Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 21

Woock has mutual best interests, greater good in mind for residents

When people ask where we live I tell them proudly Gig Harbor, but in reality we don’t actually live in the set city boundaries. This is why I am asking citizens who get to vote for city council members to consider casting their vote for Jeni Woock.

Upon meeting Jeni several summers ago during our wonderful Summer Sounds at Skansie I got to see this real woman in action, meeting and greeting all the people who attended one of the best places to be on a summer Tuesday evening. At the time she volunteered for the film festival and did a wonderful job I might add.

When I found out that she was running for city council I brought up the fact that city council decisions have a very big impact on both the city and us who live out-of-bounds. I suspect there are more people living outside Gig Harbor city limits than within the city. Jeni agreed that we are under-represented and thought that neighborhood advisory groups would be a good source of ideas for the council to consider.

We live only a few blocks from the city line. I encourage all voters in this fine city to first vote, and secondly to vote for Jeni who has our mutual best interests and the greater good in mind.

Kathy Arroyo

Gig Harbor

Upcoming school district levy due to fail again

The Sept. 23 Gateway story titled “Maintenance and Operations” is a perfect example of why the upcoming Peninsula School District Levy will FAIL again.  

The voters in this district have spoken more time than I can count and what they want is for the school district to be honest and transparent and show us where they spend our Maintenance and Operation (M&O) dollars. The M&O levy has now been retitled the Education Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy and they finally admitting that no M&O ever went to pay for maintenance. I know that because I submitted a public records request during the last levy attempt asking for a breakdown of the M&O expenditures. They didn’t have any records because they don’t track where the M&O dollars are spent. They simply throw those dollars into the general operation account from which all the bills are paid.

Our school board can solve this by passing a resolution that requires the school financial officer to set up a separate spread sheet to track how much of our tax dollars the district receives from the voter approved levy and then an exact breakdown of where those dollar are spent. We have a right to see exactly where the property tax money they collect from us is spent. The district will then be able to show EXACTLY how much the state provides for transportation or maintenance or teacher salaries etc. and how much of our property tax they had to use to actually fund and operate those areas. Now we know where our tax dollars are going and can make an informed vote by just following the money.

We would be the first school district in the state to set this precedent and I would hope other school districts across this state would take this very simple step as well. If this data was available right now from all school districts the solution to the McCleary decision would be simple. Maybe Randy Dorn could add this to the OSPI report forms or maybe we as taxpayers should take this solution to the Legislature and force all school boards across this state to actually be accountable to the citizens who pay for 30 percent of their school budget each year.

Randy Boss

Gig Harbor

Woock endorsed by Gig Harbor Professional Firefighters IAFF local #3390

Gig Harbor Professional Firefighters IAFF local #3390 is proud to endorse Jeni for Gig Harbor City Council.

Gig Harbor citizens were very surprised to learn that fire inspections and enforcement are not mandatory in GH commercial buildings. Gig Harbor Firefighters and Paramedics have confidence in Jeni’s leadership to get this policy changed and protect lives.

A fire prevention program in commercial buildings, with mandatory inspections and enforcement is the most effective method of keeping lives and property safe.

As firefighters and paramedics, we are first responders to emergency calls. Jeni knows the traffic gridlock we deal with as we try to respond quickly when you need us the most.

GH firefighters pre-plan, prepare, train and inspect. We know if it is predictable, it is preventable. Mandatory fire inspections and enforcement save lives.

Gig Harbor Firefighters and Paramedics, local #3390, believe Jeni Woock is the best candidate for Gig Harbor City Council, position #6. For a safe Gig Harbor, please vote Jeni Woock.

Ron Wasmund, president

Gig Harbor Professional Firefighters IAFF local #3390

Gig Harbor

Jackson the obvious choice for Peninsula School Board

In the book “The Perfect Storm,” nature takes several common events and brings them together at the same time and place. These events individually are hardly noticeable, but in this rare combination they become extremely powerful.

In our daily life it is not uncommon to run across a good teacher or someone active in supporting their community. We may find someone who has dedicated much of their life to helping train up our youth or a businessperson adept at planning, budgeting and finance. There are always those few who are leaders, willing to stand for noble principles. Then there are some mathematicians and engineers who know the value of science in everyday life. It is not unusual to come across a laborer or builder but less common to find someone familiar with the halls of government. What would be very unusual would be to find all this experience and capability in one person, a rare combination that would, like that “perfect storm,” be very powerful and, in the right place, very effective. That place is the Peninsula School Board and that person is Garth Jackson, my obvious choice for our school board.

