Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, October 28, 2005

Reports from Last Night's LWV Candidates Forum

I'm bumping these up for visibility. Thanks to all who attended!

Well now, that was some good times; we learned a lot. I took away from this forum 2 major things. #1 Ann Heath shared the information that Pullman is 48% of the average amount of tax receipts per capita in the state. So we are in the bottom half, now that is nice, NOT. Ann Heath wants to address that problem. She spoke of being for grow, but to be fair so did Judy K. I was not impressed with the way Judy wanted she thought it could all happen downtown. To increase our tax receipts by 50% or just even 25 to 30% we will need to add a few more floors to the existing buildings downtown. There are not enough empty buildings to increase that amount of receipts. Then #2 Judy K wanted to have a regulation on the books that would require stores over 100,000 sq feet that they be required to pay a “Living Wage” she never said what that should be. This on the face of it, it is so far out on the skinny branches I can’t see it. One thing I would say remember Richard Nixon and his venture into ‘price controls’, what disaster that was. Then we had Judy bring up the “Trolley” again and she never told us how she would pay for this ‘little project’ when she is cutting out any large retailers that would come with large amount of tax receipts to help pay for it.

I forgot to add Paul Johson was not present but some lady (I did not catch her name they were having problems getting the sound work so all could hear at this point) did read a stament from him, he was out of town for his fathers 90th birthday. The one thing a think I heard was that Mr. Johson had and or was a "mover and a shaker" in the NEA here in Washington. Now that on the face of it is a VERY BIG strike against him, he should try to hide that fact.
Uncle Bubba:
The lady speaking for Johnson was Cynthia Hosick. April, myself and Ray were there respresenting BREO.
As Ray said, Ann Heath, Bill Paul and Josh Coke all presented themselves well. Judy Krueger started her opening statement fairly even and well spoken then stumbled and babbeled in her responses to questions. Josh Coke was the rising star by being both informed and to the point.

Thanks everyone - I sure didn't want to miss it. Sounds pretty clear where the lines are drawn :-)

PS: We've had public input ad nausem (easily over 300 hours) since 1980 on the Comprehensive Plans, Map and various preliminary plats etc. It clearly shows what Judy DOESN'T know about how the boards and commissions work hand in hand with the council and city staff. The publics has had lots of opportunities. We may want to get a figure from Mark or Pete at the city to come up with this figure on the Wal-Mart project, just for reference.
Sarcastic Housewife #1:
I got there just as they were going over the rules. I wish I had gotten to meet the other BREO folks. Personally, I was impressed by Joshua, Bill, and Ann. I found it odd that Judy Krueger's campaign manager, Cynthia Hosick, was there representing Gary Johnson. I really feel this points to these two candidates as being puppets for PARD. I also was concerned that Ms. Hosick said the reason Gary wasn't on the ballot was due to boundary oversights, etc. My question is if there is a boundary issue has it been settled? If not, should he be running to represent Ward 1.

I also felt there was at least one canned question. Judy got to answer first about the 3 ordinances she would like to see passed if elected. None of the other candidates were prepared to answer that, but boy Howdy she was. She had to rifle through her notes to find the answers, but she had them.

Of course the trolley issue was brought up again. Even more scary, Judy thinks Main street should become a two-way street with diagonal parking on the sides. She felt this would increase traffic in the downtown area. I started to a laugh and a couple people next to me looked at me like I was crazy. I guess you aren't supposed to laugh at ridiculous ideas. At any rate, we already have enough traffic congestion on Main. I think this would make it worse.
April E. Coggins:
It was hard to impossible to keep from laughing. It's one thing to read the crap in print, it's another to hear it coming out of someones face.

Joshua Coke is very impressive. He is a fresh independent voice.

Okay, here goes on my notes:

Opening statement:

Josh: He stated his experience and his commitment to Pullman. He wants downtown to thrive but dense retail, such as on Bishop, is necessary to build Pullman's tax base.

Cynthia Hosick for Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson is qualified for council because he has been instrumental in the leadership of the NEA. Gary is opposed to Wal-Mart. He doesn't want our retail base to depend on the "vagaries" of the building industry.

Bill Paul: Want's to maintain police, fire, etc. He want's to support all businesses that are existing and new ones that want to come into Pullman. The city is gradually running out of money.

Ann: We need more sales tax revenue. Pullman must have a welcoming business climate. We need substantial retail growth. In the past year, the city council has passed ordinances addressing noise, fireworks. She wants to improve College Hill.

Judy: Two priorities. Always take public input and consider it. The second is to help downtown to become sidewalk cafes, boutiques and help the 18,000 students get downtown with an alternative transit. She is against Wal-Mart. She believes new businesses should compliment, not compete with existing business. She is for smart growth and Pullman needs an economic study.

Question number one:

How would you vote if Wal-Mart came before the council?

Ann: I don't think I can answer that question because of the way it phrased. Ann believes that business has the right open as long as it follows the law.

Judy: I am clearly opposed to WalMart. She believes the city council has the final say on Wal-mart. She is concerned with run off, parking and the cemetery.

Bill Paul: Reiterated what Ann said. Then said that public has been allowed to comment for the last 10 years.

Josh: The issue will NOT come before the council. Wal-Mart is raising the bar for storm water run off.

Question 2. What will you do about problems on campus?

Bill: Gave a run down of different ways the city was addressing the problems.

Josh: Increase retail tax base to fund more police.

Ann: People are intimidated and are afraid to file complaints with the police. More people need to come forward.

Judy: Agreed with Ann. Approved of the new noise ordinance. Wants more communication between students and residents. Thinks block parties, clean-up parties would be a good.

Question 3. Foursquare Church issue.

Judy: Concerned the property is off the tax rolls.

Bill: It's still a free country. The owners can use the building as they see fit.

Josh: It's better to have church than another empty building. It's good for downtown to have more people on Sundays.

Ann: This was a Board of Adjustment decision, not the City Council.

Judy: Supports commercial use. She felt that the majority at the BOA meeting were against the change of usage, the BOA didn't consider their views.

Question 4. What are your top 3 ordinances.

Judy: Living wage ordinance. Buffer zone around cemeterys and parks. Large developments to get special permits by city.

Bill: Against a living wage ordinance.

Josh: He would like something to address problem landlords.

Yes people, the trolley is still a part of Judy's plan, with her boutique stores and sidewalk cafes. I see no reason to let her get by with this crazy idea.

The forum is being rerun nightly on cable channel 11 at 8-9 p.m. except Sundays. It's quite entertaining, you might want to tape it.

1 comment:

Ray Lindquist said...

I still am amazed at the fact that we as a city come in at 48% of the AVERAGE tax receipts for the state. That is VERY low down on the list for our city government to do what they do. It is amazing that we have the programs that we have.