City Council candidates share their positions on local issues

August 13, 2009

By Staff

Three candidates are vying    for Position 5 on the Newcastle City Council and their names will appear on the Aug. 18  ballot. Here’s a look at the candidates and their positions on various local issues. Candidates’ answers were limited to 25 words.
Larry Betsch
q 61
q Years of residence in Newcastle: 1
q Occupation: Retired financial controller; planning commissioner; Renton School District student mentor
q Education: University of Washington-Business Administration; University of Michigan Leadership Program; Project Management Professional
q Political experience: Newcastle Planning Commission
What ideas do you have to      increase city revenues in 2010?
We must ensure our residential development process is as streamlined and nimble as required, and provides incentives for potential development that increase the tax base.
Name your top two priorities for
city budget cuts and how much
they could save.
The city operates under a tight budget, so the most effective strategy would be a series of small cuts adding up to larger savings.
What is your vision of
Newcastle’s downtown?
It is critical to our long term viability to implement our Community Business Center (CBC) plan. Diversity in our revenue base is imperative for sustainability.
What should be the role of the
city of Newcastle in funding
and/or providing human services?
The city should explore the potential needs of our community and facilitate and/or fund these needs when revenue streams are sufficient to do so.
Name a council decision that
was made in the past two years
that you disagreed with.
The outcome of the new signage and logo decision may prove to be correct, but the process lacked needed transparency and openness for our residents.
How important is it for the city of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making, and why?
King County cities outside Seattle play a key role and need a strong vote in our county’s decision process, whether transportation, metro or services delivered.
Rich
Crispo
q 62
q Years of residence in Newcastle: 5 1/2
q Occupation: Retired Boeing executive
q Education: Bachelor in mechanical engineering, Master in business administration
q Political experience: No elected offices
What ideas do you have to
increase city revenues in 2010?
Newcastle has enough revenue to support basic needs. A more retail friendly attitude at City Hall will entice new revenue producing businesses to locate here.
Name your top two priorities for
city budget cuts and how much
they could save.
The city has a staff of 26, yet spends thousands on consultants. Eliminating new and redundant, nonproducing studies will save more than $100,000 per year.
What is your vision of
Newcastle’s downtown?
A retail district that provides services for the residential community that we are. Residents don’t want a five-story mini-Bellevue with hundreds more apartments.
What should be the role of the
city of Newcastle in funding
and/or providing human services?
Newcastle’s resources are too limited to provide significant financial support, but city government can encourage and facilitate the efforts of our public-spirited volunteers.
Name a council decision that
was made in the past two years
that you disagreed with.
There are many, but one of the worst is how the multi-use vision has indefinitely delayed the library that should have been completed last year.
How important is it for the city of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making, and why?
It is vital that we participate in regional forums to improve the networks that we depend on for transportation, public safety and recreation.
Karin Blakley
q 50
q Years of residence in Newcastle: 10
q Occupation: Financial Advisor, District Manager
q Education: University of Washington graduate, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
q Political experience: No elected offices
What ideas do you have to increase
City revenues in 2010?
Increasing sales tax revenue by initiating a “Buy local, Shop Newcastle” campaign, as well as actively recruiting new businesses to locate in Newcastle.
Name your top two priorities for
city budget cuts and how much
they could save.
Analyze expenses beyond the core services of police and fire protection and, in particular, review professional services, which are a $500,000 budget item for 2009.
What is your vision of
Newcastle’s downtown?
Downtown Newcastle would benefit from additional businesses, multi-use buildings to accommodate not only businesses but also new residents, and a town square.
What should be the role of the
city of Newcastle in funding
and/or providing human services?
The city can be a resource by providing citizens with information about human services that are available through governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Name a council decision
made in the past two years
that you have disagreed with.
The city logo design process could have been handled differently and more cheaply by requesting citizen input and community engagement through a design contest.
How important is it for the City of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making and why?
It is important that Newcastle is involved in regional policy decisions to benefit from funds and grants, as well as to voice our citizen’s requests.

