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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Pierce City Of Gig Harbor Council Pos. 1

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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    Rick Offner (NP) Retired

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    Jeni Woock (NP) Retired

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

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

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

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

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

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (253) 432-4407
Town where you live Gig Harbor, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have a PhD in psychology, and over 40 years of professional experience as a clinician, researcher, manager, and consultant. I have worked extensively with local, state, national, and international government agencies. I serve on the GH Parks Commission and GH Trasportation Advisory Committee.
Gig Harbor has been growing at a rapid pace. Traffic congestion is increasing, schools are overcrowded and other infrastructure is not keeping up. I care about the future of our City. I am pro responsible growth that balances the infrastructure, roads, traffic and schools, adheres to established zoning rules, and preserves the character of our City and its maritime culture. I live in Gig Harbor North, an area experiencing the brunt of development. Currently, the north side has no representation on the City Council. I will provide a voice for my Northside neighbors, as well as the entire community. I believe the challenge for Gig Harbor is to ensure that the inevitable growth proceeds in a way that does not threaten the character and scale of our community that is ranked as one of the most livable small cities in the country. I am committed to a smart, balanced growth approach to development that adheres to established zoning laws.
Homelessness is a complicated problem. The 2017 Pierce County Point in Time Count reported a one-year decrease of 25% in the number of identified homeless in the county with 1,321 persons counted. However, homelessness is becoming an increasingly visible problem in Gig Harbor. Vulnerable populations are disproportionately represented and impacted by homelessness: 31% of the homeless adult population lives with some degree of mental illness and/or substance use disorder; 1 in 4 people experiencing homelessness are children under the age of 18, with the highest incidence occurring in grade school children. Despite the rise in homelessness, the county’s shelter capacity has remained the same. I believe the growth of the homeless population in the Gig Harbor area warrants immediate attention from city and county policymakers. I believe that partnerships need to be developed to support the needs of the homeless, especially families with young children.
Gig Harbor is a community that has attracted a significant population of retired persons. Based on 2015 US Census data, over 40% of Gig Harbor residents are over 55 years, and nearly 1 in 5 is 65 years or older. Many older “Harborites” live active lifestyles and are enjoying the livability of our community. We are fortunate to have excellent access to healthcare services and supports. As a member of the City Council, I would be committed to working with local and state government and nonprofit organizations to find new and creative ways of addressing the needs of our senior population, to ensure that we are able to addressing basic needs, optimize health and well-being, promote social and civic engagement, and maximize independence.
Gig Harbor is a city that was founded by immigrants. And, I believe we are a community that is welcoming by nature. Today, there is an immigrant population living and working in our city that wants to feel welcome and safe. I think it is a public safety issue that everyone should be comfortable coming forward to cooperate with city officials and law enforcement, and report crimes without concerns that they will be deported or actions will be taken against them. At the same time< I believe we should resist having our local law enforcement agencies to doing the job of enforcing immigration laws. This is not meaning to shield those who commit crimes, or who are wanted for crimes elsewhere. If anyone breaks the law, they should be apprehended as usual regardless of immigration status.
I believe we need to work to establish solutions to the growing traffic congestion in the city. We also need to ensure that delivery of city services is efficient, consistent and equitable for everyone. Gig Harbor needs to do a better job of listening to citizens and providing more opportunities to receive their feedback. Further, we need to coordinate with the Peninsula School District to be an advocate for the large numbers of students who have moved into the city as a result of extensive development particularly on the north side.
I will help the city do a better job of coordinating with the Peninsula School District to accommodate the large numbers of children who have moved into our city. We have recently added over a thousand new homes occupied by mostly young families. We have seen little improvement in our schools’ infrastructure other than portable classrooms. The existing schools are overcrowded and the physical facilities are in decline. Peninsula school district has limited resources chasing significant problems. There is not enough money to address all of the school’s issues. It will be very important for the city to be engaged with Peninsula School District in the decision making process in order for Gig Harbor’s student’s needs to be met. I will make sure the city government does a much better job of staying involved with Peninsula Schools and advocating for the students that live in our city. I will attend the school board meetings to make sure Gig Harbor’s needs are addressed.
If elected, I will be committed to sustaining an open, transparent government that listens to its citizens. I will work with the mayor and City Council to engage the community in the decision-making process and maintain two-way communication. I will review issues without a predetermined opinion, and I will take time to research and gather facts, as well as listen to the community early in the decision-making process.

