The Question: Finally, an open ended question. In the end, priorities often matter more than policies. What is are your top one or two priorities specifically for Tangletown and Green Lake? How will life be different in our neighborhood if you are elected? What can you say about our neighborhood specifically that will not sound like “politician blah blah” to our readers?
Catherine Weatbrook‘s Answer: Each neighborhood in our city has unique characteristics, and we should celebrate that. With authentic and meaningful community engagement, we can enhance the character of our neighborhoods, improve transportation, welcome new residents, and not loose diversity. That cannot be done with centralized, one-size-fits-all zoning that ignores the community and livability. Neighborhood plans were a way to do this, and we need to move back in that direction. As a city council member I will find funding to reinstate a neighborhood planning process that is community led, creates complete plans that include all things that make a neighborhood livable. As a city council member I will make a master maintenance plan for Green Lake and its park a priority for the area. We should never again let the toxic algae become as big a public health threat as it’s been allowed to do in the current “business as usual model.” We know Alum treatments work, and they need to be a regular part of that maintenance plan. Another priority for the area are walking and bike routes that connect Green Lake and Tangle Town to the rest of the transportation network including the U-District light rail station.
Jon Lisbin‘s Answer: First of all, I am not a politician not a community activist. For the past 13 years I have been building a business from scratch to one of Washington’s fastest growing private companies for each of the past three years. (PSBJ). That’s what I’ve been focused on.
So, I may not versed at political bla bla bla, and I may not know the issues as deeply as the others running for council positions. What I bring is a different perspective and skill set that only a successful entrepreneur has; that of ownership and accountability. I believe diversity of opinion, background and skills are what makes any group or organization stronger and that will be critical to resolving the many issues our district is facing.
As your council member I will make improving crosswalk, bicyclist and pedestrian safety a priority. Around Green Lake specifically, the road conditions are terrible and need to be improved. I would also like to see another crosswalk added to the north side of the lake. Although, one was just added to Sunnyside Ave., there are no other crosswalks between Sunnyside Ave and Wallingford Ave. With the amount of people at Green Lake crossing Green Lake Dr N, especially on summer weekends, this a real hazard for pedestrians, cars and bicycles.
For the Tangletown area I would take a pragmatic point of view towards residential and business interests. I would advocate for increased police presence, whether that’s from more cops on the beat or local more portable police kiosks and stations.
My overall strategy would be to meet with representative stakeholders to better understand the priority issues that need addressing. I would then collaborate with council and committee members to develop effective policies based on expert, empirically sound, input. That is my methodology in business and that would be my methodology as your City Council representative.
Mike O’Brien‘s Answer: A top priority for this neighborhood is developing a permanent solution to address the periodic closure of Green Lake to swimming. It is unacceptable that this summer we will likely face a closure due to a toxic algae bloom. Last fall I led the budget effort to provide funding for the Parks Department to permit and fund a treatment in the lake to reduce the algae blooms to a manageable level. But we need to go further. I will push parks to do ongoing testing and monitoring so that we can manage the lake in a proactive way to prevent having to face prolonged closures in the future. I will also continue to work with Seattle Public Utilities to manage the storm water runoff that goes into the lake and is partially responsible for the nutrients that create the favorable environment for the algae to bloom.
Green Lake and Tangletown need more transit service. The increase in bus service that begins this weekend is a great start and in September we will see another significant increase, but our transit needs will continue to grow and I will continue to fight for more transit investments in this and all communities in Seattle. When light rail opens in Roosevelt and the U-District in 2021 it will provide more transit options for these communities. Sound Transit is also studying for possible inclusion in a Sound Transit 3 package a light rail extension from the University District to Ballard which would likely have stations in Wallingford, further increasing options for these neighborhoods.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with the people of Tangletown and Green Lake on these and any issues you face so that together we can ensure that Seattle is a city that works for everyone.