We need to build better collaboration and communication among council members, with city staff, and the citizens of Puyallup with a non-partisan approach in our city. I pledge to lead through service, listening to the concerns of all city residents no matter past differences, and generating discussions that will lead to the following areas of improvement:
With generations of police and firefighters who raised me to prioritize law and order, I know that we must ensure a high level of citizen safety and protection through the strong support of our Police Department. The well-being of our citizens, businesses and tourists should always be held in the highest regard and should never be compromised or ignored.
The homeless issue is very controversial and generates a very polarizing passion of emotions from two drastically different points of view. I believe I am uniquely positioned to address this issue in a meaningful and constructive way based on my perspective as a sixth generation family resident of Puyallup, husband and father, as well as my professional background as a local Minister here in the Pierce County region.
With my background that brings clear understanding to all perspectives surrounding these issues, I am in a unique position to serve as a catalyst to us help arrive at a comprehensive plan that will hold all sides accountable to ensure a successful data-based outcome that's good for the overall well being and safety of our growing community.
Civility, Openness & Fiscal Responsibility
I am grateful to be endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans, and upon my election, we will finally resolve the conflicts that have been going on within our city council the past eight years. We need to get back to "looking out" for our citizens, not personal vendettas. We need a new leadership approach that transforms being viewed as "politicians" to ones who are truly "public servants." We will meet these challenges with respectful communication, combined with public accountability, to ensure an open and ethical government.
The incumbent has already cost city taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars appealing to hide the emails he admits writing through his campaign website where he conducted city business after taking office. He will not disclose them despite court-ordered judgments against him to release the emails. The city is now facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs and fines as the incumbent continues to fight. His confrontational leadership style is opposite my approach.
This race will determine whether the Puyallup City Council finally interacts civilly, ends wasteful spending, and ensures public transparency. I believe in wise stewardship regarding the proper usage of tax funds that are given to us by our hard working citizens and businesses.
Infrastructure, Services, Traffic & Walkability
Puyallup needs modern police facilities, excellent parks and parking, safe roads and sidewalks so families and senior citizens can safely reach services, schools and shopping. As your at-large council member, I will continue to balance debt reduction with advocacy for library, senior center and park maintenance, break-even recreation programs, new speed control projects, finishing incomplete sidewalks, chip-sealing roads that deteriorated during the recession, and funding more officers to prevent crime in our neighborhoods and business centers.
Yet before any consideration to pay for infrastructure, I would always look at existing funds that are being used unwisely and re-prioritize services of higher importance, in order to redirect those funds to more necessary projects and services. We also need to reconsider city water and sewer rates to make sure those who conserve water are not being charged such a high base rate before the first drop is even used.
Efficient transportation ensures a peaceful commuting experience for our citizens no matter what form of transportation they utilize - vehicle, cycling, walking, or mass transit. I support the 167 highway extension, better pedestrian walkways, city road and rail-crossing improvements, parking in the downtown sector for shoppers and Sounder train commuters, and continued work with Pierce County to improve traffic flow on South Hill.
I will encourage a culture of innovation that will stimulate economic growth within the City of Puyallup. My vision for Puyallup includes a downtown where people want to shop as much as on south hill, and an attractive, mixed-use development at the bottom of Shaw Road that includes a park for this, the only neighborhood area of the city without one.
During the past 4 years while the incumbent has been in office, downtown vacancies have remained a blight on our city. Other incumbents are credited with bringing hundreds of jobs to the Benaroya Business Park while also creating neighboring Bradley Park, a great example of mixed-use development. The northeast part of our city desperately needs a similar vision. I will work to make it a reality along with generating creative ideas for making downtown Puyallup a destination everyone wants to go.
On council, I will make sure we are doing all we can to ensure that our city policies are based on a “common sense” approach that would stimulate existing businesses as well as foster new start-ups. For instance, the Planning Department and Planning Commission are currently proposing a number of common-sense improvements to zoning and building codes. The council needs to get involved and make sure no business is encumbered by out-of-date regulations, then take the process a step further to create code incentives to stimulate a vibrant economy on every commercial block.
As one who has worked in the retail and the sales management industry for many years, I understand the importance of providing profitable and thriving businesses for the betterment of our citizens. I will help lead an effort to bring together all stakeholders in common partnership and commitment towards a plan to draw new business to Puyallup. It will start with a clear vision of exactly what businesses and tourists can expect upon arrival to a wonderful city, while ensuring that neighborhood residents are safe and unencumbered by traffic and parking issues.
Simultaneously, we need to encourage attractive and affordable housing options that richly improve our city. Healthy neighborhoods and thriving outdoor environments are always critical for community life, economic vitality and property values. Let's think about our neighbors as well as the countless men, women and children coming from afar to line the Puyallup River to fish, for instance, and therefore spend money locally. Or on a personal note, my property borders Silver & Meeker Creeks, so cleaning up Clark's Creek and our other city watersheds is a priority for me as much as it is for all city residents.