Kandice Carnahan

Gig Harbor

Woock needed on City Council to preserve unique nature of Gig Harbor

I am writing this letter to urge your support to vote Jeni Woock for Gig Harbor City Council. Jeni has displayed the willingness to devote a tremendous amount of time on some very important issues affecting Gig Harbor. To begin with, she worked to maintain consistencies of the setbacks in the Millville district. Jeni was a voice to have an open dialog with staff and council about not locating a sewer lift station in the historic Skansie house. I don’t know of anyone that put more effort into trying to prevent the expansion of level 3 restaurant uses in the Millville district. Jeni worked tirelessly to bring this issue to the general public and spent many hours in the neighborhood gathering a significant number of signatures opposing the expansion (69 oppose, 7 in favor of the change).

Despite these signatures, and overwhelming public testimony at several council meetings opposing the change, the administration and council disregarded it and voted to expand the use. Jeni would have listened to the residents most affected, and opposed the change. Jeni also worked to bring the community into the downtown building height and parking discussions. She was, as she interpreted the proposal on the side of maintaining the unique character of our downtown scale of buildings, more importantly ensuring that development was responsible for accounting for their impacts on parking.

We need a council that appreciates the unique, very special place that Gig Harbor is, and work to preserve it. We will not have many chances to do this. I believe a vote for Jeni will help us accomplish this.

Jim Franich

Gig Harbor

Malich puts city and citizens at the heart and soul of his position on City Council

My husband and I are endorsing Ken Malich for re-election to the City Council election in November. Ken has served the citizens of Gig Harbor with dedication and hard work over these many years. He always has the city and the citizens at the heart and soul of his position as a member of the city council. He truly listens to the people of this great city. We have a voice and we are heard with Ken as a member on the council.

Ken has worked hard to maintain and preserve the historical ambience and integrity of Millville, building heights and overdevelopment. Ken is committed to maintaining and preserving our “fishing village” atmosphere, yet not to get left behind. It is a fine line and Ken will be there to guide and protect us along the way.

Please vote for Ken Malich in the November election.

Jackie & Rick Olivier

Gig Harbor

Vote out developer control of City Council

I moved here in 1987 and when we picked our home, we picked Gig Harbor because of its differences from other suburban communities. It was peaceful, clean, green and simply lovely. It had a spirit and grace that was obvious to all. Sunset magazine dubbed it the “Sausalito of the Northwest.”

Under the decisions of the current Council we have lost a lot of that special feel. There have been three very significant votes that seem to illustrate why Mr. Perrow is not in touch with his community. First, changing the waterfront height requirements up from threshold to the new 27 feet, even after many in this community spoke passionately in meetings against that move. Next, we had Millville and again, large turnout, petitions signed by residents who live in this part of the Harbor, and again Mr. Perrow voted against all the people who showed up and were trying to be involved in this community. Then we had the Fred Meyer project, which many of us had testified against and the Planning Commission actually voted down. It magically reappeared and once again, the voice of taxpaying citizens was ignored. Three votes--not one that echoed voter wishes.

We are on our way to being Federal Way West and while the sales tax coffers may be bulging, the quality of life has gone down. One business owner had to place speed bumps all over his parking lot for all the drivers who were cutting through to avoid Pt. Fosdick. I don’t blame him and I also don’t blame the drivers. Traffic management under this Council is simply incompetent. Add the new Fred Meyers complex to this already unpleasant situation and it will create serious issues for this community.

We are constantly being told that we are against change and growth. That is simply untrue..What we are against is simply the LOUSY management of that growth. Building strip malls, no matter what the design standards, and not doing effective traffic management is not CREATIVE growth. The illusion that our revulsion with that is wrong is the Council’s failure to grasp how deep this anger goes. We have had enough of their brand of urban planning. By many citizens standards, it is an abject failure to respect the legacy of proud and vibrant community.

Vote for Jeni Woock and for Ken Malich. Vote out developer control of City Council.

