Rich Crispo offers a fresh perspective

September 3, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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By Tim Pfarr
To many Newcastle residents, the name Rich Crispo is a new one. He has never run for City Council, but for the past several years, he has attended meetings and stayed up to date on city issues, voicing his opinion when necessary and standing up for what he believes in.
Although he is now retired, Crispo worked for years as a Boeing executive, managing budgets as large as $100 million and organizations as large as 750 people. He served on the Bellevue School District Fiscal Committee for three years, and he now looks to officially bring his experience to the city.
Crispo graduated from Villanova University in 1969 with a degree in mechanical engineering before moving to Bellevue. He returned to school several years later and graduated from City University of Seattle in 1986 with a master’s degree in business administration.
He moved to Southern California in 1999, but returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2003, moving to Newcastle, where he has lived since.
Crispo said that if he were elected, he would place priority on listening to the opinions of Newcastle residents.
“I’ve had my fame,” he said. “My opinion is secondary.”
Before the primary, he went door to door meeting residents and learning what they consider to be most important.
He said he found one of the most prominent issues to be that of a Newcastle library, and why one has not been developed yet. He said he also found that residents were against developing a dense downtown with multi-story buildings.
“I visited over 900 homes, and I did not find one resident who supported a multi-story downtown with hundreds of apartments. Not one,” he said.
Crispo said the Newport Crossing apartment complex has dropped its rates by 20 percent and still cannot fill its units. He said it might be difficult to fill apartments constructed downtown.
He also said he is concerned about the city’s relationship with developer Lorig Associates, as the city has worked with the developer on numerous projects, including the library. He said the city and the developer have an unhealthy relationship, and he is concerned with Lorig’s ability to fund its projects.
Crispo cited an incident that occurred about two years ago in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood to be a reason he’s concerned about Lorig. The developer had begun construction on a large, multipurpose complex that was to include 500 apartments, but the project’s anchor — a supermarket — backed out. Lorig subsequently halted construction on the project, leaving what The Seattle Times called “a blockwide crater” in the ground that is still there today.
Crispo also said some residents told him that they found City Hall to be intimidating and the City Council arrogant. If elected, he said he would certainly propose measures to change such feelings, specifically by promoting greater interaction between the council and the public, including at council meetings.
Crispo is endorsed by former City Councilman Gordon Bisset, former City Councilman Bill Erxleben, Newcastle Trails Group President Garry Kampen, Hazelwood Homeowners Association President Stu Allen and Highlands Homeowners Association President Greg Cresta.

To many Newcastle residents, the name Rich Crispo is a new one. He has never run for City Council, but for the past several years, he has attended meetings and stayed up to date on city issues, voicing his opinion when necessary and standing up for what he believes in.

Rich Crispo

Rich Crispo

Although he is now retired, Crispo worked for years as a Boeing executive, managing budgets as large as $100 million and organizations as large as 750 people. He served on the Bellevue School District Fiscal Committee for three years, and he now looks to officially bring his experience to the city.

Crispo graduated from Villanova University in 1969 with a degree in mechanical engineering before moving to Bellevue. He returned to school several years later and graduated from City University of Seattle in 1986 with a master’s degree in business administration.

He moved to Southern California in 1999, but returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2003, moving to Newcastle, where he has lived since.

Crispo said that if he were elected, he would place priority on listening to the opinions of Newcastle residents.

“I’ve had my fame,” he said. “My opinion is secondary.”

Before the primary, he went door to door meeting residents and learning what they consider to be most important.

He said he found one of the most prominent issues to be that of a Newcastle library, and why one has not been developed yet. He said he also found that residents were against developing a dense downtown with multi-story buildings.

“I visited over 900 homes, and I did not find one resident who supported a multi-story downtown with hundreds of apartments. Not one,” he said.

Crispo said the Newport Crossing apartment complex has dropped its rates by 20 percent and still cannot fill its units. He said it might be difficult to fill apartments constructed downtown.

He also said he is concerned about the city’s relationship with developer Lorig Associates, as the city has worked with the developer on numerous projects, including the library. He said the city and the developer have an unhealthy relationship, and he is concerned with Lorig’s ability to fund its projects.

Crispo cited an incident that occurred about two years ago in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood to be a reason he’s concerned about Lorig. The developer had begun construction on a large, multipurpose complex that was to include 500 apartments, but the project’s anchor — a supermarket — backed out. Lorig subsequently halted construction on the project, leaving what The Seattle Times called “a blockwide crater” in the ground that is still there today.

Crispo also said some residents told him that they found City Hall to be intimidating and the City Council arrogant. If elected, he said he would certainly propose measures to change such feelings, specifically by promoting greater interaction between the council and the public, including at council meetings.

Crispo is endorsed by former City Councilman Gordon Bisset, former City Councilman Bill Erxleben, Newcastle Trails Group President Garry Kampen, Hazelwood Homeowners Association President Stu Allen and Highlands Homeowners Association President Greg Cresta.

  • Last book he read: “Sail,” by William Patterson
  • What he does for fun: Golfs, plays on two men’s basketball teams
  • Best memory from when he was 18: Going away to college, experiencing diversity, learning what it takes to be self-supportive and independent
  • How his best friends describe him: Always there when you need him, always does what he says he’s going to do
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