QA: Federal Way City Council Job 2 Candidates


The Federal Way Mirror asked Federal Way city council candidates a few questions about their priorities and plans if elected. Read the candidates’ responses for Position 2 below.

The Mirror’s 2021 nominee debate will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13 at Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club. The event will be in person and broadcast live. Masks required.

Candidates for post 2 of the municipal council of the federal route:

Erica Norton

Brief Description: Owner of a local business, Federal Way citizen since 2009.

The top three priorities, if elected:

1. Security and police, restore our police forces and allow them to protect our city.

2. Homeless drug addicts (by choice) living in our community.

3. Growth and development of the company.

Why are you looking for a position on Federal Way City Council?

I and many other Federal Way citizens do not feel like I am represented by a majority on city council. Someone has to stand up and be a wall between Seattle / King County and our city before Seattle / King County turns Federal Way into another Seattle. I have a career – I don’t need to get into politics, so I’m not afraid to find favor with politicians in Seattle and King County. My concern is to protect our city so that people and businesses can thrive here.

Aside from the pandemic, what is the biggest problem affecting Federal Way residents and what are you planning to do about it?

The biggest problem facing our city is the drug addicts most people call “Homeless”, and the crime that is ravaging our hometown as a result. First, we all need to learn to distinguish between drug addicts living outside by choice and the working poor who live in precarious housing. Then we need to approach this issue with honesty and do everything in our power to help addicts participate in long term relapse prevention programs. We need to make it illegal (with zoning bylaws) to sleep outside and destroy the environment. It will take a lot of work, I am ready to do that work and help these people become productive members of our city. There is an abundance of federal and private funding available to help us with the tools necessary to achieve these goals. The crime that accompanies drug addiction will fall accordingly.

King County plans to open two homeless shelters in Federal Way in the coming months. Do you agree with the county’s approach, and how will you approach Federal Way roaming, if elected?

No, I don’t agree, Federal Way is not the dumping ground for Seattle’s self-inflicted problems. The buildings should be 100% dedicated to the homeless working families that we already have in our city. Shipping hard-core drug-addicted criminals out of Seattle so they can clean up the mess they’ve created is NOT in our city’s best interest. If these hotels are used to house Afghan immigrants it would be better than importing more drug addicts, but we have US citizens paying taxes and already living here. We must stop ignoring our own people.

I spoke about my plans for drug addicts living outside in question # 2.

With the arrival of the Sound Transit Link light rail line in the city, Federal Way has development opportunities on the horizon. What will you do to make Federal Way a great place to live and work?

I have conducted several recent interviews with leaders of the local development and construction industry. For example, I spoke with a representative from AGC and another from NAOIP. I work in the construction industry and asked a local developer to answer a question: What can the City of Federal Way do to encourage you to invest here? We need to make certain changes, which are very possible, to be more attractive and accommodating to developers and construction companies. We must implement an aggressive campaign to bring jobs, development and income to our city. I have already started to take the necessary steps to help see this happen. If I am elected, I will continue in this business. Otherwise, I will pass on my findings to my contacts who are currently members of the municipal council.

With the extension of the tram on the horizon, we must support our police department so that our men in blue can protect us from the guaranteed rise in criminal activity that will take place. No business is going to want to be here if it’s not protected.

Greg Baruso (incumbent)

Brief description:

-21 year old resident

-Born in downtown Seattle in the 1960s

-Married with three grown children

– 35-year-old veteran firefighter / 1999 firefighter of the year and 2001 volunteer of the year

-Member of the Federal Way Diversity Commission for 12 years, including six years as chairman

-Citizens’ committee appointed by the governor on pipeline safety (current)

-President of the Citizens’ Committee for Federal Way Schools (Current)

Three main priorities:

1. COVID-19 Recovery – Ensuring our businesses and residents get the resources to get back on the ground, which will ensure a stronger local economy and jobs for our community.

