Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nathan Weller Answers Your Questions

My Opinions on Blog questions:

1. Thanks for asking this question. I think a major issue facing Ward 2 is infrastructure, such as sidewalks and streets, and general upkeep because the Ward has some of the older parts of Pullman and some of the heaviest use due to the density of residents near campus. I have walked on every street in the Ward and have carefully noted the conditions of the houses, apartments, sidewalks and streets and thus have many concerns to bring to city council. This matter ties into the broader issue of Economic Development. I am for fiscal responsibility and do not believe in raising taxes. Thus, we must broaden our economic base and find other options to generate the funds to pay for these improvements. We must think outside the box to find new sources of revenue. All residents in the Ward, including students, must be committed to communicating and working together to maintain the cleanliness and quality of our neighborhoods, and voice their thoughts and concerns to city council to get the resources needed to keep Ward 2 neighborhoods clean, safe and welcoming places to live.

2. Great question Scotty, I think conversation with the students can start with this question, but while we ask this of the students we must ask ourselves a question as well. Namely, what is our attitude in asking the question? If it is “you don’t vote so you don’t count,” then the whole exercise is a farce. However, if it is “you are an important part of the community and we want your involvement to help better our city as a whole” then we can continue with a combined front to tackle future issues. I think that many students see themselves as part of the broader community and the lack of voting or registration is not a matter of strength of feeling, but a matter of information. Many of the students I talk with vote elsewhere because they are interested in issues in their home towns. In addition, many do not know how to register in Pullman and usually ask where to get voter registration information. We as a community need to focus on communication, and to ensure that WSU students know that their voice is welcome in city government and that with rights come responsibility to help make Pullman a better place to live, work and attend school. I would like to see more WSU graduates stay in the Pullman area and help build the local economy.

1. I first want to thank you for your question and your kind comments on an earlier blog; I was truly honored. As far as your question, I feel that it is always important to have communication between city government and the citizens of Pullman. Using public hearings to discuss proposed commercial developments is absolutely essential to allow all voices, for and against a given project, to be heard. Everyone in Pullman must have an equal voice when it comes to the future of our city, and it is the responsibility of city council to insure that all voices are equally heard and considered. Perhaps in the past, certain voices were listened to more than others during the debate about economic growth. I am a consensus builder, and as a city council member I would be especially active in seeking public input about issues of commercial development in Pullman. If the process of public hearing and consensus building works properly, it should not be necessary to add another layer of public hearings , that being said, if additional communication is needed to encourage development then I am all for it.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

Nathan: Thank you for your civil and community minded answer. I am grateful that you have always taken the high road and I have admired you through two campaigns. Your efforts can only lead Pullman to a better place. I don't agree 100% with your philosophy, but I certainly respect it.