a recession and earned millions in grant money to fix our roads and build trails.
As a successful business leader, I believe in careful planning, wise management of resources, and, most of all, listening to customers ... in this case, our citizens. I get great ideas from people and, together, we’ve made Sumner a great place to live.
I’ve enjoyed raising my family here and have worked hard for Sumner. I’ve been endorsed by community leaders in the city and throughout our region, and I’d be honored to have your vote so we can finish what we have started.
Nancy Dumas: There are my 34 years of traditional business-management background, but, more importantly, I have been an active council member since taking office. In my first month, when grants submitted for LTAC dollars did not appear to align with the purpose for or answer the grant questions appropriately, and I questioned it, I was immediately labeled “one of them.” Translated, “You’re not one of us.” That’s fine with me.
When your current mayor sent Pierce Transit packing and brought in Sound Transit (the mayor is a compensated board member for Sound Transit) for commuters in Bonney Lake to get to Sumner’s train station, I worked with local people with disabilities to create Sumner’s pilot transportation system, which has been a success. Upon this success, the mayor shut me out of my own program.
I have a much greater vision but am now deadlocked until I get into the mayor’s office. I have worked tirelessly to speak out to protect our community against the effects of increased coal trains through Sumner. You are my focus.
PH: If elected, what is one priority you would accomplish, and why?
DE: My priority is listening to the citizens of Sumner, getting back to the business of our city and working together to solve the real issues that are facing this community.
Building a livable community for our families, keeping our taxes low and economy strong, and providing quality service to our citizens are things I believe in and have worked for — and will continue to work for.
We have accomplished so much, but we have challenges to solve, such as access to the Sound Transit station and reducing traffic congestion. But more than that, citizens have told me that they wanted a YMCA in Sumner — a place that will provide swim lessons to children, a safe environment for teens and fitness programs for all ages.
For seven years, I worked with citizens, businesses, community groups and our city staff to bring that Y to Sumner, and now I will work to see it built.
ND: Inclusion. This isn’t exclusively the mayor’s town. It’s your town comprised of your family, your friends. Inclusion should begin at the city council level and bleed out into the community. However, if the mayor doesn’t have that as an expectation as a leader in city hall or in the community, that will never happen.
What has been a government led to foster collusion, biasness, exclusion ... look around at the cluster of political signs. Look at the front yard of some council members. This is not “Survivor,” where alliances need to be created. This is your local government.
I work for you. You sign my paycheck every two weeks. For crying out loud, if the current mayor and five of your candidates sign a letter refusing to meet with you now, you will be shut out for the next four years because you don’t matter. You are not part of the inner circle. That has to change, and when I’m elected, that will change.
PH: What is one challenge you think Sumner is facing during the next five years? What is the best solution to that challenge, and why?
DE: I’ve talked to thousands of community members and hear the same thing: people love Sumner because of its unique way of life. Change is inevitable, but we need to protect what makes this such a great city — its healthy and vibrant community, safe and friendly neighborhoods, and strong economy with low taxes.
We do that the Sumner way, not the Seattle way or the Tacoma way. It’s already working well for us.
At regional meetings, Sumner gets heard because we’re unique. We win awards and millions in grant funding with planning and careful preparation instead of changing for change’s sake.
That must continue. I want the marching band to still practice in our streets. I want people to feel welcome and greet each other by name. I want to see our children and grandchildren enjoy the same excellent life in Sumner for years to come.
ND: The possibility of four additional years of an exclusionary government is our greatest hurdle to overcome. The mayor is supposed to be inclusive to all members in our community in Sumner, and after two years as a city council member, I see this is clearly not the case, and that is why I decided to run to be your next mayor. It is that simple.
We are a diverse group of people just wanting to raise our families, conduct business, keep our neighborhoods safe and feel included. We aren’t asking for much, and truthfully, that should be a given, but it’s not.
My job as mayor is to balance my relationships between our industrial north end, our downtown core of businesses and the community at large. We are all here at the same time, wanting the same things. Whether it’s on our business license or driver’s license, 98390 is our collective choice, which means there is a collective voice.
That is not the climate the current mayor promotes. I can’t wait to change this when elected.