Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
20 year BI resident. Active in progressive environmental and social justice movements.
Registered Civil Engineer.
36 years project and program management experience with Naval Facilities Engineering Command, in environmental, planning and public works arenas.
Traffic increasingly frustrates residents. Implementing the Core 40 Shoulder Improvement Program will encourage more biking, walking and other non-motorized transportation. SR-305 is a barrier to east-west connection across BI. Improve traffic flow with better light timing, enable islanders to both access and cross the road and even spread the commuter traffic to other routes (such as Kingston-Seattle).
The electric grid experiences frequent and long lasting interruptions. I asked PSE to bring us projects that improve reliability, cuts few trees, do not put overhead lines over schools and instead buries the lines in improved road shoulders for bikers.
Our police facility is woefully inadequate and our court facility is in leased property. The city is designing for a new combined facility. We must keep the construction costs and operating costs as low as possible and still meet our needs.
Our best estimate of homeless people in our community averages between 6 and 7. Any homelessness needs to be addressed. We needs to monitor the multitude of problems associated with homelessness and work with Helpline and Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) to not just make sure the homeless are being served, but that it can be avoided. The city must do more to promote or create affordable housing. COBI has just established an Affordable Housing Task Force. The city will need to craft new inclusive zoning policies, remove obstacles to accessory dwelling units and tiny houses, and consider tax relief and other financial incentives to encourage builders to build more affordable units. The city must also partner with agencies like HRB and Kitsap Housing to ensure affordable housing units remain affordable in perpetuity. The city should also consider instituting a $15 minimum wage as Seattle has done to reduce the gap between low incomes and housing expenses.
Seniors provide our community with a pool of talented volunteers and play an important role in civic affairs. Affordable housing is a growing issue and so is convenient transportation. We must revamp our zoning to provide for truly affordable homes and rentals. Allow for smaller houses and ADUs, home sharing and apartment creation in existing homes. I’ll work to ensure that affordable and physically accessible homes become a part of any new development. We need regular all-day bus service is needed to not only meet the needs of seniors, but children and those who would prefer to limit their automobile use. I will also work to make our community more walkable and convenient for those with mobility problems who want and need as much independence as possible. Our Senior Center, a local non-profit, provides excellent services to seniors and serves as a valuable information and referral source to meet the needs of seniors. I will support the Senior Center.
Earlier this year, our city council passed the Welcoming Resolution and the Community Policing Ordinance which established our commitment to be open to all people and to ensure our police not act as immigration enforcers. I fully support these measures and will do all within my power to make sure that they are followed and enforced. When immigrants are afraid to talk to the police it makes them and the whole community less safe.
Comprehensive Plan: Our city is now working to codify our Comp Plan and I want to make sure this process goes as quickly and as accurately as possible.
Growth Pressure: We have created a real sense of place and avoided the mistakes so many other communities have made. We value our farms and our forests and the natural beauty of our island. We must preserving it through innovation, a total focus on managed growth and learning from other creative communities.
Emissions: Upcoming contract negotiation with PSE must be conducted with real skill, exacting research and by joining with other communities in the PSE service area.
Financial Limitations: We must carefully analyze all large capital outlays and leave no stone unturned to reduce costs. Additionally, our financial priorities must match our community priorities. Moody's Investors Service upgraded the City’s general obligation unlimited tax bond rating to Aa1 last year. Maintaining an excellent rating is essential.
Effective and thorough implementation of our Comprehensive Plan will force us to actively address the major issues we face. Our plan speaks to the need for managed growth, affordable housing, diversification, addressing climate change and expanding our transportation options as well as other significant issues.
I believe I have already established good communication with our present city manager in the four years I have been interacting with him. Clarity and a well development statement of priorities is crucial from council if the city manager is to use his time and staff time most productively. Equally important is for a council member to be open to frank input from our city manager on an on-going basis.
I have been managing multimillion dollar infrastructure programs for the Federal Government for three decades. I can recognize high quality staff work and will hold him and the staff accountable to consistently provide it. Additionally I am trained as a continuous process improvement expert (Lean Six Sigma black belt certified). I will encourage the city manager to continue using these techniques to identify and eliminate inefficient or ineffective practices in City Hall.
