Occupation: Local business owner
Relevant experience: I have over 10 years of banking experience, including accounting and strategic planning training.
My volunteerism includes: SkillsUSA, Rebuilding Together, Relay for Life, Revival of Grays Harbor, Habitat for Humanity, H.Y.E.F., the Aberdeen Museum, and Greater Grays Harbor Inc., giving me a great sense of community.
1. Homelessness in Aberdeen has been a divisive issue lately, especially over what the city should do with the homeless population on the Chehalis riverfront. How would you envision addressing the city’s homelessness issue if elected? What would be your priorities?
The focus needs to be on utilizing groups already receiving funding for this subject. One of my first priorities would be setting up a group with representatives from a majority of these organizations and evaluating how each group’s niche can help our homeless. Whether that be treatment, medical assistance, dealing with warrants, obtaining an ID and so forth. We don’t need to be taking so much in tax dollars from our citizens. We need to look at what we already have available now.
2. Unlike larger Washington cities, Aberdeen seems to be aging and losing its younger population after high school. What are your ideas to attract businesses or get more energy going to develop the city and help it grow economically?
I’ve now volunteered for two SkillsUSA regional events at Aberdeen High School. We have an immense amount of talent. The city does not actively engage our youth enough to entice them to stay. I hear “there’s nothing for me in this town.” We need to create that space for them, we need to educate them on what is available to them here. I have looked into Youth Mayor’s Councils in other cities and would look to implement this.
3. The Gateway Center has been in the works for many years and might reach the point where it’s ready for construction soon. What are your plans for the project or do you have any ideas of how it would best be used?
If this project is started before 2020, I think there needs to be some planning on traffic for US 12 and Fuller Way, coming over the bridge during construction and post construction for visitors. I was for the visitor center before, I then was against it after more education from locals who are focused on historic preservation. If I’m elected and it hasn’t been constructed yet, I would re-evaluate its cost and location first and foremost.