Kenmore City Council Pos. 7 candidates are Van Sperry, a health care professional, and Corina Pfeil, a community leader.
How will you support affordable housing for residents living in the community?
Corina Pfeil: We must work to connect real affordable housing to meet the supply and demand with public and private and partnerships; and by addressing the “housing crisis in the middle,” by answering the need, noticing Kenmore is on the cusp of adopting new policy, ordinance and zoning that will impact homeowners’ ability to build mother-in-law apartments, including accessory dwelling units (ADUs) attached or detached.
Adopting equitable options and opportunities is important to answering our part of the housing crisis “in the middle” by giving our neighbors a fighting chance to make it through the tough and hard times with a source of revenue — so people can afford to live and thrive near where they work.
Van Sperry: I am concerned about high property taxes forcing long-time residents out of their homes because they can no longer afford the taxes. The recent increases in property taxes are out of proportion with growth in average wages and negatively affect those on fixed incomes the most.
I support removing barriers to allowing homeowners to add accessory dwelling units to provide more affordable housing in Kenmore. In addition, an ADU can provide an income stream to help offset the high property taxes and a long-time homeowner stay in Kenmore.
How do you intend to contend with traffic and other transportation concerns?
Pfeil: I will work hard to represent the concerns and interests of the people of Kenmore with workable solutions on improving public safety and connectivity for our community. We need to increase accessibility in Kenmore by working to connect safe walkable and bikeable routes in Kenmore, connecting our downtown community and with multiple routes of transportation that lead to our metro transit. I’m committed to the work ahead to ensure this continued work.
This takes thoughtful and mindful smart approaches with the growth mindset of adopting equitable approaches to policy, ordinance, and zoning improvements. By working together with regional and state leaders on policy and legislation, and I’m committed to that effort to improve the quality of lives of the people of Kenmore.
Sperry: At the local level my focus is bike and pedestrian safety. I’m a bike rider and a former nurse. I’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects of bike and pedestrian accidents involving cars. I fully support the implementation of the Kenmore Bike and Pedestrian Safety plan and will continue to work on adding sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements.
How will you foster secure housing for vulnerable populations?
Pfeil: We must recognize times of crisis do occur within our own community, with loss of jobs or life-changing situations people and families do find themselves on the cusp of homelessness or homeless. I will work to ensure we utilize targeted universal approaches to build upon the connection to services, and resources so people when in crisis can reach resources within their own community to help lift themselves up at times of crisis.
Noticeable for those who are most vulnerable in Kenmore and with the greatest of need are our seniors, veterans and persons with differences, the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities. Currently, this vulnerable Kenmore community experiences over a two-year wait to connect to low-income or tax-deferred housing. Forming public and private partnerships can help us connect better to supply our vulnerable community with housing; and I will continue the much-needed work on improving, simplifying and reducing the amount of over burdensome and cumbersome heavy paperwork required to connect to important housing resources.
Sperry: Vulnerable populations is a term encompassing broad categories of people. The old, the disabled, immigrants finding themselves lost in unfamiliar surroundings, homeless teens, abandoned and abused children. They come with all levels of coping skill. Some have support and some have none.
As a city we need to work in coordination with others in the region. We need to know what resources are available and how to help those in need to access those resources. In addition, we need to work with private organizations who want to help. Burdensome and unnecessary regulations must be removed and incentives provided when needed.
Mary’s Place in Kenmore is a prime example of what can be done. They provide shelter and aid to families in need. The building they reside in resulted from cooperation between Kenmore and King County. A building unused and unwanted now shelters families in need.
As Kenmore undergoes renovation, how will you preserve what makes the city distinct?
Pfeil: Kenmore is a beautiful city and bedroom community, which has undergone significant growth. As with any healthy city, we must continue to grow and thrive, and with that continued growth, we must work hard to ensure we protect our finite resources that make Kenmore great and a place where people come to live, work and thrive while finding the fun in Kenmore. To do this, we must utilize smart innovative approaches with smart solutions to growth and construction — while protecting the delicate home environment of our blue heron, bald eagle and salmon habitats.
We have a complex community with amazing natural resources worth protecting and fighting for, our community has come to love: Lake Washington, Saint Edward State Park, along with continued park preservation. With growth we must be mindful of the potential encroachment of these natural resources. That’s why I’m committed to working together with our stakeholders and regional and state partners, to maintain a thoughtful balance while protecting our resources.
I’m Corina Pfeil, and I’m running for Kenmore City Council, Pos. 7 — and I would be honored to ask for your vote!
Sperry: One of my top priorities is to preserve Kenmore’s parks, open space and recreational opportunities.
I remember my introduction to Kenmore as a child. My parents had just purchased their new home: a medium-sized rambler on a three-fourths-acre wooded lot. As we drove up the gravel road, we passed two deer resting in a neighbor’s yard. The wild grass was taller than I was. Mountain beaver holes every six feet or so. There were no fences between the houses.
My friends and I explored many hidden wetlands where frogs, snakes and toads abounded. We fished in the slough and played on the log booms of what is now Log Boom park.
Kenmore wasn’t an incorporated city back then. However, it was still Kenmore. Bothell had the post office but we had the Kenmore Drive-in theater.
While Kenmore has undergone many changes, much is still the same. The slough still flows slowly into Lake Washington, Saint Edward State Park still has many trails to explore. Kenmore Air seaplanes still take off and land on the lake. And the cozy tavern still serves beer. Many of the places in old Kenmore remain and as time goes on new ones emerge.