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Clallam County City of Port ANGELES Council Position No. 7

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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  • Candidate picture

    Martha Cunningham
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Brendan Meyer
    (NP)

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 (206) 743-4655
Email marthaforcitycouncil@gmail.com
Town where you live Port Angeles
Experience (300 characters max) I have experience as a paralegal in Washington, I have been a Head Montessori Teacher in many cities and have owned several small businesses. I have been a resource provider for families and an advocate against child abuse. I have also been an Art Commissioner for the City of Kent.
I am a 4th generation descendant of Washington homesteaders. Growing up around the family automotive business taught me what it takes to start a small enterprise and make it work. I've owned a Montessori school, a retail business and an online business. I am currently a freelance editor. I have worked as a paralegal in Washington State for sole attorneys and I have served as Head Teacher in Montessori schools in many cities.

Currently I volunteer for Clallam County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and have also served as a King County CASA volunteer. I also served as Art Commissioner. Both my professional and volunteer work have honed my problem-solving and communication abilities.

I have a BA in Human Services from Western Washington University and an AMS Montessori teaching certificate from Chestnut Hill College. Post-graduate certifications include a Paralegal Plus Certificate from Highline Community College and an Editing Certificate from the University of Washington.
When I look around at the splendorous setting of Port Angeles I envision having the vibrant community and infrastructure to match. If we have some of the necessary amenities, we can grow existing business and attract new business.

From good-paying jobs will come more local dollars to spend, diversity the tax base and the possibility to improve infrastructure. We have many things going for us. We have the College, the Hospital, Port and the basic utilities. What we need are more diversified housing units and development of safe neighborhood zones where people can walk to stores and services. We need to fill in the vacant spaces and the empty buildings and make the streets friendly and navigable. My vision includes various groups working together on targeted projects and troublesome issues. We can continue with projects that citizens can get behind because I believe they will. I have seen what the people of Port Angeles can do and I know they have what it takes to grow a vibrant city
I don’t see obstacles; I see challenges where the application of creativity and persistence can bring positive results. We will always have the challenge of government entities larger than our city government putting goals and limits on our actions. Being a small town we don’t have the financial resources of a larger one but we have other useful resources. In a small town people know who does what and where to turn. There is an interconnectedness that often can more readily solve problems and get things done. People are the solution.

First, we have to work with scientific groups who can give us data. We also have the Growth Management Act and it’s recommendations. We also have to take direction from and work with the County. After negotiating our way through those entities we may decide to apply our own standards in ways that we see fit for our environment. Sometimes we need to push back against policy that is unreasonable for a small city while being proactive so we can say, “we already did that.” We live in a picture postcard environment and it needs to be protected while mindfully used by its inhabitants.

We need to put more effort into careful consideration of our parks, vegetation in the city, and especially plant more trees.

Cities need to provide basic infrastructure services: clean water, sewage, roads, electricity, telecommunications, and waste removal. One thing that is lacking here is a variety of available housing. There is much that is being considered as possible solutions for the shortage of available housing. We need to carefully plan for density of specific zones and we need to get very creative about using the available space and existing structures to plump up the number of livable units. Eventually, these spaces will fill so in the long-term we need to plan for annexing into the Urban Growth Area.

Our tax base has moved from an economy based on a couple of major industries to a multi-based economy. In short, we have to diversify. Some ways we can diversify are to develop composite building materials, alternate fuel sources from timber and expansion of various marine-related services. We can expand services for the whole County such as medical, educational, legal, and environmental.
Homelessness is a huge problem for many cities but it is only a symptom. The underlying issues are addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, and issues with the elderly, veterans and disabled. On top of these underlying issues is the fact that even people without these issues are struggling to find housing.

We can’t solve homelessness unless we address addiction. We don’t have unlimited resources to throw at this problem but we do have small town community assets. We can take each homeless person and try to match them with the useful resource they need to get them on a path to living in a home. We can give them a home but we also have to work with them to stay in that home by tackling the underlying issues.

A small town can do this by attending to each homeless person. The ReDiscovery outreach is doing this and some success is apparent. Let’s do what works and expand it.
My job as a council member is to deal with issues of the City and Immigration is addressed on the Federal level. Sometimes cities get involved and declare themselves a sanctuary city.

Like many of us I come from a family of immigrants and I would like everyone to have opportunity. I have worked with refugee families and I thoroughly understand their issues. However we should not encourage lawless immigration. We live in a country of laws and we need to uphold them. Flaunting the law harms both the immigrants and the citizens involved in policing the chaos. We need to have some order to the influx of immigrants for obvious national security. An open-arms policy is a nice idea but it isn’t healthy, safe, or feasible.
I would support total transparency which means making every City Council meeting available by video online. The minutes are already available online and some are already on You Tube.

