Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Pierce City Tac-2 Council Dist. 2

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.
  • Candidate picture

    Philip Cowan (NP) Executive Director, The Grand Cinema

  • Robert Thoms (NP)

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) 380-1886
Town where you live Tacoma
Experience (300 characters max) I come from a business background and have degrees in Finance and International Management. I have been Executive Director of Tacoma's Grand Cinema for 11 years. I worked 8 years with the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club as Asst. GM and Director of Finance. Previous work also as a Financial Analyst.
As I doorbell out in the community, the most common complaint people have is about the quality of our roads. This has been an ongoing problem due to decades of deferred maintenance. We need a change of approach. Too often city crews show up to fill in a particularly deep pothole, only to have that ‘fix’ only last six months before the hole reappears and is eventually filled again. How much money are we churning through by doing these short-term fixes? We have to start thinking about infrastructure with long term solutions. It may cost more initially to fix it correctly, but over the long term it is less expensive because it is done once, not repeatedly.

We also need to invest in providing fiber internet to our downtown area so that we can attract businesses that require that. For example, there are opportunities with a Biotech Incubator in downtown but to make it really flourish, the city needs to step up to provide the infrastructure needed by cutting edge businesses.
Homelessness certainly isn’t unique to Tacoma. If we really want to improve it, we need to look at the underlying causes. We need public and private partnerships to connect the homeless with services they need to help improve their situation. Whether people became homeless because of mental health issues, substance abuse, financial loss or other reasons, we need to treat them with the dignity of any human being.

Finding long term housing for those who want it is our biggest obstacle. We need to get creative in solutions. For example, we should look throughout our community for existing structures that could be converted to create housing options. We also need to look for grant opportunities that help on long term solutions.

Educating citizens about our progress is also important. Too often our citizens don’t know what is happening within the city. If we involve the community, they are more likely to support our various efforts on this and other issues.
I am here to serve the seniors in our community. As a community, our housing prices are skyrocketing. The increase in housing prices is causing their property taxes to escalate to levels that leave many hurting. We need to explore ways to balance these costs when hardship is caused. A focus should also be made to promote senior living areas. As our population ages, seniors should have opportunities to connect to other seniors and to access services easily.

We also need to make our sidewalks and crosswalks accessible to those in wheelchairs and motorized devises. Most of all, I want to continue to be in contact with the seniors of our community to hear about their needs. It is important that elected officials not make assumptions about what seniors need. Elected officials often spend too much time talking and not enough time listening, and I make a commitment to consistently listening and jointly working to solve problems.
I support Tacoma and other cities/states becoming sanctuary cities. I don’t want to use local resources to deal with victimless issues such as this. We have enough on our plates locally already. No matter where someone falls on this issue, immigrants play an important part in our nation’s economy and we need to be careful to consider broad ramifications of everything we do in regard to them.
So much of what Tacoma is facing revolves around our rapid growth. Too often I feel like construction happens without a real plan for an area. If someone wants to build, we give them the go ahead. I want to see a vision come first, then have the building occur. We all know we need housing, but I think we are focusing on that while failing to recruit the jobs that must be paired with the housing. Housing without jobs leads to more and more commuters leaving our city to work elsewhere, which makes traffic and pollution worse. We can do better.

I am also against the LNG facility in our Port. There are environmental concerns of course, but I’m also cautious about the business aspect of the project. I’m not convinced that this has long term viability and I wish the Port wouldn’t use finite spaces for risky projects. As I doorbell, the residents I speak with are opposed to this project. As someone elected to represent them, I think it is important to listen to them and oppose this project.
Our most urgent issue is planning for our long term growth. It may not always feel ‘urgent’ because it takes place over a prolonged period of time, but how we manage that growth is going to completely determine the health of our city for decades to come.
Communication is the key. I want to do my best to make sure that we agree on our long-term priorities as well as the approaches to reach them. I love to study issues and with data, I’m confident that most people arrive at similar conclusions/approaches. When you add in being honest at all times, the respect and trust shared by all involved creates a strong working environment where a lot can be accomplished.
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