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Town where you live
Bainbridge Island, WA
Experience (300 characters max)
Matthew is currently the Chief Commercial Officer for PlanetRisk, a big data company, where he leads the commercial business. He was CEO of a Northwest cyber security company, and started and sold a technology and services company with more than 400 employees worldwide.
Core 40 has been dragging on for years and is still not completed, meaning cyclists are constantly facing unsafe roads and riding conditions. We should be encouraging alternative modes of transportation such as cycling, instead of - as we are doing now - discouraging them with unsafe conditions. The City’s Infrastructure Ballot Task Force is looking at options for a proposed levy that would fund Core40 as well as potentially other downtown improvements. Additionally, cell service on a majority of the island is terrible. We must work to improve broadband and cell reception to problem areas of the island - thus increasing support for islanders working from home. In the 21st century, in a place so close to Seattle, it is unreasonable that entire portions of the island would not have cell or internet coverage.
Bainbridge Island as a City and community needs to rethink how we view homelessness and housing. HRB and the BI Police estimate that there are roughly 30 people that are homeless living on the Island at any one time. Our police do a wonderful job of treating these individuals with compassion and care. The City should look at innovative ways of partnering with local profits to continue to provide for these people, and also consider working with HRB and local businesses such as Blackmouth Design, which provides small geodesic dwellings to other cities, to provide a more sustainable and safe housing option for those homeless in our community.
Senior citizens account for a large and incredibly important portion of Bainbridge Island’s population. It is our duty to make sure that senior citizens are not priced out of homes or land they have lived on for years, and to preserve the quality of life they are accustomed to. The Senior Center provides an invaluable resource to the island’s senior citizens: offering help with transportation, hosting events, and providing important opportunities for socialization and community engagement. It is the duty of the city to make sure the Senior Center (along with other programs designed to benefit senior citizens) is adequately funded, and to make sure that our seniors are well cared for. Further, enhancing our transportation infrastructure to allow for more frequent and responsive public bus options would decrease social isolation and allow for greater access to medical, shopping, and entertainment facilities.
Immigration is the mandate of the Federal government, however, in our current political climate it's essential that local, progressive communities act with compassion and humanity toward immigrants, regardless of their status. I support Bainbridge Island being a sanctuary city and our police focusing on what they do best: protecting our safety. Our police force are not immigration officials with removal authority and should not be asking for the legal status of those they detain or interact with.
If elected, my top 3 priorities and specific actions to tackle them would be focused on:
1. Affordable housing & development: Inclusionary Zoning in the Winslow Core: This is critical for ensuring density in our downtown area and limiting sprawl throughout the island. I would also push for further code reviews to relax restrictions on ADUs and push for more funding for Housing Resources Bainbridge Home-Share program.
2. Multi-modal transportation: Core 40 & Shoulder Widening: Funded through long-range Infrastructure Ballot and General Fund reserves as well as State transportation grants. I'd also work with unions and Kitsap Transit to explore innovative transport options and look to expand BI Ride and non-commuting hour bus service.
3. Environmental preservation and energy grid reliability: Renewable Energy Fund: In coordination with the Climate Change Advisory Committee I would propose an annual fund to be administered by the Council and Advisory Committee.
Fiscal responsibility is the broad overriding issue that deserves our most immediate attention. Specifically, the city must improve its tax transparency and ability to prioritize budgets. City Council should also spearhead, through the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG), an effort to promote and highlight in a transparent manner the entirety of the debt burden borne by all of the taxing districts. Homeowners, and renters alike, are getting hit hard by rising property taxes and the City must carefully monitor its debt burden. This means planning for the future and ensuring cost overruns on project design and scoping are kept in check and communicated in a transparent manner to Island residents. Further, it is critical that residents are able to hold their local elected officials accountable. That's why, if elected I will post my votes on the City's Councilman Views website and pledge to hold office hours on a regular basis.
In our Council-City Manager form of government it is critical that the City Council lay out a clear strategic agenda, with manageable priorities for the City Manager and his staff to execute. As an individual Councilmember I would have frequent meetings with the City Manager and ensure that quarterly relationship building meetings were held with members of his staff to better understand the issues, and my stance on those matters before the Council. Finally, I believe the Council as a whole needs to set more realistic and attainable priorities based on the City's Comprehensive Plan. Everything cannot be a High level priority, so giving clear and directed support and guidance to the City Manager and his team will be a critical goal of mine.