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City of Yakima/Ciudad de Yakima Council/Concejo, Position/Puesto 3

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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    Patricia Byers

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    Thomas B. Sund

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

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

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

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

Phone 509.457.0753
Town where you live Yakima
Experience (300 characters max) I'm a 40 year resident and retried small business owner. I love Yakima and want to give back. Besides being active in my church, my community involvement ranges from hosting Yakima Pippins baseball players, to volunteering at Yakima Farmer's Market, to chairing the Yakima City Planning Commission.
My municipal government experience has been as a Planning Commission member since 2014. Currently I am the chair of that commission. Additionally I served on the Yakima Schools Foundation Board of Directors for seven years. During that time I chaired 2 fundraising events, and served as Vice President, President, and Past President of the board. I worked as a YMCA professional director for 14 years before returning to graduate school. That came with a great deal of work in the nonprofit sector. As Director of Membership I ran a one million dollar budget. After receiving a masters degree in Psychology, I worked 23 years in the field. The last 12 of those as a sole practitioner small business in downtown Yakima. My ongoing volunteerism includes as an Ambassador for the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Design Committee for the Downtown Association of Yakima, and volunteer licensed staff member of Yakima Foursquare Church.
Yakima has a bright future as a city that offers health, safety, and opportunity for economic prosperity. We are preparing a trained workforce with the expanding Pacific Northwest University, YVC, Perry Technological Institute, and YV Tech. Our new Police Chief has a strategic plan to attack one of the most challenging areas of public safety we currently have – violent crime. Additionally we have experienced development and expansion of facilities like the SOZO sports complex and services that grow our economic base in tourism. Fulcrum Yakima has launched into developing a business creative incubator with a focus on Ag Tech innovations to meet the increasing challenges of a large part of our economy, agriculture. Other quality of life assets that sustain and encourage the development of our city are arts, music, large public events and celebrations, farmer’s market, family entertainment venues and local sports. Community collaboration for positive results is essential.
Existing obstacles include: • For economic development: limited conversations/collaboration with the business leaders and developers to identify and remove barriers, to increase use of available incentives for developers, to increase the quality of life issues that attract industry to a community, and to partner with downtown core businesses in promoting the Main Street project. • For public safety: the need to fully staff our police and fire services, to complete the LED lighting project throughout the entire city, to repair our damaged streets and sidewalks, and to create more pedestrian and bike friendly streets. • The deficit in our budget reserves. Our reserves have dropped below 16%, increasing the percentage rate on bonds we are paying on. Finding a way to replenish reserves must be a number one priority. There can’t be any large expenditures or commitments until this happens. This will require some difficult and likely unpopular decisions
Every municipality has a responsibility for public safety. That includes cleanliness of the environment and safe drinking water. Yakima has done a terrific job with our solid waste and water systems, receiving several awards. Our drinking water is clear and good tasting. Public safety also includes trash pick up, recycling, and the reduction of accumulation of litter and junk. That accumulation is a codes enforcement issue, any action of which has to go through a long legal process. That hinders our ability for fast, efficient remedy. Other cities are doing a far better job in some of those areas. Let’s take a look at what it successful and consider what is possible here. We don’t need to spend large sums in evaluation and consulting.
Budgeting and available finances are the greatest hindrance in repairing and developing infrastructure. We can have a strategic plan or a list of priorities, but nothing can get done without available funds. Infrastructure funding needs include increased LED lighting, street and sidewalk repair, continued focus on sidewalk and traffic safety around schools, better bike routs, and development of infrastructure for businesses and industry that want to locate in our community.
Homelessness must be addressed in two ways. Initially compassion should take the lead. Compassion to meet immediate safety needs of food, shelter, and medical attention. That the city has located and provided land space and utilities to emergency housing like Camp Hope is a good step. The next step is more of a tough love approach. For concern for the good of all residents and businesses, we must continue to review and enforce city ordinances against public camping, trespassing, and loitering. Charity alone diminishes dignity. We should compel all agencies to encourage development by addressing root causes of homelessness, and to provide recipients of services with opportunity to contribute to the community. While this is not the responsibility of the city government, it can be accomplished through the efforts of community partners.
Like homelessness, other than public health and safety issues, this is not the purview of the city council. We are responsible for the safety and certain provisions of all residents, regardless of immigration status. However, the city must not jeopardize it’s legal responsibility and contractual agreements by willfully acting contrary to, ignoring, or circumventing federal law.
The city website is navigable by persons who are somewhat computer savvy. It is not accessible to many who are not savvy or have no computer access. It is incumbent on the city council to seek out broader avenues of communication with residents. Public forums in spaces and times easily attended by residents and daily factual reporting of city decisions and actions in the newspaper might be considered, as well as frequent listings of televised public meetings. Swift response to any and all resident emails to council members, public opportunity to comment on consent agenda items before it is acted on, changing the structure of business meetings so that there is ample time for resident participation without having to wait through other time consuming parts of the agenda. For example, personal recognition and city resolutions could be televised on opposite Tuesdays, allowing ample time and seating for family members and community advocates to attend.
Phone 509.930.5223
Town where you live Yakima
Experience (300 characters max) No previous government offices held
I have lived in Yakima for 43 years. I was a funeral director/embalmer for 33 years, many of those in Yakima. I have previously been a dispatcher for the Yakima County Sheriff's office, dispatcher for the Washington State Patrol and retired from Suncomm 911.
I wish to be able to unite the Yakima City Council and serve on various city committees. I am running on a campaign of "common sense" and service. I have recently felt disconnected with the Council and wish to serve my district and the City of Yakima with open communication, positive thoughts in all decisions with honesty and integrity. Leadership isn't about advancing yourself, leadership is about advancing your people. The lack of respect between the Yakima Police Union and the Yakima Fire Department Union with the City Manager and City Council will be one of my strongest concerns as I am a strong supporter of Public Safety Issues. The current debacle over the Kay Funk situation within the council has made me realize that being removed from these committee's as she has, that it has taken away the rights of those who elected her to represent them. I want to see our city develop an appropriate budget, harmony in the Council and City Manager and Public Safety Issues addressed
Disharmony within some of the City Council, City Manager and current lack of transparency.
I support any efforts made, or to be made, with the environment of our city.
Road repairs, lighting, lack of staffing with the Yakima Police Department and Yakima Fire Department, water and sewer problems, city sidewalks, crime and graffiti.
We need to address all issues of homelessness with increased mental health intervention, drug and alcohol intervention and adequate low income housing for our senior citizens, homeless people, veterans and low income persons.
This is a complex situation but continue support of National Laws, State Laws, County Laws and City Laws. I am supportive of the ICE flights which allow the City of Yakima income, but leave the deportation to the Federal Government.
Be much more transparent, listen, make decisions based on conservative thoughts and open communication.