Last Wednesday evening, I had the privilege to attend a meet-and-greet fundraising event for Ward 3 city council candidate Ann Heath. I was pleased to see several current and former city council members on hand to support Ann.
Pullman is lucky to have Ann on the council. She has a law degree from Seattle University and was an Assistant Attorney General of Washington for 13 years. She is bright, articulate, and personable. Her passion for Pullman is obvious.
Ann addressed us briefly and answered some questions. Yes, she supports the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Ann sees it as a zoning issue. The land Wal-Mart plans to build on was zoned C-3 commercial over 20 years ago. At that time, the city effectively put up a sign saying "come on in" which is exactly what Wal-Mart is doing now. She feels no business, big or small, should be denied that opportunity, just as no citizen is denied the right to live in town because a neighbor might not like them personally.
She said the city's percentage of revenue derived from property tax and sales tax are out of balance. Pullman has to increase its retail sales tax base as the property tax rate is high enough already. Ann, like everyone else, likes green spaces, the arts, and the other amenities of life, but they all require funding from somewhere. The sales tax revenue going over the border to Moscow is killing us. Pullman needs to become self-sufficient in supplying its own retail needs if we are to keep growing.
Ann said she "got her blood up" when she saw who her opponent was going to be. Judy Krueger is a "special interest" candidate representing one issue: stopping Wal-Mart. Ann is running for Pullman, not against Wal-Mart.
The council contest between Ann Heath and Judy Krueger promises to be one of the more spirited campaigns in recent Pullman history. The future direction of Pullman is at stake.
I am happy to say that Pullman could not have found a better candidate to run the race for our future than Ann Heath. She has a fire in her belly and is determined to win. Her sign campaign has already blanketed Pioneer Hill and more are to come.
She is going to need out help and our money. And if you live in Ward 3, she needs your vote, both in the primary next Tuesday and in November.
If you would like to help Ann, please contact the Committee to Retain Ann Heath, P.O. Box 723, Pullman, WA 99163 or drop me a line here.