Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Pasco City Council, 2005 to present.
The city of Pasco is keeping up with infrastructure. In the future, additions are needed in police and fire departments, such as an additional fire station in West Pasco. The issue here is cost. I prefer to borrow as little as I can for as short a time as I can.
Proper planning is needed for road 100 to avoid another Road 68.
One of the reasons for increased homelessness is that rents on apartments are going up so fast. We need more apartments to meet the demand so there is enough apartments for everyone at affordable rent levels. The way to encourage more apartments to be built in Pasco is to take away the almost $5,000 per unit impact fee and replace it with an incentive to build by a property tax incentive for the first three years. This will encourage more construction of new apartments providing more choices at lower rents to more people from the wealthiest down to the poorest.
Many senior citizens are on fixed incomes. Fees charged to seniors for city services should not be increased higher that increases in Social Security income.
I am committed to maintaining the services provided by the Senior Center in Pasco.
Legal immigration should be streamlined so immigrants can become citizens. Many illegal immigrants contribute to our community, especially in agriculture. I favor order at the border.
Cost of compliance with State mandated environmental regulations for things like storm runoff.
Growth in Pasco means that our city compares with larger cities on the west side in negotiating union wages for our employees.
Consistency in code enforcement on properties in the city, including application of nuisance property designation.
A spirit of togetherness and a downtown that is attractive to all.
At this time, the designation of nuisance status to certain properties in Pasco further aggravates effective management and code compliance and complicates prospects for sale of such properties that are strategically located near the downtown.
Often members of the council are additional sets of eyes and ears for the city manager. I will keep the city manager informed of concerns that come to my attention and work for resolution to issues in the best possible way, by being available to meet and work together. We are on the team together that seeks to serve the citizens of Pasco.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Pasco Taco Crawl Co-founder. Pasco Public Facilities District Treasurer. “Somos Pasco” steering committee. Visit Tri-Cities representative on the Tri-Cities Legislative Council. Tri-Cities Public Market board of directors. Leadership Tri-Cities, Class XVIII. Pasco Police Department Citizens Academy.
Pasco is a very fast growing city. In fact, it will be the biggest city in the Tri-Cities within the next decade. This has created huge pressure on our infrastructure, from roads, to schools, to sewer. We need to improve the interchanges at Road 68 and Road 100. They are simply not designed for the existing or planned commercial and residential demand. The Lewis Street Underpass is in desperate need of replacement, and the upcoming project to do so will be a major revitalization of Downtown Pasco.
Pasco is a young community. Our schools are over capacity, and are still growing at a rate of about 600 students per year. The school district and its supporters have their work cut out for them. How does the city help? Draw in and create more businesses. Commercial and industrial development increases our city-wide property taxes without adding additional students.
Homelessness has many causes, and it needs a full suite of solutions. The Union Gospel Mission provides services to some of our homeless population, but its faith-based approach and intolerance for drug use, while well intentioned, exclude some of the most needy in our community. I believe Pasco should study and work to implement key ideas of a Housing First approach. We can and should partner with amazing organizations like Tri-Cities Community Health, and Habitat for Humanity, to build and manage a development of “tiny homes.” These affordable and simple houses could provide safety and security to the homeless while simultaneously ensuring access to social services by establishing a permanent address.
Pasco needs to ensure it has sufficient community center space to serve as a gathering space and social space for seniors. With the recent closing of Pasco’s Senior Center in my district, it is incumbent on the city to work quickly to provide a replacement. Rick Terway, the Director of Parks and Recreation for Pasco, has recommended a new community center in West Pasco, but that may still be years away. Pasco needs to ensure that the entire community is well served, in both West Pasco and East Pasco.
Some of our senior citizens in Pasco are also on fixed incomes. This makes it very difficult for them to endure increases to their monthly bills, especially property taxes. Pasco must continue to bring in new businesses to help bear the brunt of infrastructure cost through property taxes.
Immigration has been a huge part of Pasco’s recent history. This has made us by far the most diverse of the Tri-Cities. However, setting and enforcing the rules for immigration are a federal concern and not a local one. The City of Pasco is responsible for ensuring safety of all people within its city limits, regardless of nationality or immigration status. I understand how important it is for Pasco residents to feel they are fairly treated, no matter their race, citizenship or income. We need to embrace our diversity as our greatest strength.
Pasco has a number of challenges that it is facing. Its growth is nearly overwhelming, as discussed above. It has a large immigrant population, including those without legal status. Pasco is lacking many “white collar” professional jobs requiring post-secondary education. There is a national trend of declining voter participation. But our voter apathy here in Pasco is especially pronounced, especially in our central and east Pasco areas. Downtown Pasco has suffered from a lack of investment from the city and from private sources.
While Pasco has many challenges, these challenges can be met and even turned into opportunities, with the right leadership in place.
For decades, the city has been focusing almost exclusively on West Pasco. Builders and investors naturally followed suit. Downtown Pasco became run down, and though Latino business owners have moved in and worked to revitalize, there is still much more to do. There is great potential in Downtown Pasco. It is the best location in the Tri-Cities for a walkable downtown. A vision must be established with input from business owners, residents, and private investors so that we can plan for improvements in infrastructure. City council needs to work with business owners to remove unnecessary and expensive regulations and requirements. We must bring new life to the heart of our city.
This investment is important because it addresses multiple challenges at once. It creates job opportunities and increases our economic diversity. It engages a population in Pasco that is underrepresented in the voting demographic. It helps ensure there is an adequate property tax base to fund our growth.
Fundamentally, the City of Pasco functions like any corporation. The City Council is the Board of Directors. They set policy through the municipal code and a strategic vision for the city. City Council sets the expectations for the City Manager and ensures he is performing his job successfully. The City Manager is like the CEO of a corporation. He hires and directs staff to achieve the goals set forward by the Council. Like any good member of a Board of Directors, I will focus on policy and strategy, and allow my CEO to figure out how to implement the vision set forth. I will ensure the City Manager hears the feedback of the residents through me as well.
I have a long history of working with city staff already, due to my extensive volunteerism. I have had many conversations with City Manager Dave Zabell, and with Pasco’s deputy city manager and directors. I fully expect to continue having a highly functional relationship with the City Manager when I am on the City Council.