What I Have Done:
In the past ten years since I have been on this council our city has grown substantially. We have annexed considerable lands, built a new city hall, a new bridge, upgraded our infrastructure of water, electric, broadband, sewer, land fill, new roads, new neighborhoods, new businesses, new jobs, expanded our industrial park and gained thousands of new residents. We have gone from depending primarily on property taxes for revenue to more revenues generated from sales taxes now by making Richland a better place to do business.
I have been a leader in this effort by working as liaison and board member to all of the boards and commissions that advise our council on the merits of every relevant issue that comes before this council. These groups go to a great lengths to examine all of the information/facts making sure that the council can make an informed decision to benefit our citizens, the city and our business partners. These include the Planning Commission, Utilities Advisory Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Regional Public Facilities District, Richland Public Facilities District, Benton Franklin Council of Governments, Ben Franklin Transit, Arts Commission, Capitol facilities Improvement, Visit Tri-Cities and WA State Good Roads. There were times when our decisions were very tough even with all of the board and commission advise, but we made those decisions for the greater good. I have never wavered from my unbiased support of our staff.
What I Stand For:
I stand for keeping the City of Richland strong while continuing to grow our city responsibly. I advocate for keeping the cost of living and doing business as low as possible, making it easier to do business, attracting new residents of all ages and improving our quality of life. We have seven business units in our city that charge our citizens for services. We do everything we can to keep those costs down, but the unfortunate reality is that costs rise. Keeping the services that our citizens need costs money. Nothing is free but I fight to maximize your tax dollar in order to keep the high quality of life you deserve.
I want to make sure that we stay as transparent as possible, ask for the buy in of our residents and business community, clearly lay out the long term plans and goals and at the end of the day do what is best for the majority of our residents and that economic engine that is the City of Richland. Our budget, like any major corporation, is based on sound business principals, financially and physically. That fact will sustain us for the foreseeable future and beyond, always mindful that risks are everywhere and we must be ready and able to face them.
What is Next:
There are exciting things happening in our city. We are creating more of a sense of place in our downtown area. We are working on developing even more of Columbia Point and then Columbia Point South by partnering with the tribes. This can and will be mixed use, residential, small business and open spaces that can and will attract all ages. We are building out Badger Mountain South and Horn Rapids where thousands of new residents will live and play. There are many opportunities to build even more amenities to encourage residents to live, work, play and do business downtown and in our neighborhoods. Our medical campus is continuing to grow and bring with it many associated businesses, jobs and residents. Our river front areas continue to flourish and grow.
We continue to develop new industrial opportunities in North Richland, expanding on core businesses, building new businesses and creating many hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new investments. My goal is to continue to grow this with new and innovative ideas brought forth by our community, but it comes with issues like more traffic congestion. We will continue to work with the DOE, Hanford Contractors, the State of Washington and other business partners to deal with this growth with our communities help.
I want to make sure we spend your tax money wisely, pay our bills, grow our economy, cut no services, lay no one off or do anything to hurt the City of Richland. I want to build on and celebrate these successes not drag us down with constant negativity or nagging doubt. That will be done through building more partnerships and creating even more coalitions and alliances with or neighbors and within our city. The City of Richland is open for business and welcomes all comers.
Our community is more diverse than most because of our National Labs, growing Medical Industry, Hanford Contractors and the huge Agricultural Industry. I will continue to celebrate that fact and do everything I can to expand on all of the great things a growing and diverse community has to offer. That fact, along with our climate, access to all forms of transportation, cost of living, state of the art communications infrastructure, availability of marketable lands for business, industry and new neighborhoods, low crime rate and great schools makes Richland the perfect place for retirees, young families, young professionals, new businesses and our existing residents.
Help me celebrate with all of you, this great city, for the next four years and beyond.