Cooper - I would strive in my 15 - 18 months to promote cooperation and good will on the council and help continue Olympia as a progressive and embracing community.
Gates - During this appointed term, I intend to boost public confidence in council actions. I would welcome and encourage the public, neighborhood association representatives, community group leaders and others to present information during public comment during council meetings. I will foster relationships with groups and individuals the council may not ordinarily hear from and attend random neighborhood association meetings in order to hear what the community is thinking. I would regularly bring this information back to the council. I would like to be a part of strengthening the city's relationship with the port commissioners and would advocate for regular joint meetings such as the one held in March, which I attended. During my tenure, I will listen to the needs of business owners, encourage the clean-up of major corridors, embrace ideas from the Mainstreet Program, encourage the investment in infrastructure, bring in essential services and look at how to redevelop areas of downtown that can be appropriate areas for housing. Olympia consists of many diverse neighborhoods and communities, each with its own identity and character. I will affirm this and work to encourage hubs of neighborhood centers that promote walkability to work, school, recreational interests, commerce and essential services.
Gray - To serve the needs of the City of Olympia without consideration for reelection. I would wish to be an effective city Council person focusing on the needs of the City, its budget constraints, and being an effective listener to citizen concerns. I would hope my holistic view of local environment would be of benefit to the governance of the community.
Cooper - This is the great dilemma of cities and is an even more severe dilemma for counties. Solutions are to promote increased economic activity to bolster revenue, and to educate and ask voters to approve needed capital projects. The council must always be vigilant to support government efficiencies in matters of technologies and organization.
Gates - Jane Kirkemo recently gave a report to the city council that we have tapped $1.2 million in reserves to balance the 2010 budget. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts needs extensive repairs and the previous city council indebted citizens to pay for four new buildings: Olympia city hall, the Children's Museum, and the new fire station and training facility. The city should be congratulated on taking some steps to increase revenue such as increasing city utility rates, creating the Transportation Benefit District, using the I% utility tax for general rather than the capital facilities plan, and selective customer service reductions. One non·tax revenue source that Olympia needs to coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions is using impact fees allowed under the Growth Management Act to pay for certain services. The collection from this can be optimized by ensuring that the fees being charged are commensurate to the neighboring cities and the county and that they send the right signals for managing growth. We need to examine what core, essential services are, and make difficult cuts that do not risk public safety. The city allowed community members to rank their priorities. I, too, had to make difficult choices. Allowing community groups and citizens to pick up the slack could make community stronger and more integrated.
Cooper - I presently have little exposure to the "Imagine Olympia" project or comprehensive planning, but I do have ideas on these topics. I will have the time available to fully participate in these endeavors.
Cooper - These plans are vital to the long term growth and livability of community and state. We must maintain their long term objectives and minimize the short term obstacles and frustrations for those confronted by the many regulations and requirements.
Gates - Olympia's Comprehensive Plan is a living document for the future of community, reflecting Olympia at its best. As such, it must also have consistency and its implementation enforced through the city's zoning codes and ordinances. The priority of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is to balance development and economic activity with public access and the enjoyment of shorelines with a no net loss of ecological function. The restoration of degraded aquatic and marine habitat of shorelines is also a key component. We have a tremendous opportunity to take bold action to accomplish these goals. The challenge is to coordinate and enforce existing city policies and ordinances with the plans. I am fully committed to working with fellow council members, city staff, and citizens to accomplish this goal. As the state capital, we have a responsibility to be a trendsetter for environmental protection and enforce good planning efforts.
Cooper - As a Rotarian for 32 years, I have observed many organizations and issues contributing to the livability of community. I have participated in Rotary's Youth Exchange, Scholarship Programs, Jazz Festival, and many other youth programs supporting the future of community. The many churches of community, including my parish, St. John's Episcopal Church, support Camp Quixote and dozens more very beneficial community-based programs. I would like to be a council member who supports such policies and programs for youth and less fortunate. I have enjoyed the many benefits that city has to offer. Having lived here for 39 years in an area that is accessible to the downtown core and the many amenities this offers, I would like to preserve these attributes for generations to come.
2. What are the three highest priorities you believe the City needs to address? How would you propose to address these issues?
Cooper - 1) To promote economic vitalization in the downtown core, including provision of adequate parking; 2) To promote neighborhood cohesion, tranquility and proper traffic flow; 3) To maintain environmental leadership among the communities of state and nation.
