The race for mayor of Cosmopolis — a four-way contest in the primary — is down to two men, radio journalist and current council member Kyle Pauley and volunteer firefighter and former council member Steve Davis.
Both have served on the Cosmopolis City Council for about four years. Both bring unique strengths, passions and ideas to the race.
The Grays Harbor News Group chooses to endorse Pauley in his run for mayor.
While Davis’ passion for defending the all-volunteer Cosmopolis Fire Department is without doubt, his reasons for running seem to stop at past grievances. Communications breakdowns between the city’s management and fire department, and questionable hiring practices — both problems Davis stressed — appear to have been addressed by the city.
Both candidates pointed out problems that every city has, maintaining infrastructure, including pot holes and fire hydrants. Pauley was the candidate who spoke to creating options and finding solutions among all parties involved.
Neither candidate expressed aspirational ideas or visions for the city.
We were particularly troubled by one statement from Davis, who described what he called “nuisance calls” for EMS.
“In Cosmopolis, fortunately, we don’t have a lot of calls (for EMS),” he said. “Our call volume is somewhere in the neighborhood of 250-270 a year. Most of our calls are somewhat innocuous. There are a lot of senior falls, things like that. But we don’t have the nuisance calls that Aberdeen has with somebody possibly unconscious in an alley or somebody unconscious in a park or some of those things. We don’t have the services in our community that the homeless groups are after, or people in particular. So we don’t have a big contingent of nuisance calls. And I’m really grateful for that.”
That’s not how first responders, or mayors, should view people. Each resident should be valued and not dismissed as a “nuisance” because they need help.
Davis seems eager to be the bull in the china shop. Pauley seems to be eager to look for solutions.
Pauley’s work as news director at a radio station presents the possibility of a conflict of interest for both him and other leaders.
Pauley says he’s just as passionate about government as he is about radio and believes that because he “stopped covering the city council in Cosi” when he was appointed to the council that he has no conflict of interest (perceived or actual).
He is wrong.
The Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee has this to say about whether journalists should engage in political activity:
“The simplest answer is ‘No.’ Don’t do it. Don’t get involved. Don’t contribute money, don’t work in a campaign, don’t lobby, and especially, don’t run for office yourself.”
Fundamentally, it’s mostly an issue between him and his listeners and his employer, but we see it the same way as the Society of Professional Journalists.
That aside, we think Pauley is the type who will listen to all the stakeholders and look for a fair way forward, and we aren’t convinced things need the big stick approach that Davis seems to hint at.
For purposes of this endorsement, the editorial board consists of Publisher Mike Hrycko, Editor Doug Barker, Vidette Editor Mike Lang and Lifestyle Editor Kat Bryant.