PENDLETON - Kenneth B. West hopes to "bring an element of accountability and public trust back to city government."
West, 43, who lives on Southwest 43rd St., is a candidate for a four-year term on the Pendleton City Council from Ward 3. A Pendleton resident for 32 years, he is the general manager of Inside Oregon Enterprises, the labor side of the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. He formerly was employed at Pendleton Flour Mills for several years.
West said he believes there's a lack of public trust in state and local government.
"If there were more trust, it would be easier to gain public support for community issues," he said.
2-cent fuel tax
West said he could support renewing a 2-cent-per-gallon fuel tax in Pendleton to support the city's street fund "as long as it's fairly and equitably distributed for projects in the city."
"The only way I'd support it is with very detailed, pre-approved projects in mind," he said. "As long as whatever program that's put together is easy for the public to see what's going on with the money."
On a one-to-five scale, West rates City Manager Larry Lehman a two.
"I don't believe he's a good communicator," West said. "I believe he has a tendency to overstep his bounds."
"To me, the most important issue is restoring the public's confidence, because that leads to everything for the city," West said, "whether it's passing a 2-cent gas tax or getting the voters behind the funding of an emergency services vehicle."
Next four years
West said employment is the most important issue for city during the next four years.
"Reducing unemployment is very important to the financial viability of Pendleton," he said.
"I'm not a politician," West said. "I'm not going to tell people what they want to hear. I pride myself in being very truthful, very honest, very accountable and I expect the same of others. I have a real strong sense of fairness."