Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Elected Experience: 30th District State Representative, Federal Way City Council Member, Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Former Social Worker, Risk Manager-Nationally Certified Risk Manager, Association of WA Cities Certified Municipal Leader, Current Substitute Teacher for Federal Way Public Schools.
PUBLIC SERVICE (Past & Present)
• State Representative, 30th District 2013-2016
• State Transportation Committee
• State Technology Committee
• State Local Government Committee (Minority Ranking)
• State Business, Insurance & Financial Affairs Committee
• Statewide Executive Steering Committee on Human Trafficking
• Statewide Executive Committee on Aging
• Federal Way Mayor, January 2010 through December 2010
• Federal Way Deputy Mayor, 2000-2001 & 2004 2005
• City Chair, Land Use Committee
• City Chair, Finance, Human Services and Regional Affairs
• City Finance/Economic/Regional Affairs Committee
• City Parks / Recreation / Human Services / Public Safety
• Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee
• King County Regional Water Quality Committee
• King County Regional Policy Committee
• South King County Human Services Forum
• Chair SCA Public Issues Committee (Elected)
Actively involved in the community on several boards and volunteer organizations.
The City of Federal Way is now at a crossroads. I worked on the incorporation committee over 25 years ago and at that time the populations was 55,000. It has now almost doubled. I was proud to be a member of the city council when we cleaned up the streets, solved the flooding problems, and installed street trees/lighting, built a city hall, and built a community center that 1,000 people/day use. The city is facing growth issues and will soon have Sound Transit Light Rail which will provide a catalyst for growth. We need to address density in the downtown core, affordable housing, crime, drug addiction, and homelessness. We need to attract businesses that will provide living wage jobs and help our diverse population retrain for many of the jobs that will become available with the construction of roads and new housing. I want to hold town halls to ask our citizens their vision for the city. I would also like to review zoning for detached ADU's for seniors to live their family.
The city's financial demands are the biggest challenge facing our city. The city cannot commit to providing services or staff time for crime and homelessness when indebtedness is dragging down the city's level of service for all sectors, including public safety. As a council member, I would encourage holding workshops to inform the community of the budget deficit and to ask citizens to prioritize how their money should be spent. Cities are restricted by the 1% property tax limitation, however there are other sources of revenue that can be explored. Financial stability is crucial for the city to be able to resolve the problems of crime, drug addiction, and homelessness. Also, we need to address our issues in a regional manner by meeting with our neighboring cities to discuss our mutual concerns. We don't need more studies, we need to work together to provide compassion with action to solve our problems in a regional manner.
The city should create an environmental action plan with yearly targets for completion. Some things to be included are replacing the city's fleet of vehicles with hybrid/electric vehicles and provide alternative transportation options such as a pedestrian friendly downtown. We need bicycle and pedestrian walkways, to encourage green spaces with tree canopies, and to address the transportation options within the city by providing a collector bus to bring citizens to the downtown core where the transit garage is located and where light rail will be situated.
The city collects a 7.75% utility tax that provides money to repave the roads, among other things. The city, however, is seriously lacking sidewalks making walking to school somewhat dangerous in areas. The city also has a lot of pass through traffic coming from northeast Tacoma to use the entrance and exit to I-5. We need to build an additional overpass for trucks exiting from I-5 to go east on Hwy 18. We will have some construction congestion problems while the Sound Transit Light Rail system is built and we also may have to deal with a Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility that could be built in Federal Way. We'll need to work closely with our legislators and the Puget Sound Regional Council to provide funding for the overpass.
The City has a Day Center that helps with services for the homeless, such as phones, computers, sandwiches, showers, and washer/dryers. We also have a group called Fusion that just obtained $6M from the county and state to buy a facility for homeless families. They also provide approximately 25 condo's with the city's help for domestic abuse victims.. We do need, however, a facility for single, homeless adults. One idea is to purchase an older motel in the area that would provide individual units with showers and then to provide wrap-around services. Drug addiction is fueling the homeless crisis and so we need to provide rehab facilities. I would like to see an embedded social worker with our police to provide help for those individuals who ask for it. I would like to discuss using empty jail space (a wing in the Score Jail for example) to provide for rehab following detox at a treatment center. Our Municipal Court Judges already provide alternatives for those who want help.
The City of Federal Way does not seek out illegal immigrants and has passed a resolution as an inclusive, welcoming city.
The City Council Meetings are shown on closed circuit TV, and are published on YouTube. There are meetings with citizens at times at schools in different sectors of the community, and citizens are encouraged to email the council. In addition, the city uses social media. I would, however, like to hold town halls for visioning for the future of Federal Way. We also need to alert citizens when an issue of importance is on the agenda so that they can come to the council meeting to be a part of the discussion.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
I’ve been a problem solver in the technology for the last 20 years where I value collaboration and rapid delivery. My city experience has taught me how we can make better data-driven decisions. I want to bring an independent voice for positive change. We need new ideas, not the same old politics.
