What three things do you most hope to accomplish if elected?
If given the opportunity to continue my service on the Board of Directors, my primary goal is to oversee the completion of the Bond projects currently under construction. These Bond projects are in various stages of completion, are on schedule and on budget, and will continue to support economic growth and enhance the quality of life in Bend now and for future generations. I also am a proponent of naming rights for the Simpson Pavilion, which will help offset operating costs and reduce any taxpayer-funded required subsidy. Lastly, but most importantly, I want to continue to refine the Mirror Pond vision toward an economically viable solution that does not burden our taxpayers.
What are you doing right now in service of the issues you're most passionate about?
I am currently directly involved in monitoring and constantly reviewing the finances and master plans of all of the District's capital improvement projects to ensure that we remain on budget and on schedule, and deliver what the District committed to the voters when the General Obligation Bond was approved. Having also served on the Budget Committee for three years prior to my election to the Board, I have the experience to truly understand the depth and breadth of Parks and Rec. My only agenda is to do my best to serve my community and help enhance the quality of life in Bend for generations to come. Additionally, as a lawyer, I understand and have first-hand experience with the intricacies of a governmental agency, the role of negotiation, and the power of partnership.
What is Park & Rec doing best right now? Where is it most falling short?
Parks and Rec continues to be true to its mission to strengthen the community by operating and maintain parks, trails, facilities and over 1,000 recreation programs in a financially responsible manner that ensures the ability to sustain the quality of services that our community desires and expects. I believe that we are falling short in serving the Latino community, although we have recognized that challenge and developed a new a Latino Community Outreach program. Although still in the early stages, we are already seeing the impact of helping to plan and promote recreation activities that serve the needs of the Latino community.
Is there a solution for Mirror Pond you most believe in?
I support the goals and current vision collaboratively developed by Park and Rec., the City of Bend, the Ad Hoc Committee, and the Mirror Pond Steering Committee to reach what has been characterized as a "middle ground" between dredging Mirror Pond and the so called "Natural River" option of removing the Dam. This vision, among other things, considers enhancing habitat, fish passage, improved public space and most importantly, funding sources other than tax dollars.
Do you think that Park & Rec should waive SDC for affordable housing developments?
Low-income housing is a community-wide livability issue and I believe that Parks and Rec needs to be a contributor to a solution. In my opinion, the shortages of available land and the high cost of land are the primary impediments to developers building affordable housing and SDCs represent a comparatively small component in the overall cost of construction. Thus the problem of affordable housing is much larger than waiving a token amount of SDCs and the solution also needs to be appropriate for an agency that collects tax dollars for the purpose of providing the community's parks and recreation services. If waiver of SDC charges were the direction ultimately decided by the Board, I would want to ensure a dollar-for-dollar pass-through to low income residents of any such waived SDC charges. Additionally, Parks and Rec currently provides approximately $1.3 million annually in needs-based assistance for recreational programs.
What are the three most important qualities for a Park & Rec Board director?
The three most important qualities for a Park and Rec Board chair are open-mindedness, an ability to hear (and not just listen to) the points of your colleagues, and an ability to forge a consensus to actually "get stuff done."
What is the single most significant difference between you and your opponents?
I am the only candidate who has actual experience with Parks and Rec and truly understands the workings of the organization, both from a financial as well as an operating perspective. I have no agenda other than serving all the people of our community and delivering upon the promises made to our community in connection with the 2012 Bond Measure.
What are your opponents' best qualities?
My opponents' best qualities are their willingness to serve their community in what they believe are the best policies. We are fortunate that we have citizens who are willing to step up and put in the time and energy that this volunteer position requires.