I want to see a simpler, more transparent government for the city. If the government communicates transparently and in simple terms we will have increased civic engagement, which will lead to a city that represents its residents better. Take for example our current budget; while balanced by various rules, revenue in is less than expenses out which is what our residents understand. We must be clear with our residents how the city is working for them. My goal is to increase civic engagement; one requirements is a transparent government, even when uncomfortable, that is always working for and responsible to the residents of Maple Valley.
As a progressive I still understand that critical thinking around spending, taxation, and the future of the city as we continue to grow and expand is required. We must work on strong economic development, foster small businesses, provide appropriate services for our residents, improve and maintain our infrastructure, and continue the small town feel and community atmosphere that attracted all of us to Maple Valley even as we grow. Maple Valley has a vibrant community that helps each other and the city, we must learn to foster this community and work to engage it to help our city improve. Not all projects must be done with spending on contractors and vendors, some can be done with volunteers in the community who every day work to improve Maple Valley.
Youth are the future. We must spend time to understand the problems our youth face around drugs, crime, and suicide. We must put together programs that serve our youth and provide meaningful, fun, safe places for them to gather and share ideas. We must engage the many groups of young Maple Valley residents to have their voices heard at the council level. These groups ranging from We the People, Gay-Straight Alliance, and Youth Christian groups should be encouraged and enabled to have their voices heard in the community and at the council. They are our future leaders and we must make sure we help them grow into these roles now, even if it is uncomfortable or we do not agree with their stance.
There is no room for intolerance and hate in our community, we must come together as one group and work toward the common good for Maple Valley. As a Maple Valley City Council Member I will work towards these goals and make decisions based on these beliefs.