Jefferson City Of Port Townsend Council Member, Position 2
The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.
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Ariel J. Speser (NP)
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)?
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
BA in History Lewis & Clark College, JD Hamline University. I worked as an attorney helping people save their homes from foreclosure during the recession and now advocate for low-income families on a number of social justice issues. I am on the board of Habitat for Humanity, OlyCap, Pro Bono Lawyers
My three main issues are:
1. Lack of housing inventory, which prices-out moderate to low-income families.
2. Large infrastructure compared to our population. Our City budget is stretched to maximum capacity simply keeping up with routine maintenance of our roadways and utilities.
3. Maintaining public spaces and parks with sustainable growth management.
Short term: Expanding resources and access to shelters and nondiscriminatory transitional housing.
Mid Term: Create a funding mechanism (like the Home Opportunity Fund proposed in Jefferson County's Proposition One on the ballot this November) to attract matching funds for "shovel-ready" development and infrastructure for new affordable housing.
Long term: Build and sustain mixed-use low-to-moderate income housing with access to local businesses and community resources.
It's no secret that we live in an aging community. As a civil legal aid lawyer, I am very aware of the challenges facing seniors of modest means, including access to affordable home healthcare and supportive services. As a volunteer board member of Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County and Olympic Community Action Programs, I have worked on an organizational and policy level to increase access to needed resources for seniors; including food security and safe housing.
While immigration law and policy is set and administered on a federal level, I believe that even the smallest communities can make a difference in protecting and acknowledging the contribution of all our community members, regardless of immigration status.
1. Lack of affordability for young families and moderate-to-low income seniors.
2. Lack of a local funding source to end homelessness.
3. Insufficient community mental health services.
4. Aging infrastructure.
5. Lack of public awareness about disaster preparedness.
Lack of affordable housing.
I will begin by listening to our city manager and current council members to understand the challenges facing our city. By understanding each particular issue, I'll be better positioned to work collaboratively with the City staff and community stakeholders in helping address each issue based on its level of urgency. The City Manager can provide helpful guidance and expertise but ultimately it is the duty of the City Council to create and maintain policy that benefits the community. I will honor this responsibility knowing that the buck stops with us.
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