Vance fails to answer issues questionnaire

Tom Vance, a candidate for City Council Position 6, failed to respond to the questionnaire I sent following the August primary.

The questionnaire (below the jump) is comprehensive–much more so than that of the Sammamish Review– and would provide voters will a better understanding of his position on issues of importance.

Throughout the campaign, Vance has not door-belled though he has attended candidate forums. His view has been that he didn’t need to campaign since he was running against an unknown and he had name recognition.

See the issues questionnaire below.

Dear Candidate:

The city council election is approaching. I have a series of questions to pose to each candidate in the three council races. The answers will be published on Sammamish Comment (www.sammmamishcomment.wordpress.com) in your own words in the two weeks leading up to the mailing by King County of the ballots. At this point, estimated to be the last week of October, which means I would publish the questionnaires roughly October 10-21.

Please return your questionnaire by October 5 to be as current as possible. If you do not submit a response, this will be so-noted in Sammamish Comment.

I am providing you this way in advance because of the number of questions and the likelihood you will have to engage in some research.

Questionnaire follows. This is in Word so you can type directly into the file.

Thank you very much for your time, thought and effort that will be required to answer the following questions.

Scott Hamilton

Editor

Sammamish Comment

General Information

Name:

1. City Council Position Sought:

2. Neighborhood you live in: (e. g., Sahalee, Demery Hill, etc.; your precise address isn’t necessary. If you don’t resident in a recognized neighborhood, please skip to next question.)

3. General area you live in: (e.g., SE 20th St. and 212th Ave. SE.)

4. Current or Previous positions in city government (and dates).

5. Current or Previous positions in community organizations (and dates):

Your Campaign

6. Why are you running for election (or re-election)?

7. Please name succinctly three or four priorities of your campaign.

8. Please outline in 100 words or less how you intend to pursue and accomplish each of your priorities. (Use Word’s “Tools” to count your words.)

9. What community groups, key citizens or business interests support or have endorsed your campaign? (Include newspaper endorsements, if any at this time, and other endorsements.)

10. How has the Municipal League rated your candidacy?

11. At this juncture, how much money have your raised?

Issues: keep your answers to 100 words or less.

12. What do you consider to be the major issues facing Sammamish during 2012-2014? And from 2015-2016?

13. What are your solutions, at this stage, for these issues?

Town Center

14. The City developed a Town Center plan that at this point has not proceeded to development. Why do you think this is?

15. How would you revise (if you would) or “kick-start” the Town Center to proceed with development?

16. What are your major concerns about the Town Center? (e.g., feasible or not feasible plan; infrastructure requirements; affordable housing requirements; environmental requirements; etc.)

17. How would you “fix” those issues addressed in #16?

18. Is the size of the Town Center (600,000sf of commercial/retail and 2,000-2,500 residential units) about right, too small or too large? If too small or too large, what size do you believe is correct?

Community Center

The 2012 City Council will have to decide whether to send the current concept to the voters for a $64 million bond issue.

19. Do you favor the current concept? Explain why or why not.

20. Is the proposed location in the Sammamish Commons the best location? If not, where do you think it should be and why?

21. Is the City’s current approach to have this be entirely a city-owned facility the best approach or should a public-private partnership be pursued (e.g., with the YMCA)? Explain your position.

Parks

22. The Parks Commission and City Staff propose development of the Lake Sammamish property owned by the City into a park (it is “raw land” now). Do you favor this plan? Please explain your position.

23. If you do not favor the current lakefront plan, what do you propose instead?

24. Are there adequate sports fields now or under development or does the City need more? If more are needed, how would you fund this need?

Roads, Sidewalks/paths and Connectivity

25. Sammamish has deferred for many years further revisions to East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Is this a correct or incorrect decision in your view? Explain your position.

26. In your view, what are the priority road improvements for the City? (Name the roads and what you believe is required for them.)

26. Sammamish continues to have a lack of sidewalks and/or walking paths, a left-over from unincorporated King County. Where do you see the greatest need for sidewalks or walking paths?

27. What do you believe is the balance between the requirements for sidewalks or walking paths and road improvements?

28. There are road barricades throughout the City that inhibit connectivity, forcing traffic to a few through-roads. On the other hand, these barricades have historical precedence dating to unincorporated times and provide for neighborhoods protected from through traffic. Please explain your philosophy of this controversial issue.

29. What neighborhood barricades are, in your view, the ones that should not be removed?

30. What neighborhood barricades are, in your view, the ones that might be at the top of the list for removal?

31. How would you balance the desires for connectivity against the neighborhood safety concerns?

Environment

Sammamish has some of the most environmentally sensitive areas in King County. These areas include Lake Sammamish, Beaver Lake, Pine Lake, Laughing Jacobs Lake and all their respective creeks and tributaries; steep slopes; erosion hazard areas; and wetlands.

To protect these environment concerns, the City has adopted a Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), updated the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and adopted a voluntary Low Impact Development (LID) ordinance. Many of the regulations and standards to be met are required by State Law. The CAO and SMP are particularly restrictive and subject to State oversight.

32. Do you believe the CAO is an appropriate balance of State requirements and property rights? Explain your position.

33. Do you feel the SMP is an appropriate balance of State requirements and property rights? Explain your position.

34. The State eventually will require Sammamish to adopt mandatory LID regulations. The City already adopted mandatory LID for the Town Center. Do you believe these are appropriate or another example of over-regulation? What, if any, changes might you support?

Fiscal Concerns

Sammamish has nearly total reliance on property taxes and building permit fees to support its operations. There is a general consensus that this reliance must be diversified.

Because of the recession that began in late 2008, Sammamish has undertaken cost-cutting, restrained spending, deferred some road capital projects yet it is considering a $64 million community center and whether to financially contribute to “kick-start” the Town Center. Sammamish will also have to contribute its fair share to roadway improvements for the Town Center once development begins, but this will only be a portion of the funding required (with developers required to pick up their fair share).

To so-called “cross-over” point where expenses exceed revenues has moved “to the right” but based on current conditions will be reached within the four year term of those elected in November.

35. What are your views of intelligent diversification of revenue to reduce reliance on property taxes and building permits?

36. How do you balance the need for fiscal conservatism with the goals of funding a Town Center, a Community Center, roads/sidewalks/walking paths and parks?

37. Do you believe implementation of a utility tax will be required in the next four years either because of the cross-over point or to fund those goals outlined in #36?

38. Do you believe bond issues will be required to fund those goals in #36?

39. Do you believe that special, taxing Local Improvement Districts will be necessary to fund the goals outlined in #36?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in City Council and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s