The Kenmore Reporter newspaper conducted a Q&A with all the city council candidates for a story that ran in the newspaper published July 5. Here is the Q&A with Bob Black in its entirety:
What do you see as the top three issues facing the city of Kenmore?
1. Taxes and fees: Where the tax base is going and what it is being used for is a top priority as the citizens cannot continue to support frivolous spending.
2. Infrastructure, such as roads and sidewalks, and keeping them maintained and installing new sidewalks to end the city’s excuses of having no funds to fix them.
3. Fairness to citizens: What is the city doing, their concerning interaction with citizens, and how the process of working with the city is handled needs to be addressed. There needs to be an end to the closed-door meetings, plus the city needs to be more visible and accountable.
How do you feel the city handled the acquisition and sale of the Kenmore Village property and what would you have done differently?
First off, the city should never have gotten into the business of real estate development. These were tax dollars spent that should never have been used for this purpose.
These tax dollars should have been used on the development and repair of the roads and development that really benefits the citizens, which the city council and city management originally promised. At this point in time, it is merely a bankrupt-style bailout in an attempt to save face and recoup pennies on the dollar.
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?
This is a simple principal: Make the city attractive to business and stop pushing business out that “doesn’t fit our vision.” The best way to spur growth is to provide incentives for business that provides worth and jobs to the area and residents.
The city should entertain larger businesses that can provide worth and even jobs for the area. The city should also make the area fit for business and residential and responsible developments will come.
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?
The city council needs to pass the initiative and referendum concept to allow citizens the right to act to make change happen through democratic action. We had this when Kenmore was unincorporated, but since the council wanted total control to dictate, they refused to allow this and did not enact it.
Washington state was one of the very first states to pass this legislation but left it up to each city as they incorporated to either allow or deny the initiative. Kenmore City Council denied it.
There needs to be greater visibility of what happens that affects the Kenmore area. This can be done through either newsletters or online free subscriptions. Video recording and broadcasting the council meetings is also a media that could be utilized.
The council should end closed-door meetings; all city business should be available to the citizens who want access.
The city should dissolve unnecessary committees and reverse some ordinances, laws and rulings that penalize citizens with no benefit but to extract more tax dollars from our pockets or restrict our freedoms.
What is your campaign website address for residents to learn more about you?
I have a dedicated email address for comments: BobCBlack@msn.com Please feel free to send comments and questions.