Town where you live
La Center, WA
Experience (300 characters max)
40 years of comprehensive management experience and responsibility in the manufacturing industry.
La Center Planning Commissioner since March 2015.
Clark County has projected La Center's population to be 4,525 by 2022, a 41% increase over today's estimated population. This growth will put additional pressure on roads, sewers, parks, and schools. Like many cities, both large and small, finance and construction of infrastructure is an ongoing problem. La Center has taken steps to address some of these issues. We are extending our sewer line out to the I-5 junction to service the businesses we hope to attract. To help with traffic congestion, in 2018 we are going to build a roundabout at the intersection of 4th Street and Pacific Highway. There will be a school bond issue on the ballot within a few months to raise money to expand our schools. And as our schools expand there will be growing pressure to upgrade nearby streets to accommodate increased school-related traffic.
To date, the obvious presence of homeless persons has not been a serious problem. In those instances when it does happen, our excellent police department handles the situation with compassion by offering aid in locating appropriate assistance to those in need.
Enacted in 1987, the McKinney-Vento Act defines student homelessness. Our school district does have students who meet the definition of homeless under this federal legislation, and they are eligible to receive various support services as provided by this law. The school district works with appropriate agencies to ensure these students receive available benefits.
Many of us have had the experience of having to assist and care for aging parents in recent years. As a result, I can begin to understand the challenges many seniors must eventually face. I support programs and organizations that assist seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life.
Legal immigrants are welcome in La Center. Many work here and live here, and all are assets to our community. From a law enforcement perspective, illegal immigration has not been an issue in La Center.
In a word – growth. Growth is a double edged sword. A growing city is often seen as a prosperous city, and there are good reasons for this perception. But a growing population will require increased services and will have an impact on our schools and infrastructure. Traffic will increase. We must find ways to handle the growth so that La Center retains the features that make it the best place in Clark County to live. The challenge is to do that at the same time that our revenues are decreasing.
In a nutshell, the largest issue we face is the loss of revenue. For many years La Center has depended on our cardrooms for over 70% of our income. The opening of the nearby tribal casino has had a serious impact on those revenues, and we must find ways to increase income from other sources if we are to avoid cutting services (which no one wants). We have over 700 new residences approved to be built in the next few years. The impact fees from this construction will be welcome, but in the long run we need income from new businesses. The Planning Commission has been working hard to create a master plan to develop the area at the I-5 junction, but that will take many years to build out. In the meantime, we must make every effort to stretch our reserves to bridge the gap. We will do that by carefully managing our expenses.
I have the personal time available to assist the mayor and our city in any way that would be of value. As a future council member, I look forward to becoming involved with the economic development of La Center.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
LaCenter City Council 2004-2012
Citizen's Academy graduate
LaCenter Police Advisory Coalition - Chrmn
Our growth has almost doubled since the year 2000. Our schools are over crowded, our streets are becoming clogged with traffic and our bridge, built in 2001, will only last another 5-10 years. Our Police Department and City Council have outgrown their buildings and funding will need to be found to replace them.
We have a disturbing amount of homeless teenagers and as of the end of the school year they were being housed by friends and/or relatives in our City. We are getting homeless people occasionally showing up in LaCenter but we have no ordinance to handle them at this point. Our Police Department either asks them to move out of City Limits or helps them get to a nearby shelter so they can get some help.
I am very committed to helping our Senior Citizens in any way I can. I volunteer at holiday time with events like “Sheriff's Posse” to put together food and gifts for families and Seniors and we have a very good “Meals on Wheels” group here every Thursday.
We don't have a very big “illegal” immigant problem in LaCenter but we do have some. I understand the farmers need to have good and inexpensive workers for their crops but as a teenager I was able to pick berries for Summer money. I don't see that as an option anymore. It's my feeling anyone coming to US needs to come in legally.
The biggest issue facing our City is the loss of two of our non-tribal cardrooms. Between the Indian Casino, at the junction, and the opening of several Poker rooms in the Portland area our card rooms have lost customers. The Chips Casino (card room) closed about 2 years ago and The New Phoenix closed a few months ago because so many of their employees got jobs at ILANI. The City's huge task is to try to recover some of that lost tax revenue.
Another issue is finding land and funds to build at least one new school.
I feel the most urgent issue is finding ways to make up our lost tax revenue since our non-tribal card rooms are not generating as much income as they were 5-10 years ago.
I will continue to urge marketing of our City to any and all commercial and industrial entities who might be looking for new locations. With our easy freeway access and newly acquired land to our Urban Growth Boundary I hope it's just a matter of time our City WON'T be the “best kept secret” it HAS been for years.