While living in Federal Way, Tony has been lucky to be involved and contribute back to the city that gave his family a new start. Tony is a tireless contributor to community events in Federal Way. He is active in many different community organizations and has held a number of appointed and volunteer roles within Federal Way and King County.
Tony has been recently or currently on the: Federal Way Civil Service Commissioner, Federal Way Human Services Commissioner, Federal Way Ethics Board Member, Technology Volunteer at Historical Society of Federal Way, Greater Federal Way Rotary Club, Federal Way Symphony Board Member, King County Travel Advisory Commissioner, Advancing Leadership 2019, National President, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc, (70 Universities)
Federal Way is a city with many positives and more coming, but that also means we have to fearlessly attack our challenges head-on, make thoughtful yet aggressive decisions. It’s time to stop being reactive and start being proactive. My experience in leading global digital product management has taught me how we can look at these issues from different lenses, test proof of concept solutions rapidly, and revise as long as we see value being delivered.
I see Federal Way as a city at a crossroads, where it's future can still be shaped down many different paths. I feel that we have a community that is ready for change and ready to get involved to help be part of that change. My vision for Federal Way has us being a destination city for business, jobs, and opportunity. We all do not follow the same path in life, and with compromise, we can have tools and resources in place to drive the action needed for a safer city of opportunity.
We have to look at where our money goes and what we have coming in vs going out but look at it from a different angle. Are we trying to do a lot of things ok or are we focusing on doing a few things extremely well? I feel that if we focus on collaborating to see where we can make adjustments and see where the tough decisions are that need to be made.
Being able to balance growth with fiscal responsibility is tough for any city but we must not put ourselves in a situation that could hurt us in the future, at the expense of short term gain. I think by better-improving communication paths from the city, we can generate discussion and feedback on changes that need to come now and changes that can afford deeper planning for down the road.
We need conscious responses that include many perspectives and consider long-term consequences and impact. We can have employee schedules allow for flex where available to reduce footprints in the environment. There are many ways the city can be a leader in helping the environment both in zoning but in its operations to be environmentally friendly in more places.
As we continue to make decisions about how we build out our downtown, we must be mindful that we build our infrastructure to be scalable but also not bring us environmental problems down the road because we were short-sighted.
As a city, I feel that our biggest issue currently is that our population growth has outpaced our infrastructure needs as it relates to roads, public safety, technology and human services resources. We need to refocus our spending, in order to allow us to have the proper resource levels for police, roads, licensing, public safety, and more. We have chunks of Federal Way that are a great starting point in a long term plan, but we need to tie it together for us to really develop a vibrant, safe, and cohesive city.
We have ample retail space that can be used for grant funded vocational programs to not only provide job training and opportunities for our teens but for anyone in the community. Vocational opportunities for electricians, pipe fitters, software engineers, graphic designers, and more could easily revitalize buildings for new purposing and help with improving our technological footprint in the city for greater efficiency. We need to look at partnerships and innovative program
I believe as a city we have a number of different avenues available to us but we need to be open to trying new ideas that have shown success elsewhere but deploying these in a rapid fashion. We need to be proactive versus being reactive. We need to make quick, informed decisions and be bold with our commitment to bringing change to those who will take that first, brave step towards asking for help.
We should evaluate and implement multi-phased action plans used in other cities that provide different services to different segments of the homeless population. Once in, the participants then get routed through a more tailored path of services and resources to establish stability. This allows a top-level solution to be modularized for different demographic segmentation. On the flip side, there is a % of the homeless population that do not want to take advantage of these resources and they need to follow our local laws. An on staff social work could be worth investigating too.
I believe by having a committee or commission for immigrant affairs, it could allow the city to be able to have spaces where we could provide specific resources and opportunities available to support legal status. This would qualify us for a number of federal grants that help support and set up communities proactively. I feel this is worth investigating as an option. At the very worst, we learn of another model we can use for something else. This would allow for a deeper exploration of strategic priorities with the rest of the council and the Mayor.
Some ideas that I would put into practice would be monthly Facebook Live events where they would be in an "Ask Me Anything" format. I would also hope that we could utilize mobile technologies to have apps for smartphones that would notify the residents of upcoming events, meetings, and government decisions. It would also allow for better engagement for feedback data studies as well.
I also feel more opportunities for face to face engagement are just as important. If elected, I have promised to not stop outreach as I want the community to know that I will be there for them before and after the election, and not just when it's time to fundraise for the next election cycle like a typical politician. I want to earn the trust and commitment of our voters through action.