As a 24-year-old 2005 WSU graduate and Democratic candidate for county commissioner, I disagree with Mr. Taylor’s comments about economic contributions students make to Whitman County. Student’s rent pays property taxes of landlords, Cougs add millions to our economy, work and volunteer throughout the area.That's interesting, because according to the Washington State Voter Database, as of August 7, 2006, Weller himself last voted on NOVEMBER 7, 2000 (I assume he voted for himself in the recent primary election).
Mr. Taylor’s comments reflect a view in county government that students have little stake in Whitman County, and therefore their concerns have rarely been heard. New voting rules make it challenging for students to vote. Many voters have been deemed “inactive” and will not receive mail-in ballots, the only way to vote.
It is time for students to be heard and decide how our county will be governed and tax spent. Students should no longer be ignored. Mr. Taylor’s comments divide our community. Instead, we must bring all county residents together to create a better place to live, work and learn.
Before Mr. Weller chides others for discouraging student voter participation, he'd better explain the reasons why he has not made his own concerns heard for the last six years, during which time he was also a WSU student.
That lack of civic involvement is not what I would expect to see in someone running for political office, regardless of his or her age. How can voters believe he is relaly passionate about the issues he espouses when he couldn't take the time to vote?