Phone (253) 851-1619
Town where you live Gig Harbor
Experience (300 characters max) * 18 years Gig Harbor resident * 30 years small business owner * Co-Founder Citizens for the Preservation of Gig Harbor * Chair Summer Art Festival * 8 year volunteer GH Cancer Clinic * Co-Founder Meaningful Movies Gig Harbor * GH Arts Commission * Volunteer Coordinator GH Film Festival
The issues surrounding our city’s infrastructure are a lack of planning resulting in out-of-control growth, inadequate infrastructure causing a host of problems including gridlock traffic.

The Puget Sound Regional Council directed Gig Harbor, as a small city, to limit growth. Our 2030 population growth numbers have been set at 10,500. The Gig Harbor Planning Director stated our actual growth numbers will be approximately 14,500.

Insufficient attention to details affecting infrastructure has led to poorly designed roundabouts. The vast majority of traffic accidents happen at inadequately sized roundabouts.

Due to out-of-control growth, our public schools have become overcrowded. The last two of many portable classrooms have been placed in our Peninsula School District. There are more families with children moving into our city and we need an elementary school for them. In fact, many schools in Gig Harbor could use renovating.

Gig Harbor could respond to those who are homeless by making sure everyone has a home. The people who are homeless in Gig Harbor do not create crime and do not report crimes against them. A neighboring city has just created a “tiny house” housing development to house homeless citizens in their community.

There are many people who are homeless due to lack of mental health services and support. Gig Harbor contributes to developing a mental health facility in Tacoma.

I will work with Pierce County social services to make sure people in my community know of available resources.
My commitment to seniors, and all citizens, in Gig Harbor is to support a safe, healthy and functioning community.

As a supporter of the Americans With Disabilities Act, I welcome a town hall meeting to discuss how we can best serve the older population and disabled in Gig Harbor creating a more disabled-accessible city. For those unable to attend due to transportation issues, we will provide transportation through volunteers and neighbors so they can attend or at the very least participate by phone.

The senior center is not on the bus route, nor is the Civic Center where many civic events and meetings occur.

Older adults, and the disabled, need transportation to the places and services that support their independence. I will initiate policies that encourage safe and accessible transportation, and services to help people of all ages and abilities stay active and engaged in our community.
I will continue to support our Gig Harbor Police Department and their practice not to ask for citizenship papers. Gig Harbor was founded in 1888 by immigrants. Our city police are tasked with keeping our city safe and upholding the laws of Gig Harbor. Immigration issues are the purview of the federal government, and should be handled by federal agents.
• Due to an excessive use of Development Agreements, the council has had the ability to authorize developments that disregard our current zoning rules and regulations. The amount of deviations from our current code and the resulting development impacts have created a city without a cohesive growth plan. • Gridlock traffic. • Clear cutting trees because of out-of-control development. • Many of our crosswalks are not safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. • Many citizens have been in standing room only council meetings expressing their views only to have them fall on deaf ears by the current city council. When elected, I will represent your voice with my vote.
Development Agreements that do not comply with the current rules and regulations in our city codes are the reason we have inadequate infrastructure causing out-of-control growth and gridlock traffic.

As previously mentioned, the Puget Sound Regional Council stated that Gig Harbor needs to limit our growth. I support ordinances that slow down growth by requiring developers follow the current rules and regulations in our city code.
The mayor and council are committed to working for the good of our community. I have a successful history of bringing people together. I was chair of the very successful city art festival, co-founder of Citizens for the Preservation of Gig Harbor, which has thousands of members, and co-founder of Meaningful Movies Gig Harbor, which has received grants from various agencies.

These programs are successful because I work collaboratively, and I am committed to improving this community. logo


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