Carol Simpson will seek re-election to council seat

June 3, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

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Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced in May that she will seek re-election this fall. Simpson — who has Position 2 on the council — joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri, Councilwoman Lisa Jensen and Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton on the November ballot.

None of the candidates who are slated to be on the ballot have yet picked up opponents, although candidates have until June 10 to file for election.

Carol Simpson

Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.

Simpson has lived in Newcastle since 1998. She is a retired architect — although still a licensed one — and she began her work on the council in 2008. Prior to being elected as a councilwoman, she spent eight years as a member of the planning commission.

“I liked doing the job,” Simpson said about serving on the commission, adding that she is honored to serve the residents of the city. “I saw running for council as the next logical step.”

She said the biggest issues facing the city are the future of the city’s downtown area and the city’s finances. Specifically, she said city leaders must face the question of whether the city is sustainable. Simpson said the city needs to take a hard look at its financial forecast, and also determine whether the cost of providing fire and police protection will level out or continue to rise.

With respect to the city’s downtown plan, she said the city needs to change it to reflect what is on the ground in the city. Also, she said the plan needs to reflect residents’ needs and be consistent with the citywide comprehensive plan.

“We’re focusing too much on being pedestrian-oriented, when the people who live here also want to be able to drive downtown and be able to do their shopping,” she said, adding that the comprehensive plan calls for balance between walking and driving.

Simpson has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in environmental design. She also took a course in arctic engineering at the University of Alaska in Juneau, spending six months there before returning to the area.

As a councilwoman, she serves as a member of the Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee. She also serves as a member of the Renton Technical College Foundation Board, and is a member of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, Newcastle Trails and the YWCA Benefit Luncheon Committee.

She was a member of the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for more than 25 years.

Simpson said the most significant achievements she took part in on the council were purchasing the May Creek entrance parcel and balancing the city’s 2011 budget.

Her husband, John Gordon, will serve as her treasurer during her campaign.

She lives in Olympus with her husband and teenage son. Her hobbies include family activities, traveling, scrapbooking, knitting and volunteering in the community.

“I want to continue working for a better Newcastle,” she said.

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