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Skagit City Of Burlington Council Ward 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.
  • Tonya Bieche (NP)

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    James Stavig (NP) Accountant

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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)?

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Phone (360) 428-0410
Town where you live Burlington, Washington
Experience (300 characters max) Bachelor of Science - Business Management from Louisiana State University. Master of Business Administration (MBA)- Louisiana State University CMA - Certified Management Accountant 25 years Accounting Experience. Work with Budgets and Financial documents, which is a large part of City Council.
A great part of Burlington is in a flood plain. Flood insurance for city residents is high and is likely go higher considering the extreme flooding in other parts of the county. I would like us to focus on ways we can work with FEMA and the Corp. of Engineers on getting our city out of the 100 year flood plain and helping to decrease this additional flood risk to our citizens. The City of Burlington has a great deal of Business and we must make sure that with added business, we can handle the additional infrastructure that is required, which is more police, fire, water and all of the other services that are required when you have more people coming to town. The Skagit County is also facing a housing crisis, in which rents and home values are becoming more out of the reach of hard working folks. We need to ease up on regulations and taxes on developers in order to encourage more multi-family housing developments.
I think the City of Burlington should work with the non profit organizations that are in place to make sure that we can get people off of the streets. We should also encourage multi-family housing developments by easing zoning restrictions and putting together some tax incentives for developers, in order to encourage them to build multi-family developments. Homelessness can be caused by many different factors and we are seeing a rise in drug use, which really needs to be addressed. Drug use results in homelessness and an increase in crime. We have mentally ill people roaming the streets and we need to work the organizations that deal with mental illness to come up with solutions on getting these people the care that they desperately need.
I live in a neighborhood with many retired people, so I am very keen on the issues facing senior citizens. I know that being on a fixed income really is a concern of my neighbors with the cost of living and health care costs rising. My commitment to senior citizens would be to listen to their concerns and come up with solutions to their concerns. I know that we have relief for property taxes for seniors with a certain amount of income and I would like us to continue to ease the tax burden on senior citizens. I think that the City of Burlington has a Senior Center that is popular with seniors and I would like to make sure that the City of Burlington is making the quality of life for seniors just as good as we would want for all of the citizens of Burlington. I know there are organizations that deal specifically with seniors, such as Meals on Wheels and AARP, and I would like to work with those organizations on making sure seniors are being taken care of.
The Skagit County has a large immigrant population and we need to be sensitive to the issues that are affecting them. With the housing costs becoming so high, it is hard for immigrants to find affordable housing, so they are relying on non-profit organizations to help them either find housing or meet daily needs. I am in favor of the DACA program and I think if we have immigrants here that are following the rules and becoming productive citizens, then we should provide them the help that they need, just like we would do with anyone else. I am concerned about gang activity and it seems to be on the rise. I think these gangs create more crime and they are filling up our jails and prisons. If we have illegal immigrants that have gang association, then I would hope we would deport these individuals. I do think we need to strengthen immigration policy because of the burden that illegal immigration puts on social services and quality of life for everyone.
The City of Burlington is a great place to live, with a great deal of businesses in the area. With the increase of businesses being done over the internet, the city may lose some of the retail sales tax that has really helped the city budget. I think that the City of Burlington loses sight of some of the needs of the community that lives here, which is why I am running for City Council. Problems concerning the city code and enforcement has been the main reason for my involvement with the city. I thought that the City Council was not concerned about the issues that I brought before them. I have also noticed that many in the City Council are running unopposed. I have also been a fan of term limits for people in government, I would like to see City Council races being run with some opposition instead of the many unopposed races. I am a firm believer in competition and it will require candidates to go out and meet the citizens and it will bring new ideas to city government.
The most urgent need I feel that is facing the city is making sure that residents are taken care of. I am a firm believer in the importance of business and the tax revenue that it brings to the city, but I think that the city has been lagging on making sure that city residents and city code is being enforced. This is the main reason for me running, as it got me involved with city government. I noticed a "disconnect" with the City of Burlington leadership and the concerns that I brought forward. I received not response from the City Council on the problems in my neighborhood. My representative on the City Council was not helpful and did not advocate for our neighborhood on the problems we faced. I feel that this could be due to the fact that our Councilwoman has run unopposed for the two terms that she has held office. I came into this race to be an advocate for the constituents that I will represent.
I am a firm believer of working together to solve problems. I think that we all come together with different ideas and I am always interested in what others have to say. I will work with the mayor by being respectful to his ideas. I will bring forth my ideas and potential solutions to problems and hope that we can work together to make the City of Burlington a wonderful place to live and do business. Being an accountant, I will bring my financial expertise in making sure that we have a budget that is workable for the city. I have experience working with leaders of my company, so I know how to work together and solve problems. I will bring my many years of accounting to the table, as well as my education in solving the problems that face the city. logo


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