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Meet the Candidates 2003 - Marcia Korich (Incumbent)
What do you feel are the three biggest issues facing Snoqualmie?
Recent property tax limits imposed by state initiative I-747 and the loss of the sales tax equalization revenues resulting from I-695, coupled with the statewide economic downturn, will continue to have negative fiscal impacts on our city budget. We must balance the city's tax generating capacity with the cost of providing public services. I believe strong fiscal policies create healthy budgets, and implementation of financial forecasting tools will guide us in providing necessary public services with scarce tax dollars without overburdening the taxpayers.
We must increase our economic viability by encouraging new commercial and retail opportunities and supporting existing businesses. Completion of the 205 flood project (widening the river banks above the Falls), and appropriate flood plain management strategies, including innovative flood reduction methods, will encourage new businesses to invest downtown and assure that individual land values are maintained.
We must ensure growth does not exceed the city's ability to maintain desired levels of public services and determine that growth sustains itself. I continue to support responsible long-range planning for residential and retail/commercial growth, and proposed municipal infrastructure as the means to determine the future look, feel and viability of our city.
When it comes to planning growth, what do you see as a vision for the city?
Planning for a possible future population of 15,000 is the greatest challenge facing us. How do we retain our small-town benefits with so much growth? We choose to be unique in our planning and do not accept common rhetoric that traffic jams, strip malls, crime and uncaring neighbors are inevitable and green grass and trees are only seen in parks. We balance economic demands and developer rights and assure growth pays for itself. And if we ensure new development supports the qualities we now hold dear, we will keep them for ourselves.
What would you do to bring business to the downtown core?
I support completion of the 205 flood project, an in-depth evaluation of the 202 Corridor Study and a transportation project that proposes to alter the Highway 202 streetscape and improve traffic flow and parking downtown. Plans to attract new businesses and support existing retail must be realistic and truly achieve the desired goals. We must recognize the needs of resident consumers as we effectively capitalize on tourist activity benefits. Responsible flood plain management and continued actions to address flood reduction will go a long way toward attracting viable businesses downtown. I support effective use of hotel/motel tax dollars to promote local businesses throughout the city.
What will you do to bridge the division between historic downtown and the Ridge?
My decisions will continue to be consistent with the best interests of the city as a whole. Individual interests may differ, yet our needs are much the same and we all call Snoqualmie "home." We shop, recreate and socialize together; our children attend school and play together. I will continue to support endeavors that build on these unifying characteristics that already make us one community. I feel that City Council members, as community leaders by action and word, must build on the ties that connect us as one city, not focus on differences, perceived or real, that you will find in any diverse group of human beings.
The City Council and city officials have discussed changing the makeup of Snoqualmie's governmental structure. Do you think the city should move to a city-manager, or other form of government?
To date, I am not convinced that there is great benefit to changing our present form of government. The present strong mayor-elect system gives the responsibility of choosing leadership to the people as a whole. I think there is a need for the separation of executive, administrative and legislative powers and the checks and balances that our present system provides. Our system allows for a mayor that is representative of the people, rather than the discretion of a five- or seven-member council that has its own political underpinnings. Our system works, let's not change it.
What qualities make you the right candidate for the job?
My experience, commitment, work ethic, caring and beliefs make me the best candidate for City Council. The experience gained as a current council member, knowledge of the issues and understanding of the tools that guide responsible decision-making - budget, municipal code, comprehensive plan, shoreline management plan, economic and community development - make me your best choice. I care about our city and remain committed to making responsible decisions.
I believe most people want our city government to provide necessary public services without creating unnecessary financial burdens and to maintain or improve the quality of life that attracted them here in the first place.
I want to continue to hear the phrase I have heard most, throughout town, during my campaign for re-election, "We love living here." To the best of my ability, for your family and mine, I intend to work at keeping Snoqualmie the city we love.