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Skagit City Of Anacortes Council-At-Large Position 5

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.
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  • Bruce Mcdougall (NP)

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    John W. Schryvers (NP) Chef and Business Manager

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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)?

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Phone (360) 982-8620
Experience (300 characters max) My experience comes from a small business perspective. Over the years I have helped to start or operate several of the local restaurants in town with a majority of my time spent with the family business, Randy's Pier 61 and then Secret Cove.
There are pros and cons to that question. On the positive side we have an amazing state of the art library and museum, we have some of the nicest and well kept parks and preserved forest areas, including a brand new splash park for the kids and grown ups alike to cool down on our hot summer days. We are about to have a fiber optic system installed to insure the citizens have the best internet access available. However, at the same time we have so many roads all over town in crumbles. We have plenty of streets in our historical downtown areas with unsafe or uneven sidewalks and some without sidewalks at all. Heart lake is currently close to unusable because we have been so lenient on clean up and eradication of unwanted and potentially harmful algae and millfoil. We also have a fire department that is grossly understaffed and underfunded, in these progressive times it is still mind boggling that we can have such nice attractions, but come up short on city essentials.
I got to answer a similar question at a forum a few nights ago at the college. And I still feel as though we need to start at the root of the problem. The problem is that they are homeless, but why? Often times it is addiction, and the addict fears criminal prosecution for seeking help. The first thing I would be doing is stop treating drug addicts like criminals, especially when they are seeking help. I would also support the succssesful and proven non-profits in the area. I would be willing to grant temporary code amendments to allow people like the Anacortes Family Center build larger buildings to be able to house more people. I would also encourage and try to support groups like Homes Now out of Bellingham. They are building tiny homes around Whatcom County and on the Lummi Reservation and have taken one person off the street for every month they have been around. They are entirely funded by donations. $3000 can build two tiny homes, housing up to four people. We have options.
I love that we have such a vibrant and active senior presence here in Anacortes. We have locals born and raised here like their parents and theirs before that. We have retirees that love boating and the water, others just love the views we have to offer. Our seniors are important to Anacortes. Aside from access to certain medical needs and services, I feel that our seniors want and need the same thing that we all do. They are here for the great quality of life we all enjoy as residents of Anacortes. Maintaining that is the issue and that would be my commitment to our senior citizens. To make all the things we all enjoy in Anacortes as equally accessible to them as it is to the rest of the town. There are a lot of places you could retire and enjoy your life, a lot of them chose Anacortes, for the quality of life we offer.
With open arms. Immigrants aren't coming here on vacation. They are coming here seeking a better life, just as a vast majority of our ancestors were. We should support doing whatever it takes to make sure these people are treated fairly and without prejudice. Help get them educated, help get them appropriately housed and connected to the community. A lot of them don't want to be here, they have no homes at all. It is my opinion that we as a nation of immigrants founded by those fleeing persecution, should deny amnesty to anyone doing the same.
We have a substance abuse problem here in town. And the perils of substance abuse can manifest itself in many ways. Crime, poverty, mental health issues, child neglect or abuse and homelessness are just a few. We have all seen it here though in one way or another. Our police and community leaders should come together and discuss some sort of an outreach plan to help them get clean. And offer them no criminal charges for users or addicts who just want to get help. The help is out there, but useless if they are afraid to accept it. If we de criminalized drugs at the consumer level and offered help instead of incarceration that the black market that lives off the addiction will fall as well. If we keep locking them up over and over again, we solve nothing and our jails and prisons stay over populated.
I honestly believe the housing cost and affordability issue is the most urgent. With property costs on the rise at rates well above the national or even state average, and if you combine that with the cost to build and develop one of those expensive lots you are looking at a half million dollar home and that is on the low side. If we do not start making more housing options available the people who work here will no longer be able to afford to live here, this means your barista, your favorite server or bar tender, the people who change your tires and do all the other service jobs in town. Steps are being taken, we have started down the right path with places like The Wilson Hotel, another project like that would be great and most beneficial to our community. It would pump up the downtown economy and help serve as an example to small town restoration and revitalization projects all over America.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for our current mayor. After only talking to her once or twice she knows you on a first name basis and has never been unavailable for questions or even a little speech advice. So as far as "What methods will I use?" I would have to say that honest sincerity would be the way to go. First of all it is real it isn't a method ,I truly try to deal with everyone that way but she is receptive to it. I feel that if I had any issue I felt needed hers or the city's attention that I could address it with her simply by scheduling an appointment. To be completely honest that is likely how I would deal with any other mayor or elected official for that matter. Once you establish the reputation of the honest nice guy, people will tend to listen to you and work with you regardless of how difficult a task or project may seem.

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