Dominique Torgerson is running against longtime incumbent Pete von Reichbauer for King County Council’s District 7 seat in the Nov. 3 general election.
District 7 stretches from Federal Way and Auburn to the unincorporated area just west of Enumclaw and Black Diamond.
People should vote for Torgerson because she has a good understanding of the problems that exist in King County, Torgerson said.
“I’m the only candidate that actually lives in the unincorporated area and the unincorporated area is basically the most underrepresented and the most taken advantage of,” Torgerson said. “We don’t get the support that we need, and it’s not that we need services. I would say we need to be left alone in a way.”
People in unincorporated King County want the government to get off their backs, and that’s what she plans to do if elected, Torgerson said.
“I feel like pretty much all the councilmembers always push for more legislation, more regulation and it is extremely oppressive both for businesses and residents,” Torgerson said. “It’s just made it to where people are not happy living in King County.”
Torgerson said that as elected representatives, a councilmember’s duty is to be servants of the people, not to dictate and control everything, which is what’s happening now.
One of Torgerson’s primary goals if elected is to overhaul the permitting department to make it more efficient and user friendly for the people, Torgerson said. The zoning rules are often confusing and inconsistent based on where your property is located, Torgerson said.
“There’s no accountability to it at all. I don’t like the fact the permitting department is basically a self-funded department, which incentivizes them to charge as much as possible when it comes to permits,” Torgerson said.
The permitting department is one of the biggest sources of complaints she’s heard from business owners and residents, Torgerson said.
Torgerson said another goal she has, if elected, is to make the county more environmentally friendly. Innovating and improving King County’s waste management system is one of the ways she’d like to do that, Torgerson said.
“I want us to move away from putting stuff in the landfill. I think we should start a project where we do garbage incineration,” Torgerson said. “It would be an expensive project for sure, but when it comes to taking care of our environment, why would it not be worth it?”
Improving construction techniques for new homes and buildings is another way the county could become more environmentally friendly, Torgerson said.
To help people recover from the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Torgerson said she would do everything she can to support small businesses in the county.
“We are so unsupportive of small businesses in general. We basically made it to where chain businesses have the complete upper hand,” Torgerson said. “I think we need a big tax break.”
For individuals, Torgerson said she would like to see a state stimulus check go out to people who make under a certain annual income.
“We have the ability to actually do a big one-time stimulus for our residents to get them through this period. Because of our high sales tax, we have a lot of revenue coming in from businesses,” Torgerson said.
In addition to a stimulus check, Torgerson said she’d like to cut property taxes for folks in the county.
“I’ve talked with numerous elderly people, who, because they’re on a fixed income, they’re just about taxed out of their home,” Torgerson said. “I think something we need to look at is doing what we can as a county to support something to reduce what we pay in property taxes because that is a big burden for people who own property.”
To address the homelessness issue in King County, Torgerson said the county should have a forced rehabilitation program.
“We need to have accountability. I truly believe the majority of the homeless population that we have are dependent on drugs,” Torgerson said. “I think we need to have an area where we can essentially do forced rehabilitation. If you’re not going to otherwise clean up your act willingly, we need to have forced rehabilitation or have the ability to put people in jail.”
Ballots for the general election should be mailed to registered voters three weeks before Election Day, Nov. 3, according to the King County elections website. For more information about the candidates and measures on the ballot, visit King County’s website.