2. Land Use Planning – With the future addition of the light rail to our city, it is imperative that we create a long term plan for what our downtown core will look like. Having a strategic and well-thought-out roadmap will help us prioritize and meet our needs to get us far beyond rail completion.

3. Responsible Policing – As my background will tell you, Public Safety is always at the forefront of my work. Providing the tools, whether through equipment, personnel, training or technological advancements, it is important to me that we provide the men and women who protect our city with everything they need to have the quality of service at its highest level in the communities they serve.

Why are you looking for a position on Federal Way City Council?

I am looking to keep my position on the Council because I think I still have a lot to accomplish. As chair of the land use and transportation committee, the first item I asked to consider for review was the city’s comprehensive land use plan. Again, with the addition of Light Rail to our city, I would love to see our city grow and prosper like other cities have and will once the Light Rail is established. Our downtown area can be made up of housing including retail on the ground floor and residential housing on the upper floors where residents can shop and live in the same building. We need to create a city center that is more walkable with businesses and entertainment that will attract those from other cities, creating a nightlife where one can see a show and then dine, all within walking distance of each. others. To do this, we also need to create a safe environment. We have a lot of issues to resolve before that happens when it comes to our current issues of housing our homeless, healthcare, addiction and crime, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to move forward things.

Aside from the pandemic, what is the biggest problem affecting Federal Way residents and what are you planning to do about it?

We have a lot of issues, but I think one of the biggest issues our residents face right now is the lack of affordable housing. As our population has grown over the years, housing has not kept pace. Over the past few months we have been working on a housing action plan which after a lot of hard work and study has broken down to where we need to be in terms of needed housing for the foreseeable future though our population is continuing its planned growth path. Finding a fair and equitable solution could be difficult if we don’t start to strategize and prioritize our needs. We need to focus on what we are lacking and start making our plan for how we increase our numbers, whether it’s revising zoning or creating spaces that will meet our needs. Another thought is how to develop what we have. Currently we only have one area where Cottage Homes have been built. We need to make projects like these and those of ADU, accessory housing units, a standard and not an exception where we actively seek to build these units by streamlining the licensing process. To begin with, I will endeavor to fully fund the licensing staff in our city.

King County plans to open two homeless shelters in Federal Way in the coming months. Do you agree with the county’s approach, and how will you approach Federal Way roaming, if elected?

I believe we all want to tackle homelessness in our city and the region, but I’m not sure King County’s approach is the right way to address this issue. What I didn’t like about this approach was the process, the way in which the Extended Stay America was purchased from Federal Way. A very minimal contribution was requested from Council until the latter part of the purchase process, when negotiations with the property and King County were well advanced. Instead, I slowed down the process for elected officials and community feedback before embarking on the buying process. That way, all concerns would have been addressed and the process would have been more streamlined and transparent from day one. That being said, it is done, and we must move forward. If I am retained in my position, I will continue to seek more opportunities to work with our nonprofits and health organizations, as the root causes of homelessness must be addressed if we are to be successful in reducing homelessness in the world. our city. We also need to work with our state legislators and federal counterparts to seek more funding.

With the arrival of the Sound Transit Link light rail line in the city, Federal Way has development opportunities on the horizon. What will you do to make Federal Way a great place to live and work?

As chair of the land use and transportation committee, I want to continue working with Sound Transit to get timely information on the LRT and their plans for what will be done with the property they occupy. now for their construction use. It is important that we complete the study of the City’s Housing Action Plan and that this plan follow our current Global Land Use Plan. A vibrant city center is important and the ability to walk is vital to having a welcoming city center. With any construction that occurs as a result of our plans to rebuild a more inclusive downtown, local jobs will be created that will bring family jobs to our community. I would also like to work with our school district to ensure that teen homelessness is addressed. Local broadband for all students in the school district is paramount for learning in school, as the COVID pandemic has revealed, so helping and prioritizing funding is important. In order to achieve any of these goals, we need to ensure that our businesses and our community come out of the COVID pandemic and I will continue to approve funds to make this happen through local, state and local grants and assistance. federal available.


About Rhonda Lee

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