Many of Spokane's elderly and families are struggling financially and cannot afford higher taxes. We know that sales tax is the largest source of revenue for the City. Our City Council needs to make Spokane an inviting destination for shopping, starting businesses in hiring employees. This approach will provide jobs for friends, family and neighbors and will help sustain needed City revenue, without raising taxes.
Public Safety is a primary role of city government and our safety falls on the shoulders of many city employees and agencies. Our City Council should be responsive to the unique needs of each neighborhood, community and city department tasked with solving specific issues. As a City Councilperson, I will work with other Council members, city staff and residents to have a positive political climate to better address public safety policy solutions. I also believe our city policies directing agencies should have enough flexibility for the city departments to better serve residents.
Public safety is most commonly viewed as our local police, fire department, and our first responders. Many agencies inside of the city handle public safety. For instance, our street department with street design, lighting and the safe routes to school program increase safety. City utilities, such as our water department, provide safe drinking water, and there are various agencies tasked with codes related to safety. As residents, we play important roles in the safety of our city. I will work with all of the above and have a continuous improvement approach for public safety in Spokane.
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
As the STA builds the 21st-century transit system, our city needs to do the same with our streets and other infrastructure. Rather than having full attention on other traffic and pedestrians, commuters are focused on dodging potholes, which makes road conditions a public safety issue. Also, I believe it is more cost-effective to have quality street services than it is to be constantly patching together our streets, especially when those temporary repairs that often only last for one season, then need more patching.
Years ago, I was an automotive mechanic, so I know the studies showing that commuters pay hundreds if not thousands in vehicle repairs annually due to bad road conditions are correct. Rough, rotted and potholed streets damage our tires, wheels, steering parts and suspensions. We've all seen those repair bills. The repair bills we don't see are all of the repair costs to City-owned vehicles, but we pay those bills as well. Poor road conditions cost us all money.
Surprisingly, we have over 100 miles of improved dirt roads in the City of Spokane. My family's home is located next to one of those dirt roads, and our local clean air agency only reaffirms what my family and neighbors already know: In the dry summer months, dirt roads cause major air quality issues. Our city’s residents who live on or near dirt roads are left in the dust three to five months of the year. Residents’ homes, cars, outdoor areas (children's toys and play equipment) are covered in dust. Having adequate streets and sidewalks increase property values, invites investment into our neighborhoods, and increases the quality of life for Spokane's families.
City Council District #1 – Northeast Spokane – is most impacted by the North-South Freeway. Residents and property owners can greatly benefit through economic development and job creation from access improved by this transportation project. I will work with the Department of Transportation and our state law makers to get this project completed as scheduled, or sooner if it all possible. Completion of this project is crucial the entire City, especially northeast Spokane. The kinds of developments and businesses seeking space next to this freeway will provide family wage jobs, which we desperately need in our District. I will work with community leaders and those who want to invest here, as increasing job and entrepreneurial opportunities is crucial. Our children and grandchildren, friends, family and neighbors shouldn't have to leave Spokane to find a good job.