Lee Gillenwater

My criteria for candidates I could support in this year’s election are fairly simple and straight forward. I want people who will put our community before their own ambition. I want people with a passion for service and an understanding and appreciation for the principles that make this country, state and community worth living in. I want people with an established track record of ethical and moral consistency. I want people I could trust, even if we don’t always agree.

That is the full criteria for City Council and there are more than one that met that standard. First among them is Donna Burnham. She has served this community for years and I’m very happy that she is willing to serve again. Donna embodies the service oriented humility and hard work that benefits our community greatly. She has proven herself an able steward of our resources and advocate for our community. I know she’ll do a great job.

For my second vote, while there are many good candidates (and no shortage of less than ideal candidates), I’ve decided to vote for Melissa Clark. Melissa also has that heart of a servant that will keep her focused on the good of the community instead of her own self-interest. I’ll let her speak for herself about her general qualifications, but what made the difference to me was her involvement in creating the Eagle Mountain Arts Council. Having followed closely the community’s desire to have things like the rodeo rest in the hands of the community and not the city government, Melissa and the other founders of the Arts Council built something that enjoys a close and effective relationship with the city, without being financed by the city. I approve, and want more of that kind of thinking on the council. It’s not ‘what can we do’ but ‘what can no one else do that we should do’.

For Mayor, there is another critical component. I want someone with significant experience working with a large team or organization, either in the public or private sector but preferably both, and leading them to success. I want someone skilled at resolving conflict, not causing it. Someone who will inspire consensus, not create divisions. I also require someone with no troubling conflicts of interest between service as our mayor and their profession.

For this there is truly only one candidate with the history, the proven principled center, the freedom from conflict of interest, the experience and the patience to serve in that capacity. I am happy to endorse Tom Westmoreland and will vote for him to continue the good work Mayor Pengra has started.