ISSUES

I’m running for Bellingham Mayor because I believe that our best days are ahead of us and that this is how we will get there.
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I believe that a vibrant community starts with the engagement and empowerment of our citizens. A vibrant community supports its businesses and fosters opportunity. A vibrant community is safe.

When I am elected mayor, I am committed to ensuring that Bellingham will:

  • BE PROFOUNDLY INCLUSIVE

  • PROVIDE EXCEPTIONAL CITY SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE AND FIRE

  • CONTINUE TO INVEST IN GREENWAYS, PARKS, AND OPEN SPACE

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I believe that housing solutions begin when adequate supply and choices exist. Bellingham deserves a diversity of housing that provides options for all income levels. In addition, creative housing solutions will reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness.

Click here to learn more about my housing plan.

When I am elected mayor, I am committed to ensuring that Bellingham will:

  • PROCESS PERMITS FASTER

  • PARTNER WITH WWU, BTC & WCC TO MEET OUR STUDENT HOUSING NEEDS

  • ENCOURAGE HIGH QUALITY INFILL HOUSING

  • INCENTIVIZE MIXED INCOME HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS

  • CONTINUE TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL NON-PROFITS WHO PROVIDE HOUSING SERVICES

  • INCREASE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO THOSE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, BE COMPASSIONATE, AND HAVE CONDUCT RULES THAT PROMOTE PUBLIC SAFETY.

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I believe that empowering our youth is investing in our future.

When I am elected mayor, I am committed to ensuring that Bellingham will:

  • PARTNER WITH OUR SCHOOLS

  • SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT LOWER STUDENT DEBT

  • ENHANCE YOUTH ORIENTED ACTIVITIES IN OUR PARKS

  • SUPPORT WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


FAQ

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS SAFE?

Right now we only have one school resource officer for our entire district and I believe this is woefully inadequate. The demands of that position can’t leave much time for proactive policing in our schools. I would like to see additional patrol officers added to our department with an emphasis school outreach. I think a half-day visit to our schools at the end of an officer’s work week would be a great way to make friends with kids and decompress before heading home.



How can we get the affordable housing we need?


I believe partnership between the public and private sectors is needed to meet our housing needs. I would like to see us take a comprehensive look at our underutilized lands and identify opportunity zones throughout the city that are appropriate for future development and provide development incentives for affordable housing. Incentives could range from density bonuses, increased floor area ratio, additional height limits and more. I want to reward people for building permanently affordable housing. I believe if it makes financial sense we will see a lot more of it.



Are you a Republican who just won’t admit it?  


No, I am truly an independent voter. I have never felt that either of our parties represented enough balance for me. I feel like wedge issues divide us and get in the way of progress. I have been interviewed by both the Whatcom Democrats and the Whatcom County Republicans but will not be seeking endorsements or accepting money from either party. I want to give voters another option.



Did you vote for Trump?

No, I liked Ohio’s Governor John Kasich in the primary, but when the election came down to Hillary and Trump I voted for Hillary. To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to national politics it makes me depressed. I feel more empowered working on local issues, where we can actually make a difference.


What are you going to do about homelessness?

This is a large and complex issue. I think when we take a problem of this scale and break it into manageable parts we are more effective.

First, we are drastically short of affordable housing units in our city, and I won’t rest until we start seeing those units get built.

Second, I want to enhance the support for the organizations in our community that are already providing services.

Third, we need to really dig in and start identifying subgroups of people experiencing homelessness and focus on solutions specific to the needs of that group. For example, an alarmingly high number of foster kids become homeless within one year of aging out of foster care. Seniors and Veterans are also at risk, and those three examples all have different needs. When we focus on the individuals we can create better results.

I would also like to focus on prevention by empowering our youth and an overall goal of my campaign is to bolster community engagement in the public process and decision making, we we can achieve balanced and effective solutions.

Do you support single-family zoning?  

Yes, for existing neighborhoods I do support the preservation of single-family zoning, but like all things I do think some change is necessary. I support the option to build detached accessory dwelling units in single-family neighborhoods provided one of the units is owner occupied. I think we should be looking at corner lots and exploring options for townhouses there. I also think we should work with neighborhood associations and identify opportunity zones that could be appropriate for a diversity of housing options. I believe new developments are going to need to be a mix of single-family and multi-family with a variety of housing options.



What is your involvement with the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County?

I joined the BIAWC to network with other builders and take advantage of the rebate program they have for L&I premiums for safe contractors. I have served on the board of directors for 5 or 6 years. I have heard some people describe the BIAWC board as a more right wing political organization, but I haven’t found it to be that way. In the years I have served there has been a good mix of men and women on the board and a variety of viewpoints. We have moved away from endorsing candidates to an issue based ranking system for candidates. The idea is to build relationships with our elected officials. We also surprised a lot of people this past year when we endorsed the Bellingham Home Fund.


What would you do to get more action at the waterfront?

First, I would make sure we are being a good partner to the Port and Harcourt. I think that is happening currently, and it would continue to be a priority for me. Second, I think we could benefit from more competition on the property, and if that means investing in phased infrastructure development prior to awarding the next development agreement it could be worth the investment. I would like to see multiple bidders next time we issue requests for proposals.


What is your position on broadband and a dig once policy?

I don’t think there is much debate that the United States is falling behind other countries in the development of high speed and affordable communications networks. I am still learning about this issue, but in places that have robust fiber optic networks, the Internet speeds and capacity for sharing data is incredible.

It’s not just download capacity for consuming information but upload capacity for producing work. The next wave of innovation and job creation will require a more complete fiber optic network. The next wave of wireless will require good fiber to support it and I support spending resources on developing an infrastructure plan for a fiber optic network. If we do it properly we can have both a financial and a social benefit.



What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Construction Management from Central Washington University.