This is the second in a [hopeful] five-part series written by each Snoqualmie Mayoral candidate, explaining their goals and vision if elected. This piece is from Fuzzy Fletcher.
Five candidates have filed for the November general election, which means an August 1st primary will narrow the candidate field to the top two vote-getters. Primary ballots will be mailed beginning July 12th. They must be dropped off at ballot drop boxes (no postage necessary) or mailed by August 1st.
Candidate Fuzzy Fletcher: Time to address the issues – Listening, Mandating Change
I believe in many election cycles, voters are apathetic because they feel left out of the process, or because they don’t feel heard. I want to listen.
Growth, traffic, water, taxes issues, an aging population – these are all issues that need to be addressed.
Like the other mayor candidates I have vision, but while they are at more of a starting point for public discussion on how to deal with these issues through collaboration, I mandate change.
There are two types of politicians, one that says vote for me and I’ll institute my ideas – and the other type that says elect me and we will do what the majority of the citizens want for their community. I’m the 2nd type.
I have eight years experience as mayor working with the city council and administration. I know how to guide Snoqualmie through issues. We have a Sovereign Government with reservation lands as part of our community. The Snoqualmie Tribe has been here thousands of years; they need to be part of the discussion coalition as well.
Water, do we have enough? It seems we couldn’t water all the parks last summer. Water and sewer rates go up every year to maintain facilities and keep the water flowing, and yet large development projects that all require water keep being approved. We need an outside agency to certify that we have and will continue to have a certified, sustainable source of water before approving new projects.
Schools. There are many ways to collaborate so both city and schools can flourish. I propose an agreement to share mechanics and garage space for school busses and city equipment. This could result in saving money and better services for citizens and students.
How to tackle growth? I believe you cannot “build your way out of debt” no matter how much development you allow. This results in needing more growth to pay for infrastructure repairs that the past growth that produced. This does not mean halt all growth, this means ensuring any allowed building is what citizens want and that the developers offer solutions to impacts the growth brings. If future road overlays/repaving will be an issue, make sure developer money that comes with the project goes into a savings account to pay for that future repaving. Then put any earned interest back into the general fund to help taxpayers.
I am not in favor of ever raising taxes. Although I can’t guaranty it won’t ever happen, I favor closely examining the city budget to ensure all ‘the fat’ is eliminated. I favor re-prioritizing the budget after citizen collaboration identifying community priorities.
I want to improve transparency. All City Council, Planning Commission and committee meetings should streamed to local public access television. Not everyone gets their information the same way. The City needs to get all information out to all citizens by using all available tools, including Facebook, newspapers, TV, and local blogs, in a timely manner.
Aging. Soon approximately 20-25% of U.S. citizens will be 65 and older. What are you going to do with us? We’d like to live in Snoqualmie too. Not everybody retires to play golf and drink iced tea in the sun. Some will only have Social Security. Period. Living in the street isn’t a good option. We as a community need to plan how we will help our parents, grandparents when the time arrives.
Driving often is not an option for the aging population. Transit can help our community and businesses simultaneously. Funding is available that allows cities to implement transit shuttle programs, which can transport folks, for little cost, from near home to the doctor, a restaurant, local pharmacy/store and home again – bringing patrons to central city businesses. The more money that stays in the city, the better off we all are.
We have a lot of work in front of us. I have the experience. I am a collaborator. Have your voice be heard.
~~ Fuzzy Fletcher