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Pierce CITY OF ORTING Mayor

Term: 4 yrSalary: $12,000The mayor shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. He or she shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order is maintained in the city, and shall have general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interests. The mayor essentially serves as both the leader in name of the city, and the day-to-day active city manager.
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    Joshua Penner (NP) Small Business Owner

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    Joachim (Joe) Pestinger (NP) Mayor

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this office?

What are three major issues facing your city or town?

Of the three, which one is the most critical?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

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

What are the issues surrounding your city's infrastructure?

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

Mailing Address PO BOX 933
ORTING, WA 98360
Phone (253) 987-6655
Email josh@votepenner.com
Town where you live Orting
Experience (300 characters max) Orting City Council, 2011-Present; Pierce County Charter Review Commission, 2016; Orting Deputy Mayor, 2015; Small Business Consultant, 2011 - Present; Crisis Intervention Trainer; Veterans Advocate, 2009-Present; United States Marine Corps, Iraq War Veteran, 2004-2011
We have a city bursting at the seams; a police department that needs more officers in uniform; a lahar evacuation system that needs to be funded and built; a downtown core that is desperate for new and sustaining business; and plans already exist to add several hundred more homes! We need a Mayor that recognizes these challenges exist and commits to delivering solutions that address them. Our current Mayor has not established leadership on these issues, and more.

With your vote, I will.
GROWTH: The dramatic growth of Orting and the area surrounding us has led to challenges including ever-increasing traffic, overcrowding at our schools, and difficulties maintaining our sense of one cohesive community.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Currently, with every new family who moves into the Orting Valley, our ability to evacuate diminishes.

BUDGET: Cities budgets often get balanced off growth. We are nearing buildout in Orting. We need to focus on budget sustainability.
These three challenges are all related. And there are more that would be valuable to discuss too. The issue, as it refers to being a Mayor, is not which one item we choose to prop up as our one critical obstacle; instead, it is how we can build teams of dedicated citizens and leaders to address them. Fostering teamwork and establishing objectives for our city to achieve is the crucial role a Mayor should fill, and one we desperately need if we are to address all of these issues, and more.
As a member of your Orting City Council, I have been involved in crafting several budgets that provide support for the Orting Senior Center. However, my personal commitment to senior citizens has entailed more than working as part of a group to allocate funds.

In my work with Veterans, I have spent countless hours in senior centers throughout the Puget Sound; creating clubs and social groups of aging and at-risk Veterans and connecting them with resources as well as other communities.

Within Orting, we have different communities of senior citizens. Not just Veterans. Many living throughout new and established neighborhoods, and some living in senior only areas of town, including the Soldiers Home.

If you are a senior citizen in Orting, it is vital to our community that we hear from you about what we can do for you as a city. My commitment as Mayor is to be present, to meet with you where you are, and to help your needs be aired and addressed.

The question of whether Orting should have any particular approach to immigration, legal or otherwise, is distracting to the broader concerns of the topic. Even though some cities in our region have declared themselves Sanctuary Cities, I believe Orting itself is best represented on this issue by engaging our state and federal representatives in open discussions about the practical impact of immigration policy on our community.
As a long-time member of our Public Works & Transportation Council Committees, I've had the opportunity to help tackle significant challenges in Orting; including, the Orville Rd water line replacement, Calistoga Setback Levee, Rainier Lane reconstruction, and so much more.

On the horizon, we need to improve our solids handling facility and replace another massive water line, as well as rebuild Kansas Street. I'm leading the budget discussions for several of these projects, currently.
Those who are experiencing homelessness need not be homeless forever.

I had the opportunity to chair a team of community leaders in addressing regional challenges we face concerning homelessness. In this, I learned how difficult it is to provide meaningful solutions to this issue.

I believe the best thing we can do as a community is to support community-led efforts to prevent housing crises from beginning and to rapidly provide support for those who are going through them when they do.
Phone (360) 893-6617 253 820-0283 (c)
Email pestinger@earthlink.net
Town where you live Orting
Experience (300 characters max) Mayor; Fire Commissioner; Deputy Mayor; City Council Member; Principal Partner, A Better Way--MEDIATION, LLP; Director of Real Estate Services, Washington State Department of Transportation; Real Property Supervisor, City of Seattle; Land Management Supervisor, Clark County Public Works Department
It's been an honor to serve as Mayor for the last 3 1/2 years and as Fire Commissioner and City Council member before that. Orting has benefited from my service on the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board to which the Pierce County Mayors elected me. We have great needs for federal, state and county funding for critical transportation and community projects. I'm running because I feel I offer the most effective experience, connections, and cooperation with other jurisdictions.
TRANSPORTATION There are only 3 roads into the valley. 65% of traffic goes thru town to south PC. Congestion on SR 410/167 affects us and requires a lot of collaboration. With the Mayor of Sumner I got initial funding for a mini train to McMillin. I'm pursuing projects to help our children be safer, cars to move faster, and air to be cleaner.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION Earthquakes, Eruptions, Flooding & Lahars threaten us. City, Fire, Police, Schools, DEM, and USGS must coordinate efforts. (MORE)
(continued) COMMUNITY PREPAREDNES & SELF-RELIANCE An earthquake could cut the valley off from surrounding help. We need to protect utilities and contact with citizens and others. Neighbors need to help each other. Our annual Preparedness Fair with the Fire Dept. attracted more than 400 people last year. Education is a continuing effort.

MOST CRITICAL? On a routine basis Transportation is most critical. But the moment an emergency strikes, Evacuation and Self-Reliance will be most critical.
I'm glad we have a Senior Center in town. The city supports it by providing a grant for it each year. The Senior Center includes a "mini" food bank. I actively participate in the monthly meetings of the Orting Community Network (OCN), which includes representatives of the Senior Center. The Food Bank, School District, Fire and Police Departments, the Library, Faith-Based Organizations, City Council members, and County Social Services Organizations, are also represented. The group shares resources and coordinates efforts to be most effective in serving all members of our community. Orting has no public transit service, so transportation is recognized by OCN members as a major issue. The Senior Center is now working on leasing a Van from Pierce Transit to transport seniors to Dr. appointments and to meals served at the Center. Since we have limited medical service in town, I am encouraging MultiCare's Good Sam's Hospital to open a clinic in Orting.
I think orderly immigration makes sense. I came here from Germany myself. On the national level we need to deal with illegal immigration and find a way to properly legalize it. Deciding if someone gets to stay in the US or gets kicked out, ought to be made here, instead of sending them home and then come back. While I am not in favor of us becoming a Sanctuary City (that would be a City Council decision) I do want our Police Officers to continue treating each person with kindness and respect.
Our Orville Rd. water line leaks like a sieve. At the last minute the County permit would not let us leave the abandoned line in the old location. Our engineers estimated that this would increase the cost by $1.5 million and could jeopardize or delay the project. I was able to meet with the Field Engineering Manager and got the requirement removed. We have a similar problem in State Route 162. I'll be meeting with WSDOT (my former employer for 10 years) to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
Housing for homeless veterans will be built on the site of the Soldiers Home. I asked that Orting veterans be included. The county just funded a mobile intervention team. The County Executive assured me that these resources will also be available to the city. As to homelessness and substance abuse, we need to find the right balance of protecting the community from deviant behavior and providing support to those in need. Community and City Council members are bringing a "Recovery Café" to Orting.

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