Here’s the District 4 wonkathon wrap up question! We might repeat the process for District 6 next (North of 50th), if anyone has deep thoughts on the questions or the format here please offer them up in the comments. In particular, are there specific questions regarding Tangletown you’d like to see asked?
The Question: Finally, an open ended question. In the end, priorities often matter more than policies. What are your top one or two priorities for Wallingford? How will life be different in our neighborhood if you are elected?
Abel Pacheco’s Answer: Neighborhoods must be empowered. Doing so will not discourage progress, but will allow more effective, cooperative and innovative solutions to our problem. Community involvement is important because it literally “hits us where we live.” Leaving out people impacted by City Hall decisions doesn’t promote efficiency or creative progress.
One of my top priorities is to see that Wallingford has a meaningful and up-to-date neighborhood plan after broad-based community involvement. Wallingford is also where I live, and the only candidate that calls Wallingford home, so I too have a vested interest in ensuring Wallingford’s concerns are heard. I would like to see the city act on the South Wallingford amendment, considering any changes that may be necessary given the long period of inaction on part of the city.
Traffic and transit would also be a top priority. Development with or without parking must be decided on the basis of facts and practicality, not just philosophy. No doubt Wallingford residents supported taxing themselves to save or improve Metro within the city. However, Metro recently decided to make changes to routes in Wallingford with minimal input from the community. Once again, the opportunity for public involvement is critical for acceptance of not only current plans but those which may be proposed in the future.
Michael Maddux’s Answer: My priorities as a city council member, beyond revenue reform, include identifying and funding meaningful investments in east-west connectivity through Wallingford, connecting Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and U-District. In addition, I would work with the Wallingford Chamber and Community Council to come up with what the next neighborhood plan looks like, how we are going to absorb and welcome incoming residents to the area, while preserving the affordability for small businesses along and around 45th (as well as the commercial cores of all neighborhoods). Folks can learn more about where I stand, and my policy proposals, at www.michaelmaddux.com
Rob Johnson’s Answer: Better Parking Management! I’ve knocked on just about every door in Wallingford and the number 1 issue I heard about was how difficult parking is in Wallingford. To help reduce the squeeze on parking in the neighborhood I’d like to work with developers to provide transit passes, bike share memberships, and other incentives to encourage more car-light or car-free residents to move to Wallingford. I think the city should do a more thorough analysis of the availability and use of public and private parking in the neighborhood to make sure we’re not building more parking than we need and to better utilize the available parking that currently exists. The squeeze is only going to get tighter as light rail opens so we need to be working on solutions now that can be in place over the next few years as we get close to light rail opening. I’m also a parent of kids that will be in Seattle Public Schools and I’ll advocate for the city be more intentional about using our city resources to support the public school system through intentional programming with our parks and libraries to providing more safe walking and biking routes to schools.
Tony Provine’s Answer: My top priorities for Wallingford are a smarter transportation system and a planning process requiring developers to work with the community to prevent the displacement of long-time residents. Enforcement of current neighborhood design guidelines and support for updating them is critical for small businesses, long-time residents and other stakeholders to be engaged. Wallingford residents deserve smart growth that includes community-driven discussions about density and careful studies addressing the impact new developments have in displacing elderly, renters, and other underserved populations.
Wallingford needs better access to the light rail station in the University District. Smart transportation solutions are needed to provide relief for residents and workers from the congestion on 45th and 50th streets. Wallingford residents deserve to feel safe and to have more community based police officers.
I am passionate about representing our 4th District and will promote active community participation in decision making to make our city more inclusive. Our residents need to be paid fairly and to have equal access to information and opportunities. I’ve always been an accessible, dedicated and effective neighborhood leader and I will continue to be as City Councilmember for Wallingford and all our neighborhoods. Please visit www.tonyprovine.com to learn more about my platform.
Jean Godden’s Answer: I agree, it is time for the Wallingford Neighborhood Plan to be updated. I will work with community leaders and with the Department of Neighborhoods to ensure that Wallingford is at the top of the list for updating its neighborhood plan. I believe the people of Wallingford are the most effective group to address Wallingford’s priorities, but we do need to ensure those people have proper training to advocate for their community.
I will make sure that Wallingford’s parks, Meridian and Gasworks in particular, benefit from the increased resources available through the recently passed Seattle Parks District. Gasworks is due for renovation of its pavilion and covered areas, adding ADA and playground improvements.
I will listen to the neighbors and address transportation needs in the community, ensuring that there are safe routes to Wallingford area schools and safe pedestrian and bicycle routes throughout the business community.