Northwest NEWS

September 10, 2001

Local News

Candidates assess challenges of sought-after offices

Voters looking for last-minute "inspiration" before casting their ballots in the Sept. 18 primary election may wish to glance at what the candidates feel are the most important issues facing their offices.
   King County races that have one or two nonpartisan candidates will not appear on the primary ballot; only races that have multiple nonpartisan candidates will.
   All King County partisan races, however, - even if there are only one or two candidates - will appear on the ballot since King County uses the primary as a nominating process for candidates, said King County Elections Superintendent Julie Anne Kempf.
   Races in which no candidates have filed (for example, Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District Commissioner Pos. No. 2) represent a "lapse in election" and the incumbent will serve until the next election, said Kempf.
  
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Santos Contreras


Metropolitan King County Executive
   "What are the most important issues facing the King County Executive today?"
   Santos Contreras (Republican)
   Issue: Boeing has moved to Chicago.
   Solution: I will immediately meet with Boeing, Microsoft and other companies threatening to leave our area. Working together, we can create solutions for the problems motivating them to take their jobs to other states.
   Issue: Commuters are struggling with the second worst traffic congestion in the country.  Solution: I will work with the governor and legislative leaders to help develop a transportation plan that actually reduces traffic congestion. The plan will list specific projects, identify who's accountable, and establish how to pay for the plan. Issue: Our light rail project is a disaster, costing millions of tax dollars without a plan.
   Solution: I will stop spending millions of dollars on light rail until we have a workable plan.
   Issue: Property taxes are going out of sight.
   Solution: I will submit a zero-percent property tax increase proposal in my first budget as King County Executive.
  
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Ron Sims


Ron Sims (Democrat)
   As residents of King County, we enjoy an unparalleled quality of life - natural splendor, a vibrant economy, and strong communities. But along with this high quality of life has come rapid growth. And, as our daily commute reminds us, these growth pressures have created significant challenges - challenges that threaten the very qualities that define our region. As King County Executive, I have been working hard to address these challenges by:
   - taking action to address traffic congestion by expanding transit service, accelerating road construction, synchronizing traffic lights and building new park and ride capacity,
   - protecting our environment with stronger environmental safeguards,
   - pursuing effective growth management strategies that have reduced sprawl and improved neighborhood livability, and
   - ensuring the health and safety of our families by working with Sheriff Reichert and other law enforcement officials on key public safety initiatives.
   While these efforts have helped protect our quality of life, I also believe that with strong, innovative leadership, we can go a step farther and lay the foundation to create a better future for ourselves and future generations; a future where we expand road capacity but also offer transportation choices that are not auto-dependent; a future where our rural areas are protected from sprawl; a future where suburban communities continue to thrive. Over the next four years I hope to continue working hard every day as County Executive to achieve this vision.
  
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David Fries


David Fries (Libertarian)
   The most important issue is the budget crisis. The King County Executive must turn the government away from the philosophy that the government is the best provider of services.
   He must realize that smaller government would decrease regulation and thus be less burdensome. Another important issue is the crisis of meth-amphetamine labs being discovered in rural areas of King County in alarming numbers.
   The King County Executive has a good position to argue against the insane drug war.Meth-lab waste endangers our environment and the ease of its manufacture makes it impossible to stop. The government must end its attempt to protect people from drugs with criminal sanctions that don't work.
   Transportation is another major issue. The county executive must work with city government leaders, not against them; and must push for a mass transit system that can pay for itself as much as possible to save our tax dollars.
  
   Alan Lobdell (Republican)
   Did not respond
  
   Metropolitan King County Council Dist. 1
   "What are the most important issues facing a Metropolitan King County Council member representing Council District No. 1 today?"
  
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Carolyn Edmonds


Carolyn Edmonds (Democrat)
   One of the most pressing issues is the relationship between the suburban cities of District 1 and the King County Council.
   The effects of our rapid growth, our congested transportation system, escalating costs of corrections, the ESA listing of the chinook salmon are a few of the challenges we face together.
   My vision is that the county works in partnership with the cities to implement solutions that make sense, are cost effective, create thriving communities and promote the health, safety and well being of our children, our elders and our families.
   Specifically, I am committed to implementing a regional transportation plan that addresses the multi-faceted transportation issues facing this region.
   Additionally, the residents of the First Council District are deeply concerned with the selection of a site for the new sewage treatment plant.
   If elected, I will work to ensure that the selection process includes extensive public involvement.
  