Three candidates are vying  for Position 5 on the Newcastle City Council and their names will appear on the Aug. 18  ballot. Here’s a look at the candidates and their positions on various local issues. Candidates’ answers were limited to 25 words.

Larry Betsch

  • Years of residence in Newcastle: 1
  • Occupation: Retired financial controller; planning commissioner; Renton School District student mentor
  • Education: University of Washington-Business Administration; University of Michigan Leadership Program; Project Management Professional
  • Political experience: Newcastle Planning Commission

What ideas do you have to  increase city revenues in 2010?

We must ensure our residential development process is as streamlined and nimble as required, and provides incentives for potential development that increase the tax base.

Name your top two priorities for city budget cuts and how much they could save.

The city operates under a tight budget, so the most effective strategy would be a series of small cuts adding up to larger savings.

What is your vision of  Newcastle’s downtown?

It is critical to our long term viability to implement our Community Business Center (CBC) plan. Diversity in our revenue base is imperative for sustainability.

What should be the role of the city of Newcastle in funding and/or providing human services?

The city should explore the potential needs of our community and facilitate and/or fund these needs when revenue streams are sufficient to do so.

Name a council decision that was made in the past two years that you disagreed with.

The outcome of the new signage and logo decision may prove to be correct, but the process lacked needed transparency and openness for our residents.

How important is it for the city of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making, and why?

King County cities outside Seattle play a key role and need a strong vote in our county’s decision process, whether transportation, metro or services delivered.

Rich Crispo

  • 62
  • Years of residence in Newcastle: 5 1/2
  • Occupation: Retired Boeing executive
  • Education: Bachelor in mechanical engineering, Master in business administration
  • Political experience: No elected offices

What ideas do you have to increase city revenues in 2010?

Newcastle has enough revenue to support basic needs. A more retail friendly attitude at City Hall will entice new revenue producing businesses to locate here.

Name your top two priorities for city budget cuts and how much they could save.

The city has a staff of 26, yet spends thousands on consultants. Eliminating new and redundant, nonproducing studies will save more than $100,000 per year.

What is your vision of Newcastle’s downtown?

A retail district that provides services for the residential community that we are. Residents don’t want a five-story mini-Bellevue with hundreds more apartments.

What should be the role of the city of Newcastle in funding and/or providing human services?

Newcastle’s resources are too limited to provide significant financial support, but city government can encourage and facilitate the efforts of our public-spirited volunteers.

Name a council decision that was made in the past two years that you disagreed with.

There are many, but one of the worst is how the multi-use vision has indefinitely delayed the library that should have been completed last year.

How important is it for the city of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making, and why?

It is vital that we participate in regional forums to improve the networks that we depend on for transportation, public safety and recreation.

Karin Blakley

  • 50
  • Years of residence in Newcastle: 10
  • Occupation: Financial Advisor, District Manager
  • Education: University of Washington graduate, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Political experience: No elected offices

What ideas do you have to increase City revenues in 2010?

Increasing sales tax revenue by initiating a “Buy local, Shop Newcastle” campaign, as well as actively recruiting new businesses to locate in Newcastle.

Name your top two priorities for city budget cuts and how much they could save.

Analyze expenses beyond the core services of police and fire protection and, in particular, review professional services, which are a $500,000 budget item for 2009.

What is your vision of Newcastle’s downtown?

Downtown Newcastle would benefit from additional businesses, multi-use buildings to accommodate not only businesses but also new residents, and a town square.

What should be the role of the city of Newcastle in funding and/or providing human services?

The city can be a resource by providing citizens with information about human services that are available through governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Name a council decision made in the past two years that you have disagreed with.

The city logo design process could have been handled differently and more cheaply by requesting citizen input and community engagement through a design contest.

How important is it for the City of Newcastle to have a voice in regional policy making and why?

It is important that Newcastle is involved in regional policy decisions to benefit from funds and grants, as well as to voice our citizen’s requests.

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