Town where you live
Port Orchard, WA
Experience (300 characters max)
1 year 9 months of city council, Economic Development & Tourism committee, Festival of Chimes & Lights committee, KRCC-alt, KRCC transPol-alt, PSRC-alt, and the Port Orchard Homelessness committee, among other groups.
Beyond that, we face the same challenges as other jurisdictions; road maintenance, road improvements, and replacing/enhancing our utility lines. The new challenge will be an unexpected population increase. The rising cost of homes in the Seattle area and better connections to our area, make Port Orchard an attractive place to relocate. This will put more pressure on our infrastructure and create new challenges for us to solve.
Creating an action group that is not government based, but community based. This group would comprise of community, government, and business leaders who can not only discuss solutions, but have the ability to take action.
I believe there is a percentage of those who are homeless who do not want assistance to leave their situation. To some, it is a lifestyle. We need to admit that fact and focus on those who have found themselves homeless and want out.
When it comes to housing, we need to be creative and practical. Housing solutions for our community should be located in areas zoned multi-family, close to public transportation routes, and within walking distance of most services such as grocery stores. Just supplying a form of shelter isn't enough. Restoring individual's deflated dignity and offering tools and assistance to re-enter the world, are also essential elements in the fight to defeat homelessness.
It's a startling coincidence that while writing this response, the radio reported that senior assistance living will soon top $100,000. My parents are discussing the possibility of moving to this living arrangement. I have friends with parents in these facilities. Most face less attention by staff than they require. Staff turnover is frequent due to low wages. Residents often change homes to fit their financial situation. This causes distress to the residents who are constantly forced to adjust to new care providers.
I am currently researching the regulations governing the senior housing industry. I believe many institutions are providing the bare minimum or less. If the regulations are deficient, I will be in discussions with our local housing ombudsman about how to make changes.
The privileges we enjoy today were handed down to us by our seniors. It is our responsibility to make the winter of their lives filled with dignity and as much quality care as possible.
Our city simply needs to follow the current laws. If we decide the issues need more attention or change, advise our legislators.
Port Orchard has a downtown area that is our municipal face. It has languished for several decades because even mild development is stymied by contradictory building regulations and codes. We are currently cleaning house and streamlining our building codes a section at a time. Scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, the changes will be more likely to attract projects because investors can have a clearer, more predictable path to development.
Our three main arterial roadways are currently substandard and will approach failing episodes in the near future. Our city has solved the issue with one of these main roadways. Solutions to the other two have recently begun. Again, funding stands between planning and the first shovel.
Revitalizing our waterfront/downtown area will create new jobs and put a on a much needed fresh face. But, what good is a vibrant downtown if you can't get to it? I believe both issues have equal urgency. They go hand in hand. Our city has enough talented and dedicated people to address both issues.
Our city council and mayor have an excellent working relationship. I, like the other council members, make every effort to communicate our positions to the mayor. When we disagree, we work the differences out. It is a tired answer, but true....good communication. Our mayor practices it and I plan on continuing it as well.
Town where you live
Port Orchard, WA
Experience (300 characters max)
Director of Transportation, South Kitsap School District; Commander, U. S. Navy; Retail Service Manager, Starbucks; Facility Planner, Boeing; Maintenance Manager, Pierce Transit; Operations Manager, Mason Transit
BS Business and Finance, MS Petroleum Management
Growing population and new housing developments in Port Orchard have put a strain on our roads and sewer system. We are currently upgrading the Tremont area to provide better traffic flow, but we also need to address the congestion problems on the Bethel corridor and on Sedgwick Road, a state highway. The city needs to create public, county and state, and private partnership to help address these issues.
Homelessness is a large and growing issue, and collaboration with other city and county agencies like Kitsap Community Resources, Kitsap Mental Health, Kitsap Continuum of Care Coalition and food banks are of prime importance. Options for low income housing in the city need to be explored with input from residents. Education is also a large factor with the general public.
My commitment to senior citizens is to listen to their concerns, make sure seniors know what resources and services are available for them, and work with public agencies to get them assistance they need.
We should ensure the letter of the law is followed when dealing with any criminal investigation. If it isn’t within the scope of the investigation, then people should not be targeted as to their status or harassed. However, it doesn’t mean that the city should impede or hinder federal or state law enforcement.
The laundry list facing our city includes:
• Growing population without sustainable infrastructure.
• School overcrowding
• Revitalization of Downtown
• Traffic issues on Bethel and Sedgwick
• Hunger and homelessness
• Better transportation services
• Availability of low income housing
Growing population without a sustainable infrastructure to support the growth. We need to make sure that Port Orchard can maintain and provide future support projects to enhance the livability for our city. Growth without sustainable infrastructure could be an economic and environmental tragedy.
Working closely with the mayor and the other city council members fosters a greater understanding of varying concerns and issues. The mayor and the city council need to function as a team, working together to achieve goals. It is important, however that we maintain independent of the Mayor as the “legislative” body of the city and ensure we connect with the citizens who elected us and bring their concerns forward.