Newcastle City Council candidates answer questions

September 7, 2015

By Staff

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NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 7, 2015

Newcastle residents will see four City Council positions up for election on their November ballot, but only one race is contested.

Council candidates Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval answered questions about numerous issues facing Newcastle in the years ahead. (Answers had to be 25 words or less.)

View the candidates answers as seen in the printed grid published Sept. 4 here, and view a list of each candidate’s endorsements here.

Linda Newing

Linda Newing

Linda Newing

Age: 50

Years of residence in Newcastle: 11 years

Occupation: municipal services; small business owner – event planning

Education: accounting

Political experience: 10 years’ experience in municipal services; 2 1/2 years’ service on Newcastle Community Activities Commission working with elected officials, staff and community

What is the No. 1 problem facing Newcastle that you will address? 

Increases in operating costs and decreasing revenues. The city must plan now for future fiscal impacts. Other revenue sources need to be explored.

How will you maintain open communication with your constituents? 

I like face-to-face conversation — it’s trustworthy and builds relationships. I’m interested in Saturday “Coffee with Linda” gatherings and regularly visiting neighborhood and volunteer group meetings.

How would you help Newcastle secure a solid financial future? 

Commit to smart investing and sound fiscal choices. Treat the city like it’s my own personal budget and don’t spend what I don’t have.

Name two areas you could support cutting from the city budget, if needed. 

Reduce cost of living pay increases, review staffing efficiencies and explore delaying purchases of new vehicles or equipment.

What should be the city’s role in economic development? 

Partner with the chamber to create an environment that attracts new businesses. Invest in infrastructure, provide zoning assistance and streamlined permitting while maintaining residential character.

How can city leaders work with developers and residents for a smooth transition as development picks up? 

Combine new zoning conditions with development agreements to influence new construction and types of retail coming Newcastle.

What will be the city’s top accomplishment in the next four years? 

Resolve traffic and safety issues on the horizon as a result of current development that is planned and active within the city.

What recent council decision would you have changed if you could? Why? 

The CCUD building purchase and non-assumption agreement. Generate financial efficiencies for residents through assumption, share resources, combined actions and absorb the building at no cost.

What is the most urgent infrastructure need facing Newcastle? 

Installation of traffic calming and sidewalks along our residential streets that increases public safety, creates safe routes for school children and maintains our residential atmosphere.

What is your vision for Lake Boren Park, and how can you make it happen?

Creation of a year-round destination incorporating Newcastle’s trails and historical information by working with councilmembers to gain majority support of expanding the park, adding amenities.

What should the city’s role be as Puget Sound Energy looks to implement the Energize Eastside project? 

Continue to influence the project so that our safety, property values and community aesthetics are preserved.

Do you see a need for any future voter-approved bonds, and for what?

Yes. Major upgrades to the Lake Boren area may require a bond. The city must be accountable as to specific purposes of such development bonds.

How will the city continue to improve public safety? 

Continually monitor police officer requirements, increasing these resources as needed, and maintain our relationship with the Bellevue Fire Department.

What does your ideal Newcastle look like? 

A thriving, vibrant, destination and livable community with rich history, activities, restaurants and retail where people live, learn, work and play.

Victoria Sandoval

Victoria Sandoval

Victoria Sandoval

Age: 38

Years of residence in Newcastle: 1 1/2

Occupation: Realtor

Education: Licensed Practical Nurse, Realtor

Political experience: Communities Activities Commission since October 2014

What is the No. 1 problem facing Newcastle that you will address? 

We are facing a somewhat uncertain budgetary future and I will seek to keep our budgets sound without raising property taxes.

How will you maintain open communication with your constituents?

I will hold monthly meetings for residents to raise their concerns and I will email a monthly newsletter to everyone who signs up.

How would you help Newcastle secure a solid financial future? 

I will attract new business, thereby increasing our revenue base, and work to cut our budget where possible.

Name two areas you could support cutting from the city budget, if needed.

I’d like to explore renegotiating city employee health insurance contracts, moving to an H.S.A. model. We could also make cuts in our advertising budget.

What should be the city’s role in economic development? 

I will focus on making Newcastle a destination for our residents, bring more activities, not just essential services like grocery stores to our business district.

How can city leaders work with developers and residents for a smooth transition as development picks up? 

Safety and traffic should be the top priorities, with the city making sure the increase in traffic can be absorbed as best as possible.

What will be the city’s top accomplishment in the next four years? 

Stopping Energize Eastside. Newcastle should not be giving up its real estate in support of surrounding communities with little to no benefit to ourselves.

What recent council decision would you have changed if you could? Why?

I would have opposed the purchase of the CCUD building, at least until further due diligence could have happened.

What is the most urgent infrastructure need facing Newcastle?

Currently, the two new mixed-use projects coming on board, while great for residents, could pose traffic challenges as the population grows.

What is your vision for Lake Boren Park, and how can you make it happen?

I’d like a more pronounced stage area, to attract more local artists and more community engagement. Classes and activities would be a good addition, too.

What should the city’s role be as Puget Sound Energy looks to implement the Energize Eastside project? 

Newcastle and its residents should continue to voice our opposition to this project while posing alternatives that will create a win-win for all parties involved.

Do you see a need for any future voter-approved bonds, and for what?

No, with continued growth in both the residential and commercial sectors of Newcastle, the city should be able to budget within its means.

How will the city continue to improve public safety? 

The city’s current plan to employee our newest police officer is a step in the right direction.

What does your ideal Newcastle look like? 

A thriving business district and active community that sees our city as a place to work and play, not just come home to.

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2 Responses to “Newcastle City Council candidates answer questions”

  1. Newcastle City Council Candidates Answer Questions | Sandoval for Newcastle City Council on September 13th, 2015 5:55 pm
  2. Candidates talk about the issues, vie for newspaper endorsement : Newcastle News – News , Sports, Classifieds in Newcastle, WA on September 30th, 2015 3:17 pm

    […] a Newcastle News endorsement. Newcastle News previously asked the candidates a series of questions here and profiled them here in the lead-up to the […]

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