Jack Benson's service, record, outshine his opponent's

Jack Benson's service, record, outshine his opponent's

April 9th, 2013 in Opinion Times

Jack Benson

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

City elections are rarely single-district affairs, but that's the case today. Veteran City Councilman Jack Benson, a stalwart for the past three terms, easily took the lead in the regular March 5 election, yet with four opponents in the field, he didn't pull a 50-percent-plus-one majority. He has earned re-election today, and we strongly endorse him in this runoff.

His opponent, Larry Grohn, has frequently distorted Benson's record. But residents of the district should know better. Benson has for years helped plan and implement District 4's growth plan, and he has well served the community as an honest broker and referee in the constant tug of war between developers and residential interests.

His focus and help in building Heritage Park was essential to that effort, and his steady attendance at gatherings of residents' groups and at City Council meetings (he's missed only one in three terms) has proved a constant benefit to all the district's voters.

With at least five new members on the nine-member council, and the District 9 contest still unresolved, District 4 voters should welcome the opportunity to return Benson and his experience and leadership to the council. With nothing known about Grohn's own civic history or pertinent experience in his previous out-of-state residences, Grohn still has focused on distorting and tarring Benson's service.

He has wrongly accused him of favoring developers -- never mind the fights he's had with them to uphold the growth plan -- and of aligning with Mayor Ron Littlefield -- never mind his disputes with the mayor, as well. What Benson's record illustrates is that he listens to both sides, and by his record, makes sound decisions. A former teacher and school principal, Benson is also well-versed in education and economic issues.

Grohn, by contrast, has nothing to show for his own record except allegiance to tea party factionalism. Benson is a far-better choice. District 4 voters who care more for sound government and experience than inaccurate potshots and fierce partisanship will serve their district well to re-elect Benson today.