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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Kitsap City Of Bainbridge Island Council District 5 Central Ward

The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.
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    Rasham Nassar (NP) Organic Farmer, Licensed Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Trainee

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    Wayne Roth (NP) City Councilmember

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Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (206) 909-3207
Email rasham4citycouncil@gmail.com
Town where you live Bainbridge Island
Experience (300 characters max) I hold a BA from the University of California at Berkeley. I'm currently employed as a certified researcher in an Island-based appraisal firm. I also own a small organic farm and own/operate a farm-related Island business. Volunteer experience includes legal advocacy and work with at-risk youth.
For one, we need to provide our community with greater and safer non-motorized accessibility and connectivity island-wide. Investing in non-motorized transportation improvements has both social and environmental benefits – we could benefit the broader community by implementing improvements across multiple heavily trafficked arterials, as proposed by the Squeaky Wheels' Core 40 initiative.

Islanders have also identified a need for general infrastructure maintenance, primarily to address hazardous conditions and ensure safe passage across existing roads.

Another issue of key importance relates to how we prepare and plan for growth. As traffic steadily increases island-wide, the limited nature of our current infrastructure to accommodate our growing population is becoming increasingly obvious. Requiring infrastructure ahead of density would serve to both mitigate the impacts of our rising population on our existing community while helping to preserve quality of life.

One contributing factor to homelessness is the widening housing affordability gap. While rising land costs on the Island challenge efforts to maintain affordability, our strategy should focus on creative solutions that do not commit us to unnecessary developments or increasing taxes. Our strategy should also include the following: updating housing codes to allow a variety of low-impact options, such as tiny homes, pod homes, granny units, and additional ADU’s; high-density affordable housing options, like micro-units, in the Winslow core; an Affordable Housing Inclusionary Program for Winslow.

We need also understand the varied causes of homelessness in our area. To fully grasp the issue as it presents itself in our community, I would turn to our existing local non-profits dedicated to providing services to our vulnerable population, such as Helpline House, HRB, and the Senior Center. In working with these groups, our long-range goal should be to strengthen the services they provide.
Senior citizens are an invaluable component of our community, and all council decisions and action should strive to include a sympathetic understanding of the unique problems facing seniors on the Island today. Most notably, many seniors are living on fixed or limited incomes, and are therefore burdened by increases in property taxes. Thus, my commitment to our Island’s seniors begins here, with a fiscally conservative approach to spending that considers the cumulative impact on taxpayers in capital project planning, prioritizing budget decisions that serve the broader community base, and restricting major expenses from the city’s general fund.

Additionally, ensuring that our senior center remains capable of connecting our older population with vital community services is a sincere priority of mine. I would embrace any opportunity to enhance or improve these services and programs by exploring options to invest in our local senior center.
Earlier this year Bainbridge Island adopted the ‘Welcoming City’ title. This ordinance reaffirmed our community’s attitude regarding the status of both legal and illegal immigrants on the Island, and carried a binding policy change prohibiting Bainbridge police from investigating any person’s immigration status or nationality unless required by law of a court order, and directing police not to investigate or arrest any person solely on immigration status or nationality.

As the daughter of immigrants and in light of the current climate of our nation’s politics, I believe there has not been a more relevant time to publicly announce our intention to stand with our immigrant community. I am proud that we adopted the title of Welcoming City, and as council member will continue to embrace all residents and visitors to the city of Bainbridge Island regardless of race, ethnicity, or country of origin.
In light of climate change, we need to improve natural resource retention and management, recognizing the Island's finite capacity to sustain current quality of life for future generations in density decisions. Clear-cut developments threaten the integrity of our natural systems and water resources; strengthening our environmental protections could shift the reality of development on the Island today to more closely mirror the values present in the Comprehensive Plan.

We also need improved fiscal accountability to taxpayers, weighing future spending decisions against the principle of financial sustainability. This means a consideration of the cumulative tax impact on Islanders in capital project planning, among others.

Finally, improving trust in local government by providing responsible and responsive leadership to our community is essential – I will strive to improve that level of trust, ensuring our community's voice is heard and faithfully represented
I believe the most urgent of these issues pertains to our treatment of the environment. It has become imperative that we discover a new way forward, one that does not interfere with our environmental goals and our island's unique character. While other cities are working backwards, spending millions to reintroduce natural elements into their communities, we are fortunate to still have so many of our natural systems in place. However, development continues to occur in a manner which does not align with the concept of sustainability. Preserving our wildlife habitats and corridors, water resources, forests, air quality, and special Island character has been identified as a primary goal of our community. The Comprehensive Plan can serve as a road-map for achieving this, but only if we implement well. Furthermore, a consideration of the recommendations put forth in the 2006 Community Forest Management Plan will be beneficial in helping council determine what actions to take.
Based on my passion for working within a group setting, professional experience and mangement, and my community volunteer work with at-risk youth and legal advocacy, I intend to engage in a collaborative and open-minded spirit with our city manager, city staff, and other members of council. As a former athlete and student of project management, I enjoy working in a team setting, cooperation amongst staff and council being vital to the success of the city and its accomplishments. As council member I look forward to working productively with our city manager and staff to complete the tasks at hand effectively and accurately, while remaining focused on the broader commitment to serve the community. I possess forward-thinking mind-set and creative perspective, while my heart remains with our community’s values. I look forward to learning, sharing, and engaging in dynamic and fruitful discussions with our city manager, city staff, and other members of council.
Phone (206) 780-0756
Town where you live Bainbridge Island
Experience (300 characters max) Current City Councilmember. Chair, Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council (KRCC). President and General Manager of KUOW Public Radio, 1983-2013.
Transportation: Expansion and improvement of non-motorized transportation systems that effectively serve the needs of people of all ages and abilities and provide continuous networks of safe, efficient and attractive shoulders, sidewalks, pathways, and multi-purpose trails throughout the Island. Multi-modal transportation improvements are critical to the quality of life of Bainbridge Island. I strongly support funding such improvements with voter-approved bonds and matching grants.

Water/Wastewater Treatment: Most of the City’s residents use private wells and septic systems. I support the development and implementation of an Island-Wide Groundwater Management Plan.
I support City funding for non-profit organizations which provide human services in Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County. The current budget is $600,000 for such support.
I serve as a liaison to the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and am an advocate for the organization and its activities.
Bainbridge Island adopted a “Welcoming and Inclusive City” resolution in 2017.
Affordable housing: I support the adoption of innovative zoning regulations which increase the variety of housing types and choices suitable to a range of household sizes and incomes in a way that is compatible with the character of existing neighborhoods.

Replace obsolete police station: I support the design and construction of a combined police station & municipal court facility financed primarily with councilmanic bonds.
Expansion and improvement of multi-modal transportation infrastructure.
The Council and City Manager adopt a work plan and establish priorities annually. Progress on the plan and priorities is reviewed on a regular basis throughout the year.

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