Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
OS Planning Commission and Board member of the GH Count Board of Equalization. Prior experience - four years elected to the Lakeside Fire Protection District. CEO of non profit educational organization working under grant with Poway United School District. Organizer of town halls Community forums.
Ocean Shores received a grant for the design process to improve our main thorougfare into town, Pt. Brown.
The city though it held two informational meetings early in the process did not reach out to the community at large and when the preliminary design was presented it met with citizen pushback. The survey was unsatisfactory because you couldn’t vote no. Nor could you comment unless you rated the elements presented. It would have been more productive, and should be a priority as we move forward, to have a town hall. Businesses are unhappy about the parking configuration; worried about construction disruption. Citizens are troubled about losing the green median, the Memorial trees, adding more roundabouts and the increased matching funds. This project started with a desire to have sidewalks. It morphed when the city found additional grant funding and moved forward without adequately engaging the community. They seem surprised that we are not happy with the project.
I organized a panel of speakers to participate in a town hall in Ocean Shores. The subject? Homeless and Hunger. There were representatives from GH County, NB School District, Social organizations, OS Food Bank, GH housing coalition, CCAP, Pastor of the Galilean Church, and NB senior center. With over 130 attendees, the panel committed to work together to address the issue in Ocean Shores and the North Beach and to form an Ad Hoc Committee with the NB School District and the city council of Ocean Shores. I also hold weekly community discussion forums to address this issue and many there that impact our city. Collectively we are working towards solutions and opportunities for the citizens of Ocean Shores.
The majority of our full time residents in Ocean Shores are seniors. Many are living on fixed incomes. Many have been impacted by the fact that it only walk in clinic has closed. We are 17 miles from GH Community Hospital and a three hour drive from Swedish. Currently in Shores we are facing a layoff at the end of this year of seven firefighters hired though a SAFER grant that cannot be extended. There is little in the General Fund to cover the salaries of these firefighters. Our choice is to increase our ambulance utility fee or lay them off. Though it sounds like a simple choice, many seniors have been impacted negatively with all the latest increases in taxes and fees and even though it may be less than a $20 increase, they cannot afford it. I am committed to our seniors to continue to explore alternative methods of providing medical treatment and transportation which may include seeking a private ambulance company to help out in Ocean Shores.
As a naturalized citizen who emigrated to this country though the legal process, I believe our system works well. However, we often make exceptions when there is a crisis and I would seek conversation with our state representatives to be sure that they are representing our concerns at the local level correctly. Town Halls are a great way to have those conversations.
Finding ways to make our convention center more cost effective.
Market Ocean Shores effectively.
Citizens remain isolated and often excluded from conversation with government.
No adequate funding mechanisms for maintenance of roads and bridges.
An aging population.
No adequate access to medical facilities.
Increased crime. We must incorporate community policing.
Erosion at the south end caused by settling of the Jetty.
Erosion on the bay caused by increased storms and sea level rise.
Lack of affordable housing.
No marketing of Ocean Shores.
Businesses and citizens at cross purposes in regards to economic development or not.
Struggling to decide if we are a retirement community, a vacation destination or a draw for local day trippers.
Too many deer.
Feeding of deer.
Fear of more marijuana stores and bikini baristas.
Surf rescue is on everyone's mind due to a recent drowning and an almost drowning within days of each incident. Surf rescue was discontinued in Shores several years ago, in part because of the deaths of two emergency personnel in separate incidents and lack of funding. Our police and fire departments are not adequately staffed at present to assign people to a surf rescue unit. Training will be costly and wth no funds allocated in the budget, hard to imagine a team being in place this year. The discussion should be inclusive with the Coast Guard, the County Sheriff, our state and federal legislators and Ocean Shores. My plan is to bring the entities to the table in the coming months for a town hall forum to determine how best we can serve the public and at what cost.
Having served the public for four years as an elected official for the Lakeside Fire Protection District, in San Diego County while working closely with our fire chief (chief administrator) I am skilled at communication and understand (chain of command!) I am a firm believer in regards to respect you've got to give it, to get it. I will work politely with our mayor, respecting her role in the administrative process.
Town where you live
Ocean Shores, WA.
Experience (300 characters max)
John Lynn’s Biography as requested
I am 81 years of age and was a lifelong Tacoma resident before Sally & I sold our business in 2004 and retired to our Ocean Shores vacation home. I was active in my local, state and national professional associations during my 46 years as a businessman in Tacoma.
The City of Ocean Shores is continuing to recover from the recession of the early 2010 when we were facing a financial crisis. This caused us to reduce the number of people working for the city and to do more with less resources. As our city’s population continues to grow, our need for the addition/replacement of law enforcement officers and fire/emergency services personnel is in direct competition with the larger Western Washington community. We are a relatively remote community.
Our population is growing and so is the number of homeless that choose to live in Ocean Shores. Our weather is relatively mild and large parts of our city’s commercial area remains undeveloped. We need to recognize that the homeless need access to services We recently had a town hall in which several community groups presented information including local Churches and the North Beach School District on the impact on our children and fragile population.
Our population is skewed toward the senior population as many retirees elect to live here for at least a few years. While Ocean Shores is a relative inexpensive place to live away from the high taxation of the greater Puget Sound area, many of these citizens have medical needs that accompany aging. We have a need for a second medical clinic and we are working with Grays Harbor Community Hospital to eventually a clinic here. The Hospital is 30 miles away.
Immigration is a concern throughout our county. Employment potential brings families to our area. Ocean Shores has one major industry – tourism. Many of the new immigrants work in this industry throughout the county and in our City’s minimum wage positions. Many are younger with school age children and without medical insurance. I believe we need to welcome them and be supportive of them as they assimilate into our society.
Ocean Shores is a large geographic area with a small overall population. We have many unique challenges such as erosion of both the areas on the ocean and well as areas on the bay side of the city. Our fresh waterways include a lake and miles of artificial waterways and canals. These were man-made through dredging in the early 1960s’ and water circulation is a large challenge. In the summers, many unwanted plants grow and they tend to choke the waterways. Trees grow too close to the edge.
It is always hard to choose one as more urgent but I believe that the need for an adequate fire-emergency medical and police presence is the most critical. Crimes against property and crimes against people will continue to increase unless we have an adequate police department to respond to and address those concerns. Our growing population of older citizens and their medical needs continue to demonstrate the needs for a professional, well-trained and staffed medical response effort.
How does a councilman work with the city council and Mayor to accomplish these needed efforts? I believe that the best scenario is for seven council members to individually study the challenges before us. We have many resources available to us such the Municipal Research and Services Center which provides information to all elected officials as well as the Association of Washington Cities. We also have available the resources of the internet.