...That leaves the Eureka City Council Ward 4. First, the citizens of Eureka should be thankful that both these men are willing and most able to serve and there really is no wrong choice. However, of the two, we are backing Rex Bohn as the stronger candidate.
The last 3 ! / 2 years on the council Chris Kerrigan has demonstrated that he is hard-working, articulate and a good listener. He is on the right side of many issues we support -- quality of life issues such as beautification and trails, for instance. However, there were several instances in this campaign where issues of character arose and Chris came up a little short.
In campaign literature, Kerrigan takes credit for being "instrumental" in "saving and creating hundreds of jobs in our community." Well, not exactly. As a member of the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, he is one of 18 people who represent cities and agencies throughout the county. About 80 (full-time equivalent) jobs have indeed been "created" since Chris joined the board in 2001, most outside Eureka. In addition, there are a number of local businesses reporting jobs were "saved" because they received RREDC loans, a claim that is always open to some skepticism.
In addition, Kerrigan has exaggerated his role in the effort to bring direct air service from Los Angeles. (Some credit goes to the Humboldt County aviation director and RREDC staff for doing the legwork, in conjunction with the city of Redding, which initiated the entire effort.)
Exaggeration is not all that uncommon, especially in politics. However, Kerrigan made a serious misstep when one of his supporters, activist Richard Salzman, sent out an e-mail using Kerrigan's phone number soliciting funds. In it Salzman wrote that challenger Rex Bohn was "out for himself a greedy oil executive bent on revenge." It is a failure of leadership that Kerrigan did not act in the wake of the controversy by publicly condemning Salzman's comment and by apologizing.
We are backing Bohn because he appears to be a man of strong character with a lifetime of real-life experiences to bring to the council, and he has a track record of getting things done.
That was then. ◼ THIS IS NOW - with Salzman at his side. And a little more carefully worded bio.
No mention of ditching his job in the middle to go on a quixotic quest to become a big-wig in the oh-so-honest-and-ethical John Edwards Presidential campaign.