Why are you running for office?
It has been my honor to serve the people of Federal Way for the last eight years. I believe that I have the knowledge, skills and experience to handle the issues facing our city today. I have served on many regional committees and have built relationships with state leaders, King County leaders and local leaders. In the last eight years I have worked with the council, mayor and staff on some difficult issues. I have shown leadership by providing education, information and direction for decisions by my colleagues. I strive to represent everyone in Federal Way and find solutions to problems facing our citizens and businesses. I am very active in our community and listen to the pulse of the city daily.
As a council member I have worked to maintain financial stability of the city budget both now and into the future. We must live within our means by prioritizing, controlling spending and asking the hard questions yet continue to provide the services for the needs of our citizens.
I believe I am the right person for this position to serve our citizens of Federal Way.
What is the biggest challenge currently facing Federal Way and how will you address that issue as a council member?
The biggest challenge facing Federal Way is having the resources to provide for the needs and wants of all the citizens. The City Council should find new sources of sustainable revenue to allow us to plan for the future. We need to increase staffing in all city departments, the most immediate being in police, parks and information technology. We need to be competitive in order to attract and retain highly qualified city staff. Having enough staff will allow us to have the programs needed to address homelessness, crime and planned growth.
The next 10 years will be a challenging time for our city. As Sound Transit builds Light Rail stations in Federal Way, we will need to work together and keep our businesses open and profitable.
What steps should the city take to address homelessness?
The Boise homeless case has started the process to have the Supreme Court of the United States hear their appeal. This impacts all cities across the country and our region on how we partner with local service providers in dealing with the chronic homeless. Forward thinking like the coordination of providing rent assistance, emergency and early shelter along with wrap around services can help make homelessness a one-time event.
Homelessness is a regional issue not just a Federal Way issue. By working with our partners around King County we can find ways to help those who are experiencing homelessness. We need to increase funding for mental health and for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The city should support the Family Shelter that FUSION is developing. This will serve our families in need and help provide emergency shelter in Federal Way. The city should also support NEXUS that provides shelter and programs for youth and young adults.
What would you do as a council member to help the city attract new businesses?
The economic growth of Federal Way depends on bringing both small and large businesses into our community. By working together with the Chamber of Commerce, Lakehaven Utility and South King Fire and Rescue, we can make the permitting process of starting a business easier. We should respect those who are risking it all and improve the environment to attract new businesses and retain existing businesses. We need to be responsive to those seeking services provided by the city. We can do this by being open later in the evenings and on Saturdays.
With the development of Light Rail we will have the opportunity to bring new housing and businesses into our downtown core. Council will be studying our zoning and should make any changes required now to encourage this growth.
Instead of people taking Light Rail and buses out of town to work, we will develop downtown so that people will take Light Rail and buses to come to work in Federal Way.