September 24, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Connie B. led the flag salute.
Peggy gave a history moment.
Jack moved to accept September 17 meeting minutes, second by Kaj. Motion passed.
Brendan Meyer, Martha Cunningham, Nina Napiontek, resident Tim, Amy Miller.
New Habitat for Humanity Outreach Director Dave Armstrong announced a “Beers for Building” event at BarHop, October 7.
Edna thanked John B. and Debbie for sharing information with the community.
Noon Kiwanis, Thursday at Joshua’s features Habitat for Humanity.
Kaj provided a PA Forward report stating the wayfinding plan is moving ahead to the permitting and manufacturing stages. Panhandling and homelessness are important topics they will pursue especially on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Kaj moved to approve the topics of the board approved legislative agenda to draft letters, make public comment and testimony, second by Jim McEntire. Steve B. suggested approval of actions by membership, waiting one week is not a lot of time. Motion passed. Jim will provide position papers for each topic.
Dan G. moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes, seconded by Kaj. Motion passed.
Program: Doc Robinson and Charlie McCaughan, candidates for City Council Position 5.
Kaj introduced the candidates.
Candidates made opening remarks.
Doc stated homelessness and drug use is a reflection of the need for economic development and housing.
Charlie stated the four major projects in the city show faith in the city and there are other ways than raising taxes for affordable housing. His goal is a thriving city with renovated schools, expanded economic base, safe parks and trails.
Charlie is against facial recognition and traffic cameras because they don’t work. Doc said the technology scares him, we are not ready for it.
Doc will vote yes for the Affordable Housing tax. It can leverage builders and he will monitor how it will be administered. Charlie will vote no as there is no clear message where the money will go.
If Charlie had “no strings attached million dollars” he would see if it made good sense to pay off debt and see what is most beneficial to the city. Doc would assume debt repayment is on schedule. He would use half to reduce developer burdens for affordable housing and half for a job development core for job skill shortage.
Doc said the state incentivizes landlords to maintain rentals through an abatement fund. There is a need to teach landlords how to write leases, teach how to be a good tenant, and how to write abatements. Charlie said AirBnBs are nice to have but rentals are needed. He doesn’t know how to respond yet about incentives for landlords.
Charlie stated the city needs to provide for public safety when it comes to the airfield. Lincoln Park trees could be harvested to make the park more user friendly and open it up. Doc added trim the trees if necessary and let aviation experts say what is needed.
Doc is in favor of development getting out of the way of restrictions. Jobs are needed more than parking and he is in favor of cutting back and repealing the offsite parking regulations. Charlie feels there is enough parking, hopefully the city will have a parking garage in a couple years, and to continue going through the process for now.
Charlie is in favor of annexation but infrastructure research is needed. Doc is not in favor at this time.
Regarding traffic flow, Doc would like to close First Street and make Front Street 2-way. A Sequim-style bypass cannot happen. Traffic could be diverted from downtown to Lauridsen. Charlie doesn’t like 2-way traffic, things will be worse before getting better with development. He uses other roads to bypass downtown.
Charlie would change stormwater rules and any laws/regulations meant for the I-5 corridor. Education was supposed to be funded by the state. He would get involved with lobbyists. Doc agrees, adding the idea to begin ignoring the unfunded mandates and take the risk, they will probably ignore us.
Doc said homelessness and drug abuse are two top issues. Serenity is full for the first time. Economic development and training workers is the answer. Charlie said with addicts, nothing can be done until they want help. He supports programs like ReDiscovery.
Can city use local talent for projects. Charlie said laws prohibit certain things regarding using local school talent for city projects and it depends on what we want to do to make young talent stay. Doc would like a community action core, people can wield a shovel at low cost and city officials should spend a day or two in the field.
Charlie would support researching funding for air service. Doc said it is Port business and he can’t see generating daily flights. We will not get serious companies here without this service.
Questions and answers followed about working with police, water supply and best/most discouraging thoughts about the city.
Candidates gave closing remarks.
Meeting adjourned at 8:41am.