Incumbent Ed Hannus and challenger Earle Stuard, a member of the Sumner Planning Commission, are running for the Position 1 seat on the Sumner City Council.
Stuard said he would work collaboratively with city staff members to strengthen outreach between the council and the public, if elected.
Hannus said he would continue the teamwork ethic among council members to get things done, such as completing the YMCA and selling Sumner Meadows Golf Links.
As the general election approaches on Nov. 5, here are some of the candidates’ thoughts regarding Sumner:
Puyallup Herald: What experience do you have that makes you the right choice for Sumner City Council?
Earle Stuard: My experience comes from my career in municipal government, having retired as an assistant finance director for the City of Bellevue. During my 38 years at Bellevue, I gained extensive experience and knowledge in budget development, performance measurement, public procurement, contract negotiations, management of financial functions of payroll and accounts payable, and served as the city council claims auditor. I developed and administered public policies, was a member of the Emergency Management Committee and coordinated the city’s efforts to get reimbursement from FEMA for expenses related to major disasters.
I have also served on the Sumner Planning Commission since 2009, have been an active volunteer in community service projects, including food drives, flood clean-up and participating in Eagle Scout projects. As a volunteer leader of a local church, I know how to listen to people and solve problems.
Ed Hannus: I worked my way through college at Washington State University. During the summer months and between semesters, I worked at Boeing as an associate engineer. After graduation, Boeing hired me full-time until the big layoff in l962. At that time, I applied for unemployment insurance at the Employment Security Department. Instead, I was hired on immediately.
After 10 years with them as an internal auditor and management analyst, I transferred to the Washington State Department of Transportation. I retired from there as the emergency response program manager. I then became the program manager for the City of Sumner’s North Sumner Interchange at 24th Street.
I hold a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating. I served on the Sumner Planning Commission for two years and then was elected to the Sumner City Council.
I served in the National Guard for six years, was a Sumner volunteer firefighter for 14 years and now serve as a commissioner on the board of the Sumner Historical Society and have been in Rotary for 18 years.
With my background and ties to the community, I feel well-qualified for the council position.
PH: If elected to the Sumner City Council, what is one priority you would accomplish, and why?
ES: Much has been said about transparency during this election, and I am a huge fan of keeping the work and actions of the council totally open to public review. In order to properly represent the concerns of the citizens of Sumner, the council needs a way to seek the public’s input. I intend to work closely with staff to formulate strategies and put plans in place to seek public input on a regular basis. These efforts may take the form of neighborhood “fireside chats,” citizen surveys or simply walking around town and engaging our residents in conversations.
Using the public’s input, the council can prioritize a list of objectives as a foundation for making important budget decisions. But it won’t end there. Staff can develop performance measures and report the progress made toward achieving council and citizen’s objectives.
Working toward and achieving objectives defined by the citizens will go a long way toward building confidence in the democratic process and the credibility of the council in the eyes of those who elect us.
EH: You must understand that city accomplishments, both present and future, are not an individual feat, but the result of teamwork. They have and will continually take place with the work approval of the mayor, city staff, city manager, city attorney and majority of the city council members.
Together, we are working on completing the YMCA, the sale of the golf course and future water rights for Sumner. In the future, the team will work on resolving the city parking problems associated with the train station, and the solution for the Red Apple property. I would also support the reduction of utility bills for the residents of Sumner, utilizing the funds from the sale of the golf course.
PH: What is one challenge you think Sumner is facing during the next five years? What is the best solution to this challenge, and why?
ES: The city will face many issues in the next five years. To name a few:
• Citizens are displeased with the lack of attention given their specific neighborhood;
• The impact of Sounder Station parking up to a half-mile away has many residents upset;
• The proceeds of the golf course sale need to be wisely managed;
• Budget development will be challenging as services are added or expanded.
To me, the biggest issue facing Sumner is what a local paper called “a sometimes dysfunctional council.” The lack of respect and frequent personal attacks toward others on the council and members of the city staff are inappropriate.
I would fix this issue by living up to my campaign slogan: “the voice of reason.” I will treat each council member with the utmost of respect, even if they disagree with my point of view. I would work to achieve compromise on key issues for the benefit of the city and provide the council with a much-needed new perspective.
EH: Being a lifelong resident of Sumner, my main priority is to retain the traditions that make our city unique. We can continue to progress without modernizing, although many things are out of the council’s control.
With the state auditor’s office praising Sumner and staff for its job well done, we can feel free to finish projects already started. I would be honored to continue working toward this goal, if elected.