My husband, Michael and I have
a son at Tahoma Junior High, two adult daughters and two grandsons. We chose to move to Maple Valley for the school
district and community. In the past 6 years, being a part of the Maple Valley Community I have been on the Maple Valley
Pony Baseball Board of Directors generating new revenue and creating some of the most successful food drives for the Maple
Valley Food Bank; actively volunteered time to support the Tahoma School District through sign waiving and community outreach;
enthusiastically support the Maple Valley Youth Council; passionately raised money and awareness for Breast Cancer and worked
collaboratively with the Greater Maple Valley/Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce to make changes, increasing revenue and improving
benefits to members as a Board Director and more recently as the President of the Chamber.
This is what
I hear in our community
Families are vitally important to Maple Valley and so is the education of our children. Our community is so strong because families WANT to move here and one of the main reasons
for them to choose Maple Valley is our award-winning school district. Supporting our
local schools to continue providing quality education is paramount to the continued health of our city. The City Council wisely supported the construction and remodeling bond measure, which unfortunately failed to
pass. Now the council must prepare for what the next steps will be and what we will
do to support our schools. As a City Council member it will be my goal to encourage
the city and community members to get involved so that we find solutions that the community can support to benefit our children.
Parks and recreation:
The economy is forcing families to stay closer to home. Thus, our recreational areas are being used more than ever. Quality places to play sports and participate in other outdoor activities play an increasingly essential
role in the lives of our residents. Historically, the City has depended on housing
growth to finance parks. That revenue stream has slowed down tremendously. Impact
fees that support parks, transportation and schools are collected when builders begin the process of requesting permits. With reduced home building and a finite amount of land for growth, the Parks and Recreation
Department is faced with identifying ways to improve and maintain the parks and fields.
Smart growth and focusing on attracting new businesses will help to fill the financial gap.
Running the city like a business and understanding its customers is critical. The current Council is largely comprised of
non-business owners. As a business owner who opened a business just before the
economy changed dramatically I have had to think quickly and make smart decisions to grow my business. With a city of more than 22,000 customers the City Council must be transparent and listen to its residents’
needs and insight. It is my goal to treat each resident as I would a customer,
by hearing their needs and working hard to meet them. Without customers there
is no business.
Support local businesses:
Current local businesses need our support. They help to build this community
through sales tax revenue, jobs and supporting local organizations. Their employees
are more likely to spend their money locally, which in turn generates revenue for the city. Most local business owners have
invested in our community and we should be working with them to fit within the city plan rather than having them believe they
Encourage new business: I believe in thoughtful growth to provide for the needs and wants of our residents. Our community is largely a “bedroom community,” which means that our residents
are likely to spend much of their time and money outside of the city. By attracting
businesses that provide opportunity for shopping, recreation and dining-out we encourage residents to come home to spend their
hard-earned money. However, planning can take us only so far; City government should not try to strictly determine which businesses
are needed or deserve a place in Maple Valley. If a business chooses to open
its doors here then it should be welcomed and provided an opportunity to succeed.