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Q&A with Bothell City Council candidate Steve Booth | Vote 2013
The Bothell Reporter newspaper conducted a Q&A with all the city council candidates for a story that ran in the newspaper published July 19. Here is the Q&A with Steve Booth in its entirety:
What do you see as the top three issues facing the city of Bothell?
The top three Bothell issues that my campaign is focused on are as follows:
1. Managing the city finances in a fiscally responsible manner.
2. Ensuring public safety is funded and working at peak efficiency for our citizens.
3. Completing our downtown revitalization on time and on budget.
How do you feel the city has handled development of the downtown core and what would you do differently or work to change?
The collaborative process that pulled together the many city stakeholders that resulted in the city’s Downtown Subarea Plan in 2009 was a sound process that Bothell citizens can take pride in. What most concerns people at this point is the length of time it is taking to get it done. What is needed now is leadership from the city council to complete the vision on time and on budget.
In your opinion, what is the best way to spur growth in the city and build a sense of community between businesses and the local government, especially with so many potential new businesses moving into the downtown area?
The city council can best support economic growth by striking a healthy balance between prescriptive planning and openness to the innovative ideas of private investment and business owners.
Businesses and citizens want to know that they will be heard and treated fairly by City Hall. If the business community knows that their ideas and strengths are welcome, we will see investment come here, resulting in new jobs and services options for our citizens.
I’m excited about the chance to bring to the city council my business background that understands profit objectives as well as the benefits of jobs and services that healthy businesses bring to Bothell. I worked in the technology industry for many years and received my master of business administration from the University of Washington.
I’ve seen very successful businesses and also ones that fail and there’s one fundamental fact: if a business does not take care of its customers while also making a profit, it is soon "out of business."
In addition, I also learned that most business owners truly care and want to be creative and make a contribution to our overall quality of life, and do have a desire to be good citizens in the community.
One example of this in our business community is the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce. This organization is doing an outstanding job of both working with the city of Bothell to encourage our downtown growth, communicate on the key issues city-wide, and also sponsor great community events, all while encouraging job growth and new services for our citizens.
If you have an issue that is important to you, please tell our readers about it and what you would like to do about it as a council member?
Job No. 1 is for us as city leaders to manage our financial affairs in a fiscally responsible manner. Without that we are limited in our ability to affect change or do what is necessary for our city to function and grow.
With that said, an issue I think that is of primary importance for our city right now is for there to be a renewed and healthy focus on our public safety professionals: our police, firefighters and emergency responders. Public safety is the first responsibility of government and every week we see on the news just how important our public safety personnel and systems are. It is easy to take them for granted.
Fortunately, we have a high degree of professionalism in our city police and fire departments and they are doing a great job and I’m proud to say that I’ve been endorsed by Bothell’s firefighters and police officers. What I’ve found is that call levels for help are up and personnel and budget resources are not keeping up with demand.
There is much we on the city council can do to help. Directly, we can look at funding models that are more efficient and of course always provide a cost-effective budget to improve results.
Then in an "indirect" manner we on the council can help by encouraging and supporting strong families, schools, churches and community organizations. As I mentioned before, I’ve been involved with a few of these organizations that are doing great work.
In Bothell we are fortunate to have so many citizens who truly care and want to get involved, but it always needs to be encouraged to come forward. This "indirect" support lightens the load for our police fire and emergency medical services personnel and keeps them better focused on their core mission.
To sum up for your readers, I’m a long-time Bothell citizen and one who cares about our city. My wife JoAnn and I and our family feel blessed to be able to live in Bothell and intend to stay here.
I’ve successfully pursued a variety of education and work experiences, from completing a liberal arts and business education, serving in the military, competing in business and successfully working for some of the world’s best technology and engineering firms, as well as serving in organizations that help folks in our local community. All of this has formed my values, experience and expertise, which I will be excited to bring to the Bothell City Council if the voters choose to elect me.
What is your campaign website address for residents to learn more about you?
For information, visit www.stevebooth.com