Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Strong background in business held corporate leadership positions with JCPenney, Sears and Nordstrom. Involved with many of the nonprofits in Snohomish: Food Bank, Kiwanis, Grow Washington, Boys and Girls Club, Chamber of Commerce, Car Show, and current President of the Kla Ha Ya Days Festival.
Parking is a concern to all, including shoppers, event attendees, and business owners. But safety for those people who park and enjoy downtown is also a concern. Crosswalks with flag system or yellow flashing alerts are needed. Our roads, water, sewer and storm lines all need to be updated, and money planned for repairs, improvements and changes. Highway 9 needs to be addressed with the increased traffic that will impede Snohomish as areas around us continue to build and expand.
Snohomish is a small town with limited budget. However it is a leader providing a warm safe place for homeless with the Cold Weather Shelter provided for every night below 32. Snohomish can and should work with building alliances with other cities, county, and state agencies in a concerted effort to assist and work toward long term solutions for our homeless populations.
I have a passion to addressing issues with seniors, both locally and statewide. Have an extensive track record of providing programs geared for seniors, as I led the Snohomish Senior Center for 5 ½ years as its Executive Director, and now work for the City of Everett as the Director for the Carl Gipson Senior Center. Seniors are the history of Snohomish; a large part of what our city promotes, and important to keep active and engaged for their health and the value they bring to the community.
As a small town, we will follow the guidelines set forth nationally and statewide. I continue to believe (as our forefathers did in welcoming any and all who seek a better life here), and promote a process of inclusion that is done legally.
Drugs and crime. Part of which go hand in hand. Currently I am working with the City of Everett, Snohomish County DHS, The Snohomish Health District, and 14 senior centers throughout Puget Sound to promote awareness of the opioid epidemic. Citizen crime watch groups need to be encouraged to help combat illegal activity in the city.
Finding long term solutions, and work initially to curb the drug and crime issues. There is not one person who has not been affected by these personally or knows someone who has. Assistance for people needing help, stronger punishment for dealers, and follow cities like Everett who are going after the source. We need to provide a safe and healthy city for our residents, and that will encourage others to come participate in our events, experience our community, bring revenue and businesses, and continue to showcase our model city.
The initial responsibility will be to build trust among staff, council, mayor and citizens. Utilize the great staff we have in the city for information, operations, and continuity, and the council can work at rebuilding bridges and recruit people to serve together for a common goal, rather than fueling fires of divisiveness. This will allow a common goal and business plan to be established and move forward in a positive manner.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Volunteer experience: Community Advisory Board Member, Snohomish County Tomorrow; Central-Emerson PTA Membership Chair; FIRST Lego League Asst. Coach, Snohomish Boys & Girls Club; Snohomish Community Food Bank; United Way Project Homeless Connect; citizen contributor, Hal Moe Pool Advisory Committee
Snohomish sits between Highway 9 and Highway 2, arterials that have become increasingly busy. Many people use our surface streets to cut through our town. We have limited funding for road improvements to address this traffic and the damage to our roads. We are seeing tremendous growth outside our city, which means the traffic problems will get worse, and we need to plan ahead for transportation improvements and find funding. With the growth outside our city comes additional demands on our school district. Local taxes and levies are already considered to be high, and state funding continues to be deficient. This means there are not enough funds to counter these impacts upon classrooms and our children. In addition, our roads, bridges, civic buildings, schools, storm and waste water systems, and other structures are vulnerable to earthquake damage and there is little funding for preventative measures.
When people think of homelessness, they think of the visible homeless - those living on the street and in camps. Many of the visible homeless are dealing with mental health issues, including substance abuse. Many people are not aware of the invisible homeless, including children that are classmates of my kids, who are living in shelters or other temporary housing. Many are working families who, with rising housing costs, can no longer afford housing. These different groups require different tactics. The structure in place to deal with the visible homeless is primarily police contact, with officers assessing needs then trying to help people gain access to a path to stability, through getting connected with mental health services, substance abuse care, or stable housing. We do have a volunteer-run cold weather shelter in town, and the city could could provide assistance with that effort. As for the invisible homeless, the city could promote more family affordable housing developments.
Our senior citizens are to be honored for what they have built, and we need to ensure they can afford to live in our town and have access to services and activities. Many have fixed incomes and are affected by increased housing costs such as rental rates, property taxes, and utility rates. We need to ensure that there is affordable housing available for them and that there is consideration of the impacts on seniors of any property tax and utility rate increases. Additionally, we need to make sure that our streets are walkable and accessible for seniors, with ramps, non-slip textures, level sidewalks and safer crossings. Seniors have a wealth of experience and much to offer to help guide our city forward, and I plan to make it easier for them to provide their input through meeting with them in the community, whether at the Senior Center, local facilities, or a table set up on Senior Days at local grocery stores.
Immigration is a heated issue right now. My mother emigrated from Thailand after she and my dad married during the Vietnam War. I witnessed bigotry and hate toward her while I was growing up and I have experienced hate speech and threats. We should respect all people and not make assumptions based upon language or physical appearance. I support legal immigration because I am a product of it and this nation is a product of it. Regarding illegal immigration, the current law is the law, but enforcement should maintain decency, compassion and safety for those affected, and local police should determine what level of enforcement best serves their community. Snohomish operates under the guidelines of the Snohomish County Sheriff, which has a sanctuary policy. This was put in place because many in law enforcement feel that this approach better serves the interest of public safety. Some in town do not agree with this assessment, but I defer to the view of the law enforcement experts.
Our city is in a rapidly growing region, and growth in the areas around us will affect us even if we try to pretend it is not happening. We need to work together within our city government and with other jurisdictions to determine proactively how that growth will affect us. Growth has led to a lack of affordable housing and to increased demand on our roads. The opioid epidemic is taking an ever-larger toll on our town. There are divides in our town that we will need to bridge to work toward common goals. There is also a general feeling of disconnection from our city government and a sense of a lack of transparency of our government.
The most urgent issue facing the city of Snohomish is the impression that there is a lack of transparency in our city government. We cannot move forward on problems and goals if people don't trust their government. Instead of asking people to reach in to communicate with their government, I want to try to reach out to meet people where they are. Strategies I'd like to employ are town halls, neighborhood meetings, coffee chats, and setting up listening tables at local grocery stores and events so people can ask questions and voice opinions while going about their day to day activities.
I will do everything I can to ensure the success of our Mayor. Listening is my number one tool for working with anyone. By listening, I can gather information and find common ground to determine shared goals. Once our shared goals are known, I will work on building bridges among the council, staff, and Mayor. I will support the Mayor in his or her work, but will not hesitate to speak up should I disagree with a course of action in order to open up discussion about how to proceed.