I am writing this letter to voice my support for Phillip Houk as our next Mayor. I have known Phillip since the late 70's when he moved back to Pendleton. I have not met a person who volunteers as much as he does, nor a person who is willing to take on some of Pendleton's most difficult roles. Phillip has earned my respect.

Around 1981, when I was still Pendleton's Police Chief, Phillip joined the police reserves. He had his college degree in the field but was eager to continue learning. His calm but deliberate approach to community issues earned the respect of the other officers. In 1983, Phillip completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Weapons & Tactics School and then served on the S.W.A.T. team for three years. He also returned to graduate school to get his MBA and MPA. I later watched him work as a youth counselor, start his own business as a general contractor (hiring several employees), while working full-time as the director and trainer for St. Anthony Hospital.

Then in 1985, he started working for Union Pacific handling risk management and foundation issues. Throughout all of that, he also volunteered in our community in so many different areas.

It was really nice to see Phillip going door to door to find out the needs of our citizens.

That is just like him. I know that finding solutions to problems facing seniors in our community is something Phillip will work for. There are more of us around now and it is nice to have a real friend and advocate for our aging population.

While speaking with Phillip, I learned that he intends to donate all the Mayor's net pay to scholarships for Pendleton High School graduates who plan on attending Blue Mountain Community College. That is also just like Phillip. He has not and will not receive any financial gain by serving the Pendleton community. I hope the Pendleton community understands the commitment Phillip Houk has given our community and get behind him in this race.

Ernest Gallaher


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