We live in the Information Age and it is relatively easy to find out what is going on. Citizens can go to the website, they can email the council members, they can also go to social media where people chat about what is going on with the City Council and they can take the many surveys that are offered on social media.

The local newspaper and local radio regularly report on what is happening. People can attend city Council meetings and they can speak their mind in the public forum. There are restrictions against any City Council members meeting in private or even exchanging private emails about City business.
Phone (919) 408-6510
Email Meyer4Council@gmail.com
Town where you live Port Angeles
Experience (300 characters max) Former Auto Body, Tech Former Factory Worker, AAS, Streaming Media Marketing Consulting
I am the only canidate that has attended almost all Planning Commission and City Council meetings for the last 4 months. I’ve listened, I’ve gotten up, and I’ve spoken my mind. I think my greatest qualification is my commitment to be involved in our local government. I’ve have been having meetings with those on the ground to find out what is needed. This is a practice I will continue while in office. We need real life, real-time, and practical solutions for the challenges we face and a steady hand to keep the progress moving forward. We need to stop supporting ideas that just don’t work to address the problems we do have. I’m not afraid to speak up for what is right. I’m a strong believer in the Constitution and I believe that no one, including the government, has the right to intrude on the guaranteed rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Port Angeles should be a blue collar working community with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. We need to make sure that the middle class that built Port Angeles can afford to live in Port Angeles forever. I don’t want Port Angeles to only have a vibrant economy 5 months out of the year. Port Angeles should flourish twelve months a year. We should have the best parks, piers and amenities for our citizens. We need to prioritize growth and sustainability. Downtown and Midtown need to be given the tools needed to employ and grow. Our investment in infrastructure will ensure prosperity and preservation for years to come.
Money! Zoning! and Regulations! We need more revenue but not at the expense of increasing taxes. Our zoning map needs to be addressed and we need to emphasize the growth of Port Angeles. We also have to limit the regulations on builders. We can’t have a regulation paralysis when we need to grow. If you don’t want to raise taxes then we need to expand our tax base without annexing more land: That means increasing density. I think we need to go with proven mixed-use models as well as nullifying the Chapter 17.10 - RS-7 residential code. This would increase density, maintain single-family home values, solve the housing crisis, and bring jobs to the area.
The climate and beauty of the Olympic Peninsula is unmatched. This is undoubtedly one of the best places in the country to live. The city’s comprehensive plan has established criteria for dealing with issues surrounding the environment and I support all initiatives that will keep our land and oceans clean. My previous statement on the residential code and plan to increase density rather than urban sprawl is one way to preserve the environment while still bringing skilled labor jobs to the area. A lot of city sewer projects are unfunded. Getting these projects active would prevent raw sewage spills into our bodies of water and also create jobs. My vision is to adapt to these changing times. We can preserve the beauty of our area while still creating jobs.
Our infrastructure is old and is being repaired piece-meal. Many of our sewer repair and stormwater projects are unfunded. This is a problem indicative of our lack of prioritizing a robust city infrastructure. Focusing on the development of our city creates jobs and a healthy economy. We can also help Port Angeles by prioritizing high speed internet. This will allow our citizens to create dynamic, modern businesses. We all know that one of our biggest problems is traffic. We need solutions for easing congestion and increasing parking. As a city councilman, I will aggressively pursue all federal, state, and other external funding sources for such capital improvements.
Homelessness has many causes and is a systematic problem. We must protect the constitutional rights of both our established, housed citizens and our homeless population as well. Homelessness is not just a Port Angeles problem: It’s a Peninsula problem. Since homeless people are citizens of nowhere, we need resources from everywhere to solve the problem. I believe Jefferson, Clallam, and Kitsap Counties, and the cities in-between need to come together in an honest, concerted, united effort to provide services to help those who want to be helped. This would greatly help the affected homeless while easing the burden on the tax base of our city and the other counties and cities. I envision a housing first model, where we provide housing, food, and job and skills training to those willing to receive it in return for their effort to get off of drugs, receive psychological care, and put forth the effort to get a job. We need a multi-facete approach.
The City of Port Angeles should follow current immigration laws- this is a federal, not a local issue. I do not believe in a sanctuary city. People who legally immigrate to the US or have a work visa are more than welcome. While I personally hate to see people suffering I cannot endorse open borders. The influx of illegal immigration both opens the immigrants up to unfair working coditions and abuse while also driving down the pay for skilled labor of Americans.
I support the Farmer’s Market initiative to meet with city council members in an informal, casual setting. When elected I will participate in this. I would love to see video integration of public government meetings. I believe this will help eliminate rumours and hearsay when it comes to the ability of city council or any local government to address grievances or offer solutions. Transparency in government is a guiding principle of mine.