City Council Interviewing

By: Joshua Shinabarger

A few weeks ago I was privileged to spend five days in a small windowless conference room from 9 to 4:30 every day with 8 other Realtors. What could possess 8 Realtors to give up a week of their time and consider it a worthy investment when it is all said and done? The simple answer is love for the community.  As a part of TCAR’s (Tri-City Association of Realtors) Government Affairs Committee, I got the honor of interviewing the candidates who are running for Council positions in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland. 

There are 31 individuals running for council positions in the primary elections this year, and while unfortunately not all 31 were available to interview, we did get to interview almost all of them. It is abundantly apparent that all three cities, are blessed to have so many residents that care passionately for their City and want to give back to the community they call home. 

While all the candidates we interviewed have a lot too offer. There were two candidates who made a particularly impactful impression on me personally.  First was Abel Campos, who is running for Pasco City Council.  Upon sitting down with Abel, it was immediately apparent that this is was an individual who is passionate about and loves his community.  Abel currently teaches 8th grade in Pasco and serves on the Pasco Planning Commission. He was very knowledgeable on challenges, or “opportunities” as he referred to them, that the city of Pasco is currently facing.  What impacted me the most was his genuineness and desire to see his community grow and thrive.  I would encourage Pasco Residents to check out his official Facebook page to learn more about him as a candidate.

The other candidate who really stuck out to me, was Russel Del Gesso, running for Kennewick City Council. The name may be familiar to some, as Russel is heavily involved in Hockey Programs at the Toyota Center and served as Board President for the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership.  Russel has high goals for what Kennewick can become, and even more impressively he seems to have a clear plan on how to make the goals a reality.  There is no question in my mind that Kennewick would prosper with Russel on Council.  As a local small business owner, his mindset is that of attracting more tourism to our area and making the Tri-Cities a destination. 

Both of these candidates are on a mission to help their respective communities solidify their identities by encouraging centralized hubs of community growth that will serve as a congregation point as our cities continue to grow outward.

As a Richland resident, I am not able to vote for either of these candidates.  However, I certainly would support them personally and TCAR has decided to endorse them formally.

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