Pulling out of the garage this morning, I heard Dick Pust on KGY preview his morning interview, saying something like "It's a man who's running for local office, but I'm not going to tell you who yet." And, I thought sarcastically, "Yeah, I bet its Ira Knight."
It was! Ira Knight Speaks! (this deserves exclamation points because up until this point, Mr. Knight hasn't been to any public forums).
Dick went right into the source of the recent controversy regarding Knight's candidacy, whether he supports same sex partner benefits for city employees. Obviously Knight doesn't, but he wanted to stay on the mantra that "everyone has the right to pursue happiness in their own way," but he also pointed out that gay marriage, for now, is not legal and that he would stick to the law. He went on to say that if the law pertaining to the nature of marriage changed, he would respect that.
Dick also repeatedly said that Knight "opened his mouth" on the topic of gay rights/marriage/benefits, which Knight never refuted.
Other topics that Dick and Ira covered included solving the downtown "problem," sidewalks and traffic.
On downtown, Ira suggested the creation of a space where local residents could come by and hire for a day someone who was out of work. His central theme on downtown being that the problem was a lack of responsibility, and that giving handouts would not solve the problem. The problem being homeless people I guess.
On sidewalks, Ira said that he would be his number one issue when he was elected to the city council. If you're wondering why Ira wasn't involved in the Walk Olympia campaign last year (that brought in the first significant sidewalks investment in years), it was because he hadn't walked around
It was nice that Ira mentioned that when he was doorbelling a lot of people said they didn't get to see elected officials all that much.
Ira said on traffic problems that the city government should plan ahead. I wonder why they didn't think of that before, it sounds so easy.
At the end of in the interview, Dick asked him if there was anything that he wished he had been asked, and Ira told him about his time serving in the 89th Air Wing, the unit that maintained and flew Air Force One. I think this is a direct quote, but Ira said, "If you aren't doing your job, they'll get rid of you in a heartbeat." That he served in that unit for 11 years speaks to his makeup as a person.