Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Pierce City Of University Place Council Pos. 1

The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Candidate picture

    Javier Figueroa (NP) Mayor, City of University Place

  • Candidate picture

    Betsy Tainer (NP) Landlord - property management and maintenance

Change Candidates

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 (253) 226-3927
Email javfig@comcast.net
Town where you live City of University Place
Experience (300 characters max) Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Council Member; President, Rainier Communication Commission; Lands Program Manager, State Parks and Recreation Commission; Energy Specialist, State Energy Office; Arbitrator, Better Business Bureau; Executive VP, Rockmann Development Group; U.S. Army (12 years).
There are several critical infrastructure needs in our city. One is the need for road maintenance, repair and replacement. The financial budget does not provide for ongoing maintenance, which will result in additional cost as roads deteriorate. The second critical issue is the need to provide sewer to all of University Place. There are many residences on septic systems that are aging with a great risk of failing. The cost for individual homeowners to hook up to sewer is cost prohibitive. The city, along with the county and state need to find a financial solution to provide sewer lines to the neighborhoods in need. We need to provide financial incentives and/or financing for property owners to afford sewer hookup.
University Place has and is taking assertive measures to accommodate homelessness. We participate with the Puget Sound Regional Council in addressing homelessness through growth management, affordable housing and access to transportion. We provide community partners with city resources to ensure their success in providing programs to the homeless. The city is working with multiple governmental entities and non-for profit organizations to ensure safety nets are in place in every community.
I will continue to support legislation for affordable senior housing, transportation accessibility, and senior programs. We currently have an agreement with Community Partners in University Place to provide senior programs and meals. I will continue to work on communicating to our seniors and ensure they know about the resources that are provided by Community Partners, library, schools, police department,and the fire district. We provide volunteer opportunities for seniors to be involved in throughout the year.
Simply to follow and support state and/or federal laws. However, we need to be proactive in educating, communicating and providing resources for any immigrant (legal or illegal) that will assist them in becoming community members.
As population increases in our community, we need to ensure our city provides for a safe place to live, work and play. We are a bedroom community without a lot of industry/retail to provide the revenue needed to support all the services that citizens are requesting. We must plan for smart growth to ensure economic development occurs in our community for revenue potential.
Economic development that will provide sales tax revenue.
I will continue to utilize the council policy for addressing legislative issues and changes to city ordiances. I will also continue to utilize the protocol for communicating with the city manager--address issues in private meetings and/or with other council members. I will work closely with the council to ensure our council goals provide clear directives for implementation and pass a budget that allows for those goals to be implemented by the admistration.
Phone (253) 214-6687
Email Betsy4UP@gmail.com
Town where you live University Place
Experience (300 characters max) First time candidate. I have been highly involved in recent issues including commenting at city council meeting, gathering signatures, writing voter pamphlet statements and leading campaigns against unnecessary spending & new taxes. I want a vote on the council, I want a change, I want your vote.
Planning, spending and taxes.

Our current and past city modus operandi is to say 'yes' to everything and blow through our revenues and then demand more. They have failed to listen to their constituents and willfully implemented methods to blur the facts. Let's explore a few examples: -TBD - Transportation Benefit District, $20 added to your vehicle registration. -Surface Water Management - it's on your property tax bill. One of the highest in the region. Recently awash with money after being 'borrowed' from by the city, now gone and debt marked against it for years to come. Millions! -Parks and Rec programs, gone... but new turf and lighting approved. -US Open, spent before it came in, new signage, beautification, travel. Now signs are replaced AGAIN. Art projects in maintenance shop. -We contract EVERYTHING: Police, courts, jails, animal control. -We pay huge for TPU water - we used to have our own. -Check our fleet vehicles

We ARE mismanaged. No doubt. We need a change.
It would appear for the time being that we do not have much of an issue here regarding homelessness. Why? Because we are not providing services, shelters, etc. I'd like to see us go down this same path. Build it and they will come. I truly believe that that is the primary reason why Tacoma and Seattle are experiencing such an outbreak of issues.

