On July 6, 2017, we emailed out a list of 10 Questions to all candidates running for Des Moines City Council in the Primary election, which has an Aug. 1 voting deadline. This is the final post in our series for the 2017 Primary Election. Of the two candidates running for Position #7, both responded, and here are their answers – published exactly as they sent them – and listed in alphabetical order:
CHAD HARPER1. How long have you lived in Des Moines and why did you decide to live here? I have been a resident of Des Moines for nearly 5 years. I chose to live in Des Moines because of its charm, the great people, and the fact that it’s a decent commuting distance from Seattle while still being relatively affordable. 2. What are your primary reasons for seeking election to the Des Moines City Council? I am running because it’s time for a new voice with a fresh perspective to change the status quo in our city. Des Moines is a city with a lot of potential, and I’m excited to help our community be the best it can be. I’m proud my record of delivering results in our city as a member of the Human Services Commission, Trustee on the Highline Schools Foundation, and leader of last year’s successful school bond effort. For more information, visit my website: ChadforCouncil.org 3. What do you expect to gain personally from serving in a Council position? I expect to confront new and exciting challenges and to work with a diverse group of colleagues to address our cities most pressing issues. 4. How should Des Moines react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it will produce over the city? Reducing noise pollution should be a top priority for all members of the city council. As someone who lives right under the flight path, I have first-hand experience with the increase in noise from planes leaving and entering SeaTac Airport. It’s clear we need to site an additional airport in our state. We can’t stop the growth of air travel and our region, but we can hold the FAA and the Port of Seattle accountable for the impacts the noise has on our community. I’m very supportive of the City of Burien’s efforts to sue the FAA to require them to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 5. Do you consider the Marina seawall repair or replacement as a major financial problem facing the city and if not, what is the city’s biggest financial problem? Repairing the seawall is a challenge, but not the biggest one. The city’s biggest financial problem is finding new revenue to increase the number of police officers in our community to combat increased crime. I’m proud that my commitment to public safety has earned me the distinction of being the only candidate in my race supported by law enforcement. 6. Do you believe paid Marina parking is the best way to finance the huge cost of the repair or replacement of the rapidly deteriorating seawall? While unpopular, paid Marina is probably the best way to finance the seawall repair. If other solutions are proposed from councilmembers or members of the public, I am happy to consider those. 7. What are your views on further development for downtown Des Moines, the Marina, and the city’s partnership with the Port of Seattle at the Des Moines Creek Business Park? Creating an environment where businesses can thrive in Des Moines is one of my top priorities. Our marina should be redeveloped with a commercial focus and in such a way that it connects with our downtown business. Our Marina and position along the Puget Sound puts us in a prime position to truly be a destination city. The Des Moines Creek Business Park will create thousands of new job which means more revenue for our city, and I’m very excited to see this development in our community. 8. Do you believe the Des Moines Police Department is doing a good job controlling crime in the city and, if not, what proposals for change would you recommend the Council adopt? Des Moines has an excellent police department that is doing the best it can, given its current capacity. With new police officers, we can better address crime in the Pac Ridge area, Woodmont, and Redondo neighborhoods. 9. How would you propose Des Moines control increased card room gambling and marijuana sales along Pacific Highway South? The voters of WA (including myself) voted to legalize marijuana at the ballot box. We can’t stop the sale of marijuana, but we could tax it. Other candidates have suggested this as a way of raising approximately $500,000 of revenue. I would vote in support of this. With that new revenue, we could better enforce local gambling laws. 10. What is your view of the way the city now budgets and spends its money and where would you cut or increase spending? The city needs to budget based on reliable revenue, not wishful thinking. We need to return to being responsible stewards of taxpayers’ money. I would also like to see an increase in human services funding. I’m proud to serve on the Human Services Commission for our city and see the needs of our fellow residents. Our city’s demographics have changed as more people of modest means leave Seattle and move southward.
MATT MAHONEY1. How long have you lived in Des Moines and why did you decide to live here? My wife Bev and I have lived here 3 and ½ years. I grew up in Puyallup and have fond memories of spending time on the beach at Redondo during my childhood. Years ago, as an avid scuba diver, I became reacquainted with Des Moines and soon thereafter introduced Bev to the area. We both loved Des Moines and knew one day we wanted to live here. So after raising our children in Maple Valley, we sold our home with the intention of purchasing a condo at the Marina. We ended up doing a remodel on a property on North Hill and during that process found a community we could call home. 2. What are your primary reasons for seeking election to the Des Moines City Council?
- I love the city and the people of Des Moines and want to give back to the community I’m vested in.
- To help guide and facilitate the goals of Des Moines; Development, Business, Marina, Public Safety, Financial Sustainability, Airport Concerns
- To ensure the city maintains a focus on our businesses and residents.
- To be a voice for the residents of all neighborhoods to create one Des Moines.
- Partner with the surrounding cities and join efforts to represent concerns with the airport. Enlist our state and federal elected officials to be part of the process.
- Encourage reduction of sulfur in fuels right now and switch to bio fuels.
- Engage in efforts to cap flights and ensure quiet periods are established between midnight and 5 am.
- Create a dialog with Port of Seattle and FAA Leadership to gain influence, build relationships and bring resolution of the impacts and concerns of our residents.
- 2nd Airport, 2nd Airport, 2nd Airport.
- Strongly urge our state and federal representatives to support the concerns of communities located around airports with enforceable legislation to regulate operations.
- Support the studies and monitoring of ultra-fine particles, noise and health issues associated with airports. Ensure state and federal leaders understand the impacts and what options are available to our residents.
- Continue to find ways to protect our city and environment from impacts of the airport, i.e. tree management plan, quiet times, reduction of pollutants.
- Push for Port Commission Districts so cities near airport have representation.
- Insist FAA and Port of Seattle have a legitimate public forum process for open lines of communication to address concerns.
- Request the Port financially compensate communities around the airport by supporting infrastructure and community projects.