Below are the questions and responses sent to Marty Campbell, candidate for Tacoma City Council position.
The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the Winthrop Hotel, Parking Requirements, Tacoma Streetcars, and Felon Dumping Ground Issues.
1) Jail releases
Question: The media has reported that the Pierce County Jail currently releases nearly all of the people who have been arrested in Pierce County into downtown Tacoma even if they are arrested in Orting or a remote area of the county. Would you support a plan which would transport some or all of the jail releases to the places where they were arrested or where they live when their sentence ends?
Yes, depending on the plan. The County sheriff needs to provide an opportunity for releases to have safe transit to the places where they were arrested or where they live.
2) Growth management
Question: Over the last 30 years, Pierce County has been known for suburban sprawl which has caused the loss of farmland, pollution, traffic congestion and disinvestment in Tacoma.
If you are elected, how will you address the effects of sprawl and growth management in Pierce County and the relatively low rate of investment in Tacoma?
We need strategic thinking when planning for the future growth in Tacoma and Pierce County. I would continue to push for more comprehensive planning for the City and for our neighborhood business districts.
We also need to make sure we have an effective voice in regional transit planning, while continue to develop sensible transit planning and implementation.
3) Pierce County Felon “Dumping Ground” Issues
Question: As you know, Tacoma and Pierce County have a disproportionate number of released felons placed by the Department of Corrections as described in the Tacoma City Club report: 30 Years of DOC in Pierce County, Was It worth It?
If re-elected, what do you plan to do, if anything to reduce the number of felons placed in Tacoma and Pierce County? Do you agree that Tacoma and Pierce County should have no more than their pro-rata share based on population? How can the concentration of felons in Tacoma be reduced to the city’s pro-rata share?
Yes. Tacoma has received more that it’s “fair share” of released felons over the years. We need to work with the pierce county sheriff and the department of Corrections (DOC) to develop a workable plan for returning jail releases to the places where they were arrested or where they live.
3) Restoration of Winthrop Hotel
Question: A great many Tacomans would like to see the Winthrop Hotel restored as Spokane has restored the Davenport Hotel.
What is your position on this issue? Do you support the goal of restoring the Winthrop Hotel back into a hotel as the News Tribune and others have advocated?
What ideas do you have to make this goal of many Tacomans a reality?
I support the restoration of historic landmarks. As seen with the conversations regarding the Elks project, these projects can inspire excitement and bring economic growth to our city. Hotels and designation as a tourist destination would bring Tacoma more economic growth. However, downtown growth needs to be matched with growth and investment in our neighborhoods. We need to work with the property owners to help them see their role in our city.
4) Rebuilding Tacoma
Question: Despite the progress made, Tacoma still has a large number of vacant lots, and empty and blighted buildings relative to other west coast cities. What role can you and Tacoma take, if you are elected, to support the rebuilding of downtown Tacoma and Tacoma’s mixed use centers?
We need to ensure that we have a city wide strategic plan for economic recovery.
5) Building Walkable Neighborhood Centers and Downtown
Cities such as Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, San Francisco have removed their off-street parking requirements to allow parking to be built based on market demand. This also has the benefit of reducing sprawl, reducing pollution and allowing the construction of walkable neighborhoods.
Do you support removing the off-street parking requirement in downtown Tacoma and in Tacoma’s mixed use centers?
Yes. I have in the past and will continue to in the future lead the conservation about sensible transit and parking solutions.
5) Restoring Tacoma’s Streetcars
Question: Many Tacomans support restoring Tacoma’s streetcar system. Gas prices have recently been at record levels. Do you support restoring the streetcar network in Tacoma? What steps would be needed to be taken to make this happen?
Yes. The steps that need to be taken are many and some are very detailed. I am committed to making it sure the process is open and reflects the needs and character of the neighborhood they serve.
We need to identify federal, state, and regional sources for funding and ensure the funding meets our goals and planning.
6) Pollution Issues in Tacoma
Question: Parts of the City of Tacoma are currently failing the pollution criteria set by the State of Washington. What actions will you take if elected, if any, to reduce the pollution level in the city limits of Tacoma?
We must work to address storm water run off and non-point sources solutions for reduced pollution into the sound.
To reach attainment in air quality standards, we are going need to develop mass transit and alternative transportation methods.
I will continue to support our office of sustainability and many of the partners we have in the environmental community here in Tacoma. By offering incentives and proper, sensible regulation we can make steady incremental steps toward addressing pollution levels.
7) Crime Reduction Proposal by City Manager Eric Anderson
Question: City Manager Eric Anderson has set a goal to reduce crime in Tacoma by 50 percent in 14 months. What specific steps, if any, will you take if elected to reduce the crime rate in Tacoma?
I would support the expansion of community based services throughout the city. Additionally, I would support an increase in detectives for the police department and seek state and federal funding to target and eliminate the gangs and the criminal behaviors that surround them.
I will continue to be a strong advocate to community policing and continue to be involved in the many community groups in district #4.
I will also work with our school district to address issues of education and our community’s role in educating and keeping our children.