Margot LeRoy

Gig Harbor

Reject Referendum 2015-1

Voters must vote YES to REJECT Referendum 2015-1. We can no longer defer maintenance to county owned facilities, letting them crumble, so Pierce County can justify deeper debt and excessive spending of our tax dollars to build themselves a new palace. Before we build new we must first look at the options presented by our Assessor Mike Lonergan. Building new must be the last option not the first. New debt and taxes must be the last option not the first. At a time we need more public safety officers, can’t staff the jail and have so many other problems in this county, how can anyone in their right mind justify this spending and debt? We expect and demand our elected representatives do better than the existing.

Let’s stop the useless spending on a new Taj Mahal in Tacoma by voting YES to REJECT Referendum 2015-1 for a new government building in Tacoma.

Marlyn Jensen

Gig Harbor

Some in city seem to oppose anything representing change

I am voting for Al Abbott and Mike Perrow for Gig Harbor City Council. I wish I could vote a thousand times. Their opponents represent the old thinkers in my book. If elected they will only add to gridlock, with in-action and obstructionism to almost any new idea. I am so darn tired of this.

There is a vocal “minority” in the City that seem to oppose anything that represents change. I am speaking of a relatively small group of “no growthers,” the old thinkers, that seem to feel that they have the right to dictate the rules for the rest of us. These folks, in my view, have an unrealistic view that the City of Gig Harbor shall have very little forward progress, very little of anything that represents change.

Gig Harbor really needs progressive thinkers, who acknowledge and understand that growth is coming to the Harbor, as many people are seeing that it is a very nice place to live. But if managed properly, growth and change can add to the vitality and vibrance of the City. The difference between folks who represent “yesterday,” versus the ones who represent “tomorrow.”

Voters take note.

Jim Castino

Gig Harbor

Abbott a consensus builder

I’m supporting Al Abbott for Gig Harbor City Council because I believe he is a consensus builder. I’ve lived in the unincorporated area of the Gig Harbor peninsula for 42 years and have had the privledge of representing the city of Gig Harbor and the peninsula for 11 years on the Pierce County Planning Commission and eight years on the Pierce County Council. I became aware, early in my service, that being appointed or elected is the easy part when representing your constituents and that to make a difference in the quality of life or livability of your community it takes the ability to bring a majority of your colleagues together in support of your ideas or requests for appropriations. This is a quality that Al Abbott shows as he works with many of the businesses in Gig Harbor to create their vision and market that vision to the community and also through volunteering to serve on many of the local boards and commissions that require his effective leadership. Even though I can’t vote for Al, I believe we’re all in it together and I’m supporting Al Abbott for Gig Harbor City Council because what happens in the city does impact the surrounding community. I hope you will join me.

Terry Lee

Gig Harbor

Jackson a supporter of STEM in schools

It’s been 45 wonderful years since I married my high school sweetheart. We didn’t know or appreciate it (we were teenagers after all) but we were participating in the world’s leading public education system. With the advent of the space race, schools encouraged math and science, now called STEM. I became a mathematician. My husband, Garth Jackson, went into engineering, then education. Today, all indications are that America has slipped far from that lead in STEM. Our students are no longer in control of the technology our generation created.

Tests and common experience demonstrate that we need a renaissance of math and science in our schools to prepare our children for this more technical world and regain mastery of our technology. Garth Jackson wants to lead this movement in the Peninsula School District. With a long history in engineering, teaching, business, planning and service to our youth, no one could be more qualified. No one on the Board or in District administration has this breadth of training and background. There needs to be at least one voice of experience on the Board to help open these doors for our children. Please join me in supporting Garth Jackson for School Board.

Rita Jackson

Gig Harbor

Abbott able to bridge gap between “quality of life” and “economic vitality”

Those who know Al Abbott are familiar with his vision, creativity and giving.

Al and his wife Virginia moved to Gig Harbor in 2001 to be closer to family and raise their two daughters, Annikka and Turi. Gig Harbor has been the beneficiary of their citizenship and unique skill set in advertising and branding which they have developed for over 30 years across the country.

While serving on many local civic and service organizations, Al has been instrumental in developing numerous local events and activities. In addition, Al and Virginia’s advertising & branding business extends throughout the greater Gig Harbor and Pierce County area which enables them to bring their expertise and knowledge to the table.

