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U.S. Navy veteran and retired Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI assignments include field command as a Special Agent in Charge. I am the current Chair of the West Richland Planning Commission, serve on the city's Salary Commission and Benton County Law and Justice Council.
Currently, West Richland’s infrastructure is well maintained and required essential services are readily provided to our citizens. However, increasing population growth in our city presents long-term concerns as impact fees associated with new construction may not adequately support road, water, sewer and other essential services over the long term. Careful examination of this issue is needed now to identify actions needed by the city to address projected future demands.
The City of West Richland does not directly offer social programs or services to the public to address homelessness. However, as a community we must be sensitive to this issue and encourage support of larger governmental initiatives, as well as private and non-governmental organizations which provide help to the homeless.
As a member of AARP, I am a strong supporter of senior citizens. West Richland is fortunate to have a vibrant Senior Center and, as the current Chair of the West Richland Planning Commission, I have worked with my fellow commissioners to help ensure West Richland offers a wide range of housing choices, particularly for seniors wishing to “downsize” and remain residents of our great community.
Legal immigration should not be an issue. However, illegal immigration may pose concerns for our city, and addressing such matters will usually involve federal agencies. Although the ability to receive city services from West Richland has never been contingent upon an individual’s immigration status, West Richland does not have the resources to broadly address illegal immigration issues and must rely on federal, state or private sector assistance to help address such concerns.
1) West Richland must build a solid sales tax base to ensure long-term financial stability. However, businesses must be appropriate and fit our suburban character. 2) Our City’s leadership must better engage with the citizens through direct dialogue by establishing “town hall” style meetings with the public. 3) As a retired federal law enforcement officer, maintaining the safety and security of our city is a top concern.
Although not urgent, the safety of our citizens is paramount, and I will actively work with the city’s Police Department and other authorities to help ensure the continued security and well-being of our city. Similarly, citizen interaction with the Mayor and City Council needs to improve. Greater dialogue through holding “town hall” meetings will provide forums to solicit new ideas and help build consensus toward solving other issues, such a developing a viable, long-term tax base for the city
One of my strengths is my strong interpersonal skills. Further, I have lived in numerous cities and towns throughout the United States in connection with my military and FBI service. I have seen what works and what typically doesn’t work well in various communities. I will use my skills and experience to build consensus and team with the Mayor and members of the City Council to address current and emerging issues, ensuring West Richland remains one of the best communities in Washington.
Town where you live
With the amount of continuing residential development, our roads are not able to keep up with demand. Because of how hard last winter was on the streets, we have already used future years road budget to make necessary repairs. The coming winter could very well be just as challenging. There is a risk due to aging septic systems that nitrates will leach into our ground water and rivers. Wells and city water lines need to be updated because of age and overstretched capacity.
In speaking with the West Richland Chief of Police, I learned that a new citizens group is forming and is in the process of getting the 501(C)(3) paperwork finalized for a fund to assist those in need because of unemployment or under-employment. Although houselessness is not a major issue in West Richland, it’s good to see some citizens who are being proactive.
For the most of my life, my mom was a nurse at assist living residences and skilled nursing facilities. I grew having a great respect for the generations before me and a deep understanding in how it’s necessary to care for those who have cared for us. My earliest employment and volunteer work was at a nursing home. Later in my life, I had the opportunity in San Diego to serve as a lead active-duty volunteer in the Veterans Home. I feel that we are honor-bound to provide a good quality of life for our senior citizens.
I support our federal officials in the enforcement of immigration laws and our West Richland officers in the enforcement of state and local laws. Some cooperation is necessary. As it is, our local law enforcement is overtaxed and priorities must be observed for the safety of all those living in West Richland.
There is a lack of daytime employment and local job opportunities which we need to be a self-reliant community. We must invest in our city infrastructure to attract the businesses required. Businesses are struggling with excessive and onerous regulations, as well. There should be a balance between the amenities of a town and the peace and quiet of open spaces. Some of our citizens don’t feel like they are being heard. In all decisions by the council, we need to be responsive to citizen concerns and mindful of their wishes.
Of all these issues, infrastructure is fundamental and has the highest urgency. All our other goals depend on a fully operational infrastructure.
I will become well-informed about the issues brought before the council and work to be a voice for our citizens. I’ll advocate for changes which foster better citizen input such as improvements in the council meeting structure and the implementation of regular workshops prior to council meetings.