   Ed Sterner (Republican)
   Did not respond
  
   Kelly Snyder (Republican)
   Did not respond
  
   Metropolitan King County Council Dist. 3
   "What are the most important issues facing a Metropolitan King County Council member representing Council District No. 3 today?"
  
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Kristy Sullivan


Kritsty Sullivan (Democrat)
   By far, the number one issue people share with me as I'm doorbelling is traffic congestion. We seem to talk about the traffic more than the weather.
   Sitting in traffic robs us of important time with our families and adds to the high cost of doing business.
   We must reduce congestion by prioritizing road construction to reduce traffic congestion and limit new development where traffic congestion is already unacceptable.
   We need to expand bus service. I will ensure that transit funds raised on the Eastside are spent on the Eastside.
   I will work for practical solutions:
   - Synchronizing traffic lights,
   - Building sidewalks and bike paths,
   - Supporting telecommut-ing,
   - Promoting commute trip reduction.
   I will work to ensure that growth is managed effectively. I will focus on results - on holding ourselves accountable for responsible fiscal management. I will prioritize community values over partisan politics.
  
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Kethy Lambert


Kathy Lambert (Republican)
   The most important task is working together to improve the quality of life in our county. We must preserve the beauty of our county and our ability to travel without congestion gridlock in order to maintain the county's livability.
   With escalating property taxes, the high cost of housing, or unavailability of housing in certain price ranges, many of us or our children or our parents can no longer afford to live in this area.
   Housing prices affect companies being able to attract and maintain employees keeping jobs in our community.
   Government regulations, spending priorities, and taxes have important impacts in our lives. As we deal with the important budget issues we need to prioritize and be sure that our public safety interests are adequately provided.
   On the King County Council I will work on three main priorities – reducing traffic congestion, holding down property taxes, and improving our criminal justice system.
  
   City of Bothell Council
   Position 5
   "What are the most important issues facing Bothell today?"
  
   Michael Foote
   Did not respond
  
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Jeff Merrill


Jeff Merrill
   Traffic is a primary concern. Recognizing that 80 percent of Bothell's traffic is cut through, our emphasis should be on primary transportation corridors. The State and counties should be pressured to fulfill their obligations in enhancing the major arterials and corridors that pass through Bothell.
   Bothell continues to struggle with fiscal sustainability. Growth will continue in this region despite the wishes of many; it remains the city council's responsibility to provide protection to our residential neighborhoods from the increased densities and associated traffic impacts.
   New construction-related revenues collected by the city are down 50 percent this year alone, this constitutes approximately one-half of our city budget.
   To compensate this and other budget impacts, new sources of outgoing revenue (retail sales tax vs. property tax increases) need to be added. Without it, a reduction in services is inevitable.
   We have a strong environmental record in Bothell and I am committed to preserving our sensitive areas while strengthening our financial position.
  
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Mike Johnson


Mike Johnson
   Bothell's Street Plan: The City Council held hearings on the proposed plan that would divert freeway and arterial traffic onto our neighborhood streets. Hundreds of citizens attended. I agree with them - this not the way to deal with our traffic problems.
   Regional Sewage Treatment Plant: The City Council deferred early community engagement. The temptation of King County mitigation dollars should not drown their voices. Bothell is not the best location.
   Taxes: As we are experiencing a cooling of the economy, Bothell tax revenues will decrease. Additional taxes are not the solution.
   Protection of our unique and strong family neighborhoods: During the next two years, the City Council will adopt changes to our comprehensive plan that will impact the Citizens of Bothell forever.
   The existing Council has not demonstrated a respect for the will of the people and the protection of our quality of life. Therefore, new leadership is needed NOW!
  
   Woodinville Water District Commissioner Positon No. 2
   "What are the most important issues facing the Woodinville Water District today?"
  
   Terry Call
   The most important issues facing the Woodinville Water District are: Lowering water rates, obtaining pure water, and the lack of leadership in the administration of the District.
   Expenses are too high without solid management.
   If elected I will do everything possible to keep the water rates low and turn the management team around to make an efficient organization.
  
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Edward Cebron


Edward Cebron
   Water supply is of utmost importance. I left the Board in 1996 to lead the formation of Cascade Water Alliance, a regional water agency. This is now one of several possible supply options which offer the District greater control of its water future. We must continue to pursue these. At the same time, we must also commit to water conservation as a vital part of our vision. Whether you accept this as a core value or legal reality, our duty lies in conservation and prudent water usage.
   As a public agency, we also have a duty to treat people fairly, equitably and with respect. Recent turmoil at the District has brought this into doubt. I know that the District is a professional, efficient and responsive public agency. If we focus on serving our customers and meeting our public duties, we can once again be leaders in the water industry.
  
