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Cowlitz County City of Kalama Council Position 4

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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  • John Flynn
    (NP)

  • Steve Kallio
    (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?

Mailing Address PO Box 1813
Kalama, WA 98625
Phone (360) 798-6663
Email jcflynn68@gmail.com
Town where you live Kalama, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have not run for nor held elected office before. As a supervisor and manager for Union Pacific Railroad I had the opportunity to deal with people, other company departments and outside agencies such as the Federal Railroad Administration and state public utility departments.
Although I have never run for nor held an elected position before, I believe that I can contribute to a positive change and future for Kalama, WA as a member of the city council. My experience working for Union Pacific Railroad as a supervisor and manager in the track department allowed me to gain experience working with people, other departments within UPRR, as well as public agencies such as the Federal Railroad Administration, where I was the liason for UPRR for the northwest region for five years. I believe that my ability to listen and consider others ideas to be an asset. I have attended and contributed my input to many city council meetings over the last few years and believe that I can contribute to a new direction for the Kalama City Council. I believe that the city council should listen to and implement the ideas and wishes of the citizens of Kalama and not make arbitrary decisions contrary to those of their constituents.
I would like to promote sustainable growth and development to Kalama in an environmentally responsible manner. I would like to encourage the Port of Kalama to develop industries and infrastructure that do not rely on fossil fuel, particularly for export. I would encourage small businesses and light industry to consider Kalama as a place where they could help Kalama thrive and where their employees would like to live and raise their families. With the Columbia and Kalama Rivers as nearby assets the recreational opportunities abound. The Port of Kalama has done an outstanding job creating a first class marina for enjoying fishing and boating on the Columbia River. The parks, amphitheater and walking paths at the Port draw many visitors that the city of Kalama can hopefully attract to downtown tourism.
As with most goals and visions the obstacles boil down to a matter of economics. While I encourage revitalizing downtown to improve the aesthetics and first impressions of visitors to Kalama I acknowledge that needs to be done primarily through the private sector. I would encourage the city to partner with business owners to develop public/private policies to promote Kalama as a place where people would be proud to live and raise their families.
In my opinion the greatest challenge and danger to Kalama is the fracked methane gas to methanol refinery proposed by Northwest Innovation Works, a wholly owned limited liability subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Science Holdings, proposed to be built on Port property on the banks of the Columbia River. I believe that, if permitted and built this petrochemical refinery would be an environmental disaster and health threat for Kalama, the Columbia River and the entire region. Although the City of Kalama has no control over the Port of Kalama and its policies I would encourage the Port to reconsider their support and partnership with NWIW. I strongly feel that it is incumbent upon us to protect and cherish our air, water and land in order to pass along these invaluable resources to the next generation.
While I think that the City Public Works Department and its Director have done an outstanding job of dealing with the existing water and sewer infrastructure there are several projects that remain to be completed. Those projects are being addressed through a planned timeline of construction. One issue of particular importance is the flooding that downtown Kalama has experienced in the past that has significantly impacted business in the downtown core. Some storm water pipes have been enlarge to ensure increased outflow and more are scheduled to be upgraded. Others have been flushed in order to promote drainage. This pro-active maintenance and replacement must continue in order to ensure that future flood events are minimized. Recent fee and tax increases the city has implemented need to remain dedicated to ensure these scheduled projects are completed.
Homelessness is an issue that is impacting all of our cities and towns. Whether it be a matter of being priced out of affordable housing or the availability of affordable housing I believe that for those who are willing to help themselves a helping hand should be extended to the economic ability of the town or county. There are state and county programs that are available to help those that are willing to participate. We need to remember that homeless are people that should be treated with empathy and respect when justified. With that said, I do not believe that public or private property should be adversely impacted or damaged by anyone, regardless of their living situation.
I am an advocate for legal immigration. I would encourage those that wish to come here as immigrants do so legally. I believe that any immigrant, whether they be legal or illegal should be treated with dignity and respect, just as we ourselves would want to be treated. With that being said, I do believe that we have work to do in order to improve our immigration policy in order to ensure equity and fairness in its application. Immigrants that are determined to be criminals or that have a criminal background should not be granted immigration status and should be deported. Those who pass a background check should be treated fairly and equitably. I am not in favor of granting sanctuary to any immigration applicant but feel that they should follow the rules.
The City of Kalama currently has a website where the public can acquire information regarding administration, payment of bills, contact information and upcoming meetings and events. I have accessed this website myself and believe it to be well run and a valuable asset to our community. Each council member has an email address listed on the city website where they can be contacted with questions and concerns. One means of communication that might be worth looking into could be a monthly newsletter advising of upcoming events, as well as items to be addressed by the council at their bi-monthly meetings.
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