Letter: Don’t stereotype technical experts



The Columbian’s Oct. 2 endorsement, “Clark Public Utilities commissioner: Julia Anderson,” causes one to pause. Without regard to the specific endorsement that The Columbian is making, the rationale for that endorsement shines light on an apparent blind spot of the editorial board when they cite Jim Malinowski’s engineering credentials as somehow a mismatch or liability for the position.

With the statement, “Malinowski is technology-savvy, but voters are not hiring an engineer or a plant supervisor,” is The Columbian really saying that people who are trained or experienced in systems thinking, asking critical questions, problem-solving or who understand the nuances of the system they are responsible for governing are somehow not qualified? Really?

To those who argue “it’s (the position is) to represent voters, not be the technical expert,” I would offer that this voter appreciates being represented by a diverse set of thinkers (including technical experts) who can work together on increasingly complex policy, economic and technical issues that our community faces.

Please ditch the pocket-protector stereotype. A few more “technical experts” in leadership positions at all levels would not be a bad thing.

Paul Speer