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Tim Matson


Tim Matson
   For years we have had a good, reliable supply of water delivered to us at a reasonable rate. To continue this we must face the issues of future supply, improving operational efficiency, and making improvements to an aging infrastructure. As ratepayers we should expect the District to be able to meet these challenges without raising our rates.
   New technology is providing us with new solutions to help us meet supply and conservation challenges. I have the professional background in technology to help us evaluate and implement these solutions.
   We can't afford to waste time and money on matters that don't help us reach our goals.
   Growing populations, changing government regulations, and changes in use patterns are presenting us with a wide new set of problems. We need leadership that has the vision and experience to find workable, cost effective solutions.
   I believe that I am that person. That is why I am asking you to vote for Tim Matson for Water Commissioner on September 18.
  
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Ronald Braun


Ronald Braun
   Here are four main issues I am concerned with:
   The Commissioner has to be accessible, either by phone or e-mail. Communicating to the customers of this district (all forms) will help the direction of service. The District's Web site can be expanded to improve communications (expand conservation information, announce District meeting agendas, links to outside water/sewer/septic sites would be helpful).
   The water district is in the process of planning for a new water source. Care must be taken in segmenting this enormous task over time before 2011 when this district is scheduled to separate its dependence from Seattle PUC.
   Options must be given to residential and commercial users of water to reduce their bill. This includes water conservation tips and tools as well as water reuse/reclamation design information.
   Living and working in the community is important to understanding what happens, when it happens. Being responsive to the customers of the district is key to being effective.
  
   Public Hospital District No. 2
   "What are the most important issues facing Public Hospital District No. 2 today?"
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Joe Valentine


Joe Valentine
   The are four major issues: refocusing on its core mission as a public hospital, personnel shortages, financial stability, and public accountability. We need to assess how well the Board is grappling with these issues and explaining its decisions to the public. How well does it engage the public in dialogue on key investment decisions? To what degree should a public hospital be "competing" with hospitals in neighboring districts, while at the same time scaling back support for a medical plan for working families? What is being done to improve billing systems to reduce excess losses from outstanding accounts receivables? How strategically is it dealing with one of the major health care crises today - medical staff shortages? When Hospital leadership are embroiled in disputes with their medical staff, how does this impact recruitment and retention? There should be more focus on reducing turnover rather than using layoffs to cover budget deficits.
  
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Jeanette Greenfield


Jeanette Greenfield
   Jeanette Greenfield is an experienced healthcare Commissioner, who demonstrates the skills required to understand complex healthcare delivery and reimbursement systems.
   As 2001 Board President, her leadership improved communications and ensured community, physicians and hospital staff have a voice in planning the future of Evergreen. Jeanette, believes Evergreen Healthcare is a superbly positioned organization that, with strong leadership at the CEO level, could be a real star in redefining, health care services delivery.
   Commissioner Greenfield championed the spirit of cooperation with other medical institutions for cardiac and fragile newborn clinical program development. She has worked diligently to increase patient healthcare service capacity. To Jeanette this means respecting patient choices, preserving patient-physician confidentiality, supporting patient rights and recognizing community diversity.
   Greenfield is Director of Cedar Park Community Services in Bothell. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and Masters Certificate in Legal Strategies. District residents elected Jeanette in 1999 by a 61 percent majority.
  
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Eric Greenwood


Eric Greenwood
   The year 2000 results for Evergreen Healthcare show a need for experienced business leaders who can guide the hospital district. An unanticipated operating loss of $7.8 million has occurred; the contract with the CEO for 20 years was terminated, and relations with physicians have deteriorated.
   This poor performance is leading to breakdowns in patient care. The healthcare staff in the hospital is forced to endure excessive staffing hours as the administration reduces operating costs. The strained relationships with the physicians are not in the best interest of either the hospital district or the patients of the district as doctors are ultimately responsible for directing patient care.
   It is time to add business leaders to the Evergreen Healthcare Board with significant experience in managing through the complex choices for the services we need. During my career working in financial institutions, I oversaw changes similar to those underway in healthcare today. I believe my experience and my commitment to provide excellent, accountable, and affordable healthcare to our citizens will strengthen the Board of Commissioners, as tough decisions must be balanced against community need.