Northwest NEWS

October 18, 1999

Front Page

Fire and water district candidates speak out

Leslie Hartman Clint Olson Roy Bleikamp Chuck Royal
Leslie Hartman. Clint Olson. Roy Bleikamp. Chuck Royal.
Maureen Jewitt Bob Milton Terry Call Ken Goodwin
Maureen Jewitt. Bob Milton. Terry Call. Ken Goodwin.

Compiled by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   With absentee ballots coming out this week, Northshore candidates are girding up for the Nov. 2 election battle.

Fire Commissioner, Position 1

Leslie Hartman

   I want to serve the community and see quality fire and life safety service provided to Woodinville. I have a strong concern for the welfare of our Woodinville firefighters.

   A point at which deficit spending will end needs to be set. Criteria need to be established by which the financial position of the district is clear and the department can say that spending decisions were prudent.

   A long-term strategic plan needs to be put into place through which the fire district and community will know in which direction they are heading with regard to financial, equipment, staffing, and training needs. There currently is no long-term strategic plan in place, and the commission has not followed the plan previously set up.

Clint Olson

   Working for the betterment of my community has been a major focus in my life. Earlier this year, I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety Commission Board. I was a volunteer firefighter for the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District from 1984-92.

   Last March, I retired after 30 years of service with the King County Police Department as a law enforcement officer. My last assignment was supervising Woodinville's patrol officers. Being located in City Hall enabled me to work closely with the mayor, city officials, and local businesses, and through this association, I have gained greater insight into the needs of our community.

   Two important issues for the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District are: setting goals and policies for improved fire services; and programs and implementing innovative programs as a result of proactive internal strategic planning.

Fire Commissioner, Position 4

Roy H. Bleikamp

   I have only one purpose for wanting to continue as commissioner of the WFLSD: to maintain or improve the district's service in a cost-effective manner, without continually asking for tax and fee increases.

   I represent the taxpayers. I have served on Board of Directors for three companies and spent the last 16 years of my career as a project manager, with annual budgets of up to $20 million.

   The fire district needs to maintain and improve the quality of service in a cost-effective manner. This requires application of sound business principles in all decisions. We need to maintain taxpayer oversight and control, rather than union control.

Chuck Royal

   I am a 21-year member of the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District, having served as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief.

   We must eliminate deficit spending by establishing criteria to collect the necessary taxes as approved by the citizens, to maintain a reserve account to meet the district's needs. We must develop a five-year plan outlining the district's needs and growth plans tied into the fiscal needs.

   The Board of Commissioners' goal is to maintain a reserve fund equal to one-half of the operating budget. This year's operating budget is approximately $5.8 million. The current reserve fund level is at approximately $2 million, well below the stated goal of $2.9 million.

Water Commissioner, Position 1

Maureen Jewitt

   My experience and knowledge of the issues facing us today and my commitment to finding solutions to those issues make me an excellent candidate for Position 1.

   The foremost issue facing the district is maintaining reasonable water rates, while Woodinville is contractually obligated to pay Seattle Public Utility (SPU) whatever SPU demands for wholesale water. It is critical for the Woodinville Water District to develop an independent, reliable and more cost effective source of water. I have voted to purchase a water right from the Weyerhaeuser Co., petitioned the Department of Ecology for permission to use the water, and approved the oversizing of a ground pipe project to move that water to Woodinville.

   The second major issue is the formation of a representative regional water group to match water supply and the water demands of people, fish, agriculture, and industry. I am WWD's representative to, and the secretary/treasurer of the regional effort to accomplish those goals.

Bob Milton

   With 15 years of corporate management and over five years owning and running a local business, I feel that I am extremely qualified to become an integral part of the Woodinville Water Commission.

   The most pressing issue facing the district is where do we find the resources needed for the future, and what will be the cost. At this time, we are totally dependent on Seattle for our water. We need to locate and acquire other sources in order to adequately service the needs of our district, and we need to do this within a controlled budget.

Water Commissioner, Position 5

Terry L. Call

   I have worked with the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years, serving on its Board of Directors.

   As does every rate payer, I want the best for the lowest cost. Too many of the current commissioners represent just one area. The board should be more representative.

   Another issue is the Cascade Water Alliance. This is a group made up of water districts to hire consultants to find water. The cost to join this alliance was $41,000 and an estimated $3 million over the next few years. This is not construction cost. This is just a cost for a group of people to find water.

   The WWD already has on their property a well that has the capacity to pump one million gallons of water per day. It is about 1,500 feet deep. The Environmental Protection Agency has said that they can only use this well in case of emergency. We need to work to change the EPA's ruling and use our own water.

Ken E. Goodwin

   I have served as a Woodinville Water District Commissioner for the past four years and have developed a thorough understanding of the operations and issues of this district.

   The ability to provide water for people is now more complicated when we must, by federal mandate, also provide additional water for fish. Seattle supplies our water and that contract expires in 2012.

   Our solution is two-pronged. Commissioner Jewitt serves on the board of the newly-formed Cascade Water Alliance. This will be the regional organization that will negotiate with Seattle and develop new regional water supplies for its members. The other prong is developing our own independent supplies.

   Our challenge is to control cost increases associated with salmon recovery issues and the development of new water sources. As the Director of Finance for the Alderwood Water District, I was able to involve the Woodinville Water District in a pipeline project in which Woodinville Water was able to pay for a larger pipe that will eventually accommodate our water flow.