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Jones, Erickson vie for Pacific City Council Postition 2 seat
With four seats on the Pacific City Council being contested in the Nov. 5 general election, each race is crucial to the future makeup of the city's legislative body.
In the race for the Position No. 2 seat, incumbent Councilmember John Jones will attempt to hold off life long Pacific Resident Brice Erickson.
Erickson (pictured left) did not return e-mail or phone requests seeking information.
According to his submission for the King County voter's pamphlet, however, Erickson, an Auburn Riverside High School graduate, is a laborer specializing in concrete and asphalt.
"As a life long resident of Pacific, I'm very concerned about the direction the City is taking," his voter's pamphlet statement reads. "Present council has been distracted with frivolous issues, neglecting to address important issues such as much-needed street repairs. We nearly lost our City when the council refused to work with the mayor [recalled former Mayor Cy Sun] to fill vacant positions necessary to run the City effectively. The council showed a great deal of immaturity and were unprofessional in their refusal to work with [Sun], who was duly elected by the citizens of Pacific. I disagree with the recent discussions about changing the City's government from strong mayor to city manager. This would take away the voices of citizens. A city manager would answer only to council members, not the voters. Pacific needs a fresh start. If elected, I promise to listen to concerns and suggestions from all citizens for the greater good of the city."
In 2010, Jones, a Boeing employee who has owned a house in Pacific since 1993, first threw his hat into the ring for city council
"It sounds kind of corny, but it was for civic responsibility," Jones said. "I've been very involved in the Masonic Lodge in Auburn, and one of the things you learn is to be responsible, to take accountability for your actions and to be involved in your community."
"There was an opening running against Barbara Lourdes, and I decided to run against her," he said. "Surprisingly, I won, and I've spent the last four years doing what I think is best for the City."
Among his achievements in his first term of office, Jones said, he's most proud of his efforts in helping the Valentine and Stewart road projects stay alive when it appeared funding was in danger of running out under Sun's administration.
"The one thing right now I'm proud of is saving the Valentine Road project and working with Sumner and the state to capture the monies we needed to complete that project and maintain our grants," Jones said. "I'd say that was my biggest achievement on the council."
Jones (pictured left) concedes that his first term was a learning experience for him, adding that dealing with the council's contentious relationship with Sun taught him many lessons about governing.
"I've learned a lot of lessons, probably more little lessons than big ones," he said. "One thing I've learned is nothing is a given. Under the last leadership of the city, in the last year-and-a-half, I learned that our responsibility is to listen to the other side and learn to give-and-take. People will probably look at me and say 'you didn't give anything to him (former Mayor Cy Sun).' But I'm looking at it the other way, watching him as someone who wasn't willing to adjust or take into consideration other people's points of view and be willing to recognize your own faults and errors and make adjustments. More than just the people who voted for him, (the council) is responsible for all the citizens. About 450 people voted for him, but he was the mayor of 6,800 people, and I'm responsible for them. We're all human, we all get a little temper or a little attitude. But you have to realize that sometimes you have to adjust, although sometimes it's hard."
If elected on Nov. 5, Jones said, he'll be eager to help lead the city into the future.
"The competition of Valentine and Stewart, those two major milestones, are an adjustment for the City for future business," he said. "Those two main thoroughfares will see a lot of modification for businesses, which will bring in a tax base for the City.
"The other aspect is for us to try and improve some of the communication aspects of the city," he said. "The council chambers, as well as how we communicate with the citizens, whether it's Channel 21 or a Web feed on our Internet site, the biggest thing is just to make sure we're moving forward, we're taking care of our parks and taking care of our citizens."