We need to stimulate business. We've recently experienced a very real and scary economic downturn and are enjoying a recovery. It will take time for the recovery to ripple into our lives and our city coffers. I truly believe that our level of taxation is a deterrent to economic development in our community. It drives up rents and the cost of doing business. It's the primary reason why the new businesses and investments in UP are coming from non-profits and/or businesses that don't require sales tax. Pay attention, the areas that are thriving/growing have lower tax levels.

Economic development is the best defense against homelessness.
It seems that a non-profit has taken over the much needed service at our senior center. I'd like to know if the seniors who do participate there are satisfied with their level of service. The non-profit rents the city owned facility for $1 per year. The buses once used for senior trips stand dormant in the parking lot behind city hall?? while the city council votes 'yes' to spend millions on their new digs and rub their hands together anticipating unloading yet another city owned property FOR NOTHING.

Our biggest fail to our seniors is over taxation, second is our lack of services due mostly/entirely to mismanagement and overspending.

I'm not senior YET. I'm right behind you. I tried to get my Mom out of the house to the senior center. She insisted that she didn't want to hang out with a bunch of old ladies. ha! My daughter was quick to point out to her that there were old men there too.

We have a responsibility to our aging folks, AND families. Responsible spending. Lower taxes.
Do we have an issue? I am unaware.

I hate the hatefulness that seems to have infiltrated our society in recent times.

I enjoy racial, cultural and religious diversity. Diversity makes us more interesting, and if we embrace it it will make us stronger and better.

My opposition for this seat happens to be from Mexico via Texas. I don't take fault with him for his ancestry or heritage. I take issue with him that he encourages people to watch the city council meeting via an app on their I-phone rather then attend. I take issue with him for voting to slap a TBD tax on us without having researched the issue AT ALL as was apparent in his comments prior to his YES vote. I take issue with him for spending the better of the last two years running for higher office imagining that anyone would vote for him. I take issue with him for being part of our problem. That needs to change.
SPENDING and communication.

Spending is the primary reason why they keep shaking us upside down for our spare change. Communication is how they actually have managed to succeed or nearly succeed in inflicting more damage to our wallets.

They never met a matching grant fund that they could say no to. They've put us in a debt crisis purchasing land and easements: town center as well as FIRCREST, yes... they bought easements along the east side of Mildred to carry out their road improvements there. Fircrest happily took the money.... that and the variety of property owners along that same route. Then they disperse information about Fircrest kicking in for those improvements. It's deceptive. UP Press happily prints what the city proclaims, with proceeds from our tax dollars.

A matching grant was accepted at the very same city council meeting wherein they dismantled our rec services for turf and field lighting. ???????? WHY?

NOTE: Sales proceeds disappear with no accountability.
SPENDING and communication. Bring spending down. Don't be afraid to say no to a matching grant. The cost of living and doing business here and economic development.

We cannot continue down the same path. The city of University Place enjoys a great deal of revenue from a variety of sources. They have the citizens convinced that all they get is property taxes, that that all goes to fund Police and that if we want any additional services we have to pay, pay, pay, and that anyone who objects to that perspective is simply an anti-tax person. It's simply not true.

We are not managing our resources wisely and continue to pay the price for that mismanagement. I'd like very much to see that change.
We have a city manager. Steve Sugg is appointed/hired by the city council. Steve Victor, it would appear, our city attorney, until recently, has been 'managing' our city and all communications within our city. He did the presentations and representation to the city council on various occasions with Steve Sugg only offering to introduce him as his spokesperson.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that our city manager is not doing a very good job. The city council has been relying on his advice, council and leadership completely with nobody willing to rock the boat.

It may be time to rethink his position with our city, BUT at the very least to ask a lot of questions and demand answers, real answers, regarding the suggested path we are taking under his advisement.

Will Steve Sugg take issue with my candidacy or, hopefully, placement on the city council? Most likely, yes!

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