Gateway: News

Candidate Q&A: Gig Harbor City Council Position 3

This is the fourth installment of an ongoing series featuring Gig Harbor candidates running for Peninsula School Board, Gig Harbor City Council and mayor of Gig Harbor in the Nov. 7 general election.

All candidates were invited to participate in this question-and-answer series. All were asked the same four questions and to provide a biography.

Jim Franich – Gig Harbor City Council Position 3

I am a third generation Gig Harbor resident. I spent 13 years as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, California and the Puget Sound. I have been a successful Gig Harbor businessman for 22 years. I served on the City Council from 2000 to 2010. I am a board member of the Skansie Netshed Foundation currently serving as vice president. I was a member of the Design Review Board Technical Committee.

Q: What qualifies you to run for Gig Harbor City Council?

A: I am uniquely qualified to serve as a council member due to my lifelong residency. Having lived here all of my life, I have the historical knowledge and contacts in the city to know what the important issues are. Having served on the Council (previously) for ten years I am familiar with the codes and the administrative processes. My passion for this community is unquestionable.

Q: What do you see as some of the biggest issues facing Gig Harbor?

A: The most important issue facing us at this time is traffic throughout the city. Running a close second is the assault on the character of our view basin. Our current administration has been on a push to “urbanize” our downtown area. I believe forward thinking is doing our best to maintain our unique scale and character from Downtown through the Millville district to North Harborview Drive.

Q: As the city grapples with how to handle population growth, what issue most concerns you?

A: Some solutions to control our population should include eliminating the bonus density sections of our code book and rezoning some of our R-2 land down to R-1. We also need to eliminate the development agreement section of our code book that allows the Council to disregard underlying density limits.

Q: If you are elected, what are some of the goals you plan to work on?

A: We need to look at widening our overpasses, that will lead to handling more capacity. A long talked-about new overpass from Hunt Street to Kimball Drive should also be explored. We also need to improve pedestrian safety in the Gig Harbor North area. Responsible growth that respects the neighborhoods they are affecting along with concurrent infrastructure improvements will keep Gig Harbor the special place that it is.

Peter Norman – Gig Harbor City Council Position 3

I am married to Karen and a lifetime resident of the area. For the past 29 years we have lived in the beautiful city of Gig Harbor. I received a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Puget Sound and have taken numerous courses in management, public service and sales through the years. I am self-employed in real estate and have years of experience in developing properties and projects. This has given me a strong background in management, budgeting, negotiation and working with municipal governments and has prepared me for meeting the responsibilities of a City Council member.

I had the privilege of serving for 12 years as an elected commissioner for the Tacoma Metropolitan Parks District. I also served as director of real estate for Goodwill Industries for six years. I am currently on the board of The Carol Milgard Breast Center. I have had the privilege of serving on the boards of many locals including Northwest Trek, Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, Multicare Health Foundation, YMCA-Pierce/Kitsap, Camp Seymour, City Club of Tacoma and Tacoma Rotary. I am running for Gig Harbor City Council because I love this place and I want to guard the uniqueness that makes the city beloved by its residents.

Q: What qualifies you to run for Gig Harbor City Council?

A: Gig Harbor will grow — this is inevitable — but how it grows matters greatly to all who live here. I have more than 30 years of hands-on business experience and community service in both the public and private sectors.

With my business background, I have organizational and relational skills and I fully understand economics and fiscal responsibilities attached to city decisions, as well as the impact of such decisions on our residents.

I believe that my strong background, my genuine care for the people of Gig Harbor and my commitment to deal fairly with the issues of importance to Gig Harbor make me qualified to seek a position on the Council.

Q: What do you see as some of the biggest issues facing Gig Harbor?

A: Population density and the infrastructure to support growth, downtown parking and traffic congestion.

Q: As the city grapples with how to handle population growth, what issue most concerns you?

A: The unreasonable curtailment of growth. We must continue to strive for solutions while we are growing.

Q: If you are elected, what are some of the goals you plan to work on?

A: Traffic circulation improvements, strategic planning for infrastructure to support growth and responsible planning that respects the beauty and uniqueness of Gig Harbor.

I want to protect and retain the character for which Gig Harbor is known. Gig Harbor is now feeling growing pains that will require careful monitoring to insure that the unique quality of this community is not lost.

I feel it is inevitable that our city will grow and hopefully it will do so with management that reflects the love and concern of its citizens.

I submit that the experience I have acquired over my years in private business and in the public sector equips me for meeting these challenges.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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