The three highest priorities I believe the city needs to address are:
1. Expand Olympia's revenue generating capabilities, live within current tax collections and creatively balance budget restrictions;
2. Update the Shoreline Management Plan and Comprehensive Plan in a cohesive manner and make zoning codes and other city ordinances consistent;
3. Encourage public participation in all issues facing Olympia: growth, strong neighborhoods, sea-level rise planning, and relationship with the Port and the county, and neighboring jurisdictions. I would address all the above issues by encouraging the city's citizens to have a say in the process. Involving citizens on city related issues can occur in many different ways:
• Hold periodic town hall meetings in locations other than the current city hall
• Work more closely with neighborhood and community group representatives, encouraging them to more actively engage in city council policy discussions and decisions.
• Print and enclose city business news with the City of Olympia Utility bill.
• Run independent public service announcements and advertisements in the local media and alternative print media to help facilitate communications on important issues.
• Allow the public to attend and listen in on the weekly city administrative department head meeting which is where they discuss the coming week's agenda.
Cooper - I am interested in contributing to the governance of an ideal community that is progressive and an example to other cities of state and nation.
Gates - I am interested in serving as an Olympia City Councilmember to help shape the city's future in a way that allows all citizens to be heard, acknowledged, and respected. Through my leadership efforts and engagement, citizen voices will strengthen Olympia and help the council create policy and make good decisions. As a recent candidate for Olympia city council, I personally visited 4,500 homes in Olympia, speaking with literally thousands of citizens, hearing their concerns and questions. As a councilmember, and a team player with my colleagues, I will immediately acknowledge and respect the fact that Olympia is a complex city with 24 square miles of urban growth area, containing multiple, competing interests. My campaign experience, combined with my consistent, frequent attendance of council and city sponsored meetings, community and neighborhood association meetings, personal fact finding and involvement will allow me to hit the ground running on issues currently facing the council. My children, now aged 20 and 15, were born in Olympia. I am also a homeowner. I want to continue my commitment to the community, as a councilmember, to ensure that Olympia is the kind of city where my children will want to live for many years.
Cooper - 39 years, near Westside (overlooking the bridge)
Gates - 27 years, Eastside (8th Ave, south of Legion Way)
Gray - 17 years (plus two in the early '90s), Southeast (Log Cabin Road)
Langer - Roughly 25 years working in Olympia and living in the area (living in city limits 6 years), Northeast (Quince)
Lazar - 33 years, Southeast (Lakehurst Drive, Holiday Hills)
Richards - 15 years, Downtown (10th Ave, near the Credit Union)
Selby - 16 years, South Capitol (Water St.)
Smith - 30 years, Northeast (26th Ave, near Group Health)
Thomas - 20 years, South Capitol (Columbia St.)
Veldheer - 5 years, Cooper Crest (Cooper Point, off Cooper Point Rd north of Goldcrest)
To the Arts Commission:
I think this is an interesting concept for the project, but that the current forms are mostly quite ugly - especially the pixel bubble. But I think that most of them are ugly. I think there are several reasons for that... but perhaps the fundamental reason is that they don't have any independent life as forms; they've just been fabricated to express ideas. The little tails don't fit very well with the scale of the forms they're attached to.(I don't mean to be mean or to say it to be clever, but the truth is that in this color and shape the first association that I personally have about the thinking bubble and the effervescent bubble is not "thinking" or "effervescence" but excrement...)
In addition -
1. Bronze is heavy, solid, opaque - bubbles are transparent, light, floating. The classic 2-D bubble drawing in the margin are much more beautiful than these model bronze shapes. Maybe they could be made out of wire, or 2-D cutout shapes like mobiles, or some sort of blown or molded transparent plastics? Then they could be hung and actually float...
2. They also seem way too little and too far apart in the big drawing to have any visual ooomph. They're like little dabs of stuff pinned onto the columns... (And again - pinned seems wrong for the fundamental idea of an airy, mobile, floating bubble - something active, like speech or thought.)
3. The little tails seem kind of stuck on to a number of them, rather than really belonging with the main form. Also, if they're supposed to suggest the thoughts of the passersby, it seems as if the tails need to project out toward the people walking past, as in Meander, rather than being stuck into the columns, like Pixel...
Google Transit overview looks really cool - integrates the transit schedule data with Google maps so you can get the transit options as part of a directions search, including one that says "I need to get there by the following time."
It's available for Seattle now; I called Intercity Transit about it, and they're working on it. (Their first try with Google sent travelers on lots of trips that didn't exist, so they're trying to clean up their data now...). In the long run, they're hoping to integrate the whole Oly to Seattle system.