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City of Shelton Council Member #5

The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.
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  • Deidre Peterson (NP)

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    Marilyn Vogler (NP) Retired university teacher / administrator

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Biographical Information

What do you see as the most pressing environmental issue in Shelton?

How can you balance development with sustainability?

How do you see making your city more livable for seniors and the disabled?

How do you see bringing more living wage jobs to your city?

What is your experience in preparing and administering a budget?

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Experience (Max 350 characters) Assistant Dean, Graduate School & Associate Director International Programs, Michigan Tech Univ; Mason County Planning Advisory Commission, Shelton Poverty Advisory Team, Member of both EDC & Chamber, WA State Council on Aging, Shelton library & Park/Rec advisory boards, Composition Instructor, Winona State Univ; Librarian, Nat'l Acad of Sciences
Campaign Phone (360) 463-9482
Town where you live Shelton, WA
The most pressing issue I see is past failure to take our environmental impact seriously. This comes home to roost in several specific ways. First, although a “fix” for the Hirst decision has been passed, I expect the issue of water availability to remain contentious and to have impacts on the City as well as the County. We withdraw tremendous quantities of water from our aquifers and pump it into Oakland Bay when we’re done with it. Much of that water needs to be returned to groundwater supplies. Second, I believe economic development, particularly in the downtown area, is being hampered by our failure to begin the process of identifying and remediating brownfields associated with previous commercial activities. And we can’t forget that the C Street dump is in line to cause concern, and possibly expense for the City, as is Goose Lake if we choose to pursue it as a park / public access area.
Development has to be smart, focused on maximum utilization of existing infrastructure – building on infill lots and rehabilitation and re-development of currently vacant sites as well as developing areas of the UGA that have sewer and water already available. Although Shelton Hills holds promise, we can’t abandon our city core as a location for near-term growth in both housing and commercial development. Sprawl, even into the designated Urban Growth Areas, is not sustainable if the areas that already have water and sewer and transit and natural gas and fiber optic are not utilized first. Economic sustainability requires an adequate supply of affordable housing – families that have little disposable income after paying housing expenses are not able to contribute significantly to the local economy. Increasing the supply of affordable, multi-family housing will serve both to best utilize available infrastructure and encourage population densities that can sustain a local economy.
I’m a senior. For me, “livability” means affordable housing, readily available public transportation, local retail and medical services, and safe places to be out and about. We have free access to dial-a-ride services, but that system is expensive; routed service should be expanded. There’s been great progress in making the downtown area more pedestrian friendly, but traffic enforcement in pedestrian crosswalks needs to be improved. Shelton should take steps to insure the availability of affordable, accessible housing located close to services and public transit; we need to re-establish housing in the downtown core. We lack up-scale retirement options that would keep our seniors here when single-family housing is no longer their choice, and we are completely lacking in permanent supportive housing options for persons with more serious disability issues. And for whatever reason, many of the people I know travel out of Shelton for medical care.
I am encouraged that the City has chosen to hire a consultant with regard to an economic development plan. Hopefully, this will provide good direction for the new Council. The success of any plan, however, depends on thorough knowledge of the status quo – collection and accurate interpretation of all applicable data. I want to be certain the consultant gathers all the necessary data prior to moving forward and will take steps to discuss this with them. Of particular concern to me are (1) the list of potential brownfield sites developed a couple of years ago, (2) the rate of ownership of both commercial and residential property by persons who do not live in Shelton or Mason County, (3) household income broken out by where people work -- that is, is more wage income coming into the city or leaving the city, and (4) an analysis of available housing stock by price range that might appeal to a range of salaries / positions available with an entity seeking to move to the City.
While I was assistant dean of the graduate school at Michigan Technological University, I assisted with budget preparation and was primarily responsible for the $4-million-dollar student support budget – fellowships, and research and teaching assistantships. I gathered data related to department research needs, time-to-degree, and priorities for growth in the graduate program, and from that developed a model to distribute support funds in line with our long-term planning goals. In addition, I saw the need for and developed, in coordination with the office of research services, a tracking system for promised as well as utilized support dollars. A great deal of monetary support was included as cost-share on research grant applications that might, or might not, be awarded, but there had been no process in place to track those commitments prior to the system I developed.