After growing up in Mexico, working stints in New York City with Grey Advertising in 1977 and later being recruited in the mid 1980’s by McCann-Erickson as the co-creative supervisor in Los Angeles, Al has a keen sense of bridging the gap between “quality of life” and “economic vitality.” A vote for Al is a vote for quality growth with quality of life!

Kurt Grimmer

Gig Harbor

Woock is the “people’s voice” as a City Council candidate

Like many Gig Harbor residents, we’ve noticed a substantial increase in city traffic the past few years. We plan our trips to Uptown and Gig Harbor North to avoid the peak traffic periods. While our schools use portables to handle overcrowding, new neighborhoods are being developed in areas where there is already traffic congestion. City Council candidate Jeni Woock believes we need to look at the supporting infrastructure before approving new businesses and developments. We should be addressing traffic concerns and require expanded downtown businesses to provide customer parking.

Business and developer agendas seem to be well represented on our city council. We’ve attended city council meetings where public input seemed hopeless. When the city council voted against 1600 citizens who had signed a petition against multi-story buildings along the waterfront, in favor of the five who requested the zoning change, people began asking Jeni Woock if she would consider running for city council. Jeni’s opponent said that if people wanted a view of the harbor they should buy it. Jeni believes our beautiful harbor views belong to all of us.

I’ve known Jeni Woock as a neighbor, through the Gig Harbor Film Festival, through Dining for Women, and as a friend. She will be informed, help us stay informed, view all sides of an issue, and when the time comes she will cast a fair vote. Jeni will consider it an honor to represent us.

I support Jeni Woock, the People’s Voice, for Gig Harbor City Council.

Colene Acker

Gig Harbor

Perrow brings a commitment to the welcoming, enterprising spirit of Gig Harbor to City Council

I am a near 20-year resident of Gig Harbor, a former executive director of Gig Harbor’s Chamber of Commerce and a founding member and former chairman of the Gig Harbor Parks Commission. As a mom of a young son in Peninsula schools, the quality of our community is incredibly important to me. Over the past two decades Gig Harbor has grown; I feel in ways that are thoughtful and wholly positive to our community. These include such changes as:

▪ Growth in our parks to over 20, with use for fun festivities, year round.

▪ Construction of a new bridge, eliminating dangerous traffic safety issues.

▪ Thoughtful retail and affordable housing development in Gig Harbor North. Now, all we need is a new elementary school up there (hint, hint.)

▪ A YMCA! Right. Here. In Gig Harbor. Wow. Just wow! Now, if we all would just GO!

▪ Redevelopment of Gig Harbor’s Uptown business district, creating a community gathering place for residents. Last year, it was made even better with safe sidewalks.

I’ve sat alongside my friend and neighbor, Michael Perrow, while we served on the parks commission. We shared a common goal to make Gig Harbor an even better place to call home. I propose that as Gig Harbor citizens, the heritage we want to most preserve is a welcoming, enterprising spirit in our hometown. I support Michael Perrow in his re-election campaign for Gig Harbor City Council because I feel he brings that commitment to the Council.

Jacquie Goodwill

Gig Harbor

Nixon a leader and a natural for a position with PenMet Parks

Steve Nixon has lived in Gig Harbor his entire life. He is currently an Assistant Gig Harbor Fire Chief. During the 35 years that I have known him he has participated in many league sports and for the last almost 20 years coached many young people. Steve is the consummate family man and understands that teaching the game and sportsmanship are more important than the final score. I don’t think you will find many people in Gig Harbor that have volunteered more than Steve. It doesn’t matter whether Steve is working, coaching, playing or just with friends, Steve is a natural leader and adds charisma to the table. Steve is a natural for a position with the Peninsula Park District, you know he has my vote, I hope he has yours.

Jim Ribary

Gig Harbor

GUEST SUBMISSIONS

The Peninsula Gateway accepts guest columns up to 600 words and letters to the editor up to 250 words. Priority consideration is given to those who live on the Gig Harbor or Key peninsulas. Letters and columns should be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to the next publication. The Peninsula Gateway reserves the right to edit for space, style and potentially libelous material. To submit a letter or column, email gatewayeditor@gateline.com (preferred), or mail it to: Letters to the Editor, 3226 Rosedale St., Gig Harbor, WA 98335.

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