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5th District, Senator
1. Name: Dino Rossi
2. Age: 41
3. Political party affiliation: Republican
4. Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Investment Broker
5. Family members: Wife; Terry, Children; Juliauna (9), Jake
(6), Joseph (4), Jillian (just born)
6. Why are you running for office? My grandfather came to
this country at the turn of the century and worked in the Black
Diamond coalmines to feed the family. My father became the first in our family
to graduate from college and went into what my grandfather thought was
the noblest profession of all: teaching. I am the youngest of seven kids
raised on a schoolteacher's salary. Only in America can the grandson of an
Italian immigrant coal miner become a state Senator. That is precisely why
I am running for office: to give back to the community that has been so
good to the Rossi family.
7. What are the issues that the constituents in your area would
like you to address? As I have been doorbelling around the district, a
major issue people talk with me about is how high property taxes are.
Another issue people bring up is traffic congestion.
8. How would you address those issues?
I sponsored a bill last year to phase out the state portion
of the property tax, which is about 20-25 percent of your property-tax
bill. Using money above the I-601 spending limit (money normally used
for such things as tax cuts), we can phase out the state portion without
affecting ongoing spending on education and social services. If re-elected, I
will continue working to get this bill passed and bring some meaningful
tax relief to Washington citizens. To address traffic congestion, we need
a balance of roads and transit. What works in Seattle does not
necessarily work in the Snoqualmie Valley. We need to increase road capacity to
accommodate the amount of cars and buses on the roads. We can build
more roads through bonding and other financing mechanisms. In the
short term, we can immediately increase road capacity with minimal cost
by passing the bill I have sponsored to open up HOV lanes during
9. In the Snoqualmie Valley, as well as throughout Puget
Sound region, growth is a major concern of many residents. Is the
state Growth Management Act effective in helping local governments
make smart decisions about development? Should it be changed? How
should it be changed? The Growth Management Act is effective in helping
local governments because it requires them to make plans for deciding
when, where and how much growth will take place in their area. Growth is a
local issue. A senator from Wenatchee should not tell us where growth
should take place in Snoqualmie Valley, and I should not tell Wenatchee
where growth should take place. One size does not fit all. It is a local issue
for cities and counties and they need the flexibility in deciding when,
where and how much growth will take place.
10. What can state legislators do to address concerns about
protecting salmon and salmon habitat? As a member of the Senate
Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Committee, as well as a board
member of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and the Nature
Conservancy, I have been deeply involved with issues of salmon protection.
The more tangible issue state legislators can address is the protection of
salmon habitat. A more concrete solution to the harvesting of salmon will
most likely come from the federal government. The federal government,
the Canadian government and Indian tribes must all come together to
address the issue of salmon harvesting. In cooperation with our state
government, we can create a long-term solution to ensure salmon populations
in the future.
11. Water is becoming scarcer as more people move into the
area. One example of that is the North Fork of the Issaquah Creek
drying up this summer. What can be done to protect our water
resources? There is not a lack of water in this
region, but we do have a retention/storage problem. Our solution to
solving our water issues must deal with the retention problem. Our excess
water is not kept in this area and we need to work to keep the water we have.
The Department of Ecology is not helping matters because they are not
moving fast enough to process water right permits. Things have gotten worse in
the department and water right applications continue to stack up.
12. Lastly, why should a voter cast his or her ballot for you?
I have never forgotten who sent me to Olympia: YOU. My door has always
been, and always will be, open for you to come and discuss issues on your
mind. Just as the Snoqualmie Valley residents and I worked in putting
forward the Dane Rempfer bill, by working together, we can solve our
problems and make this community a better place to live. I appreciate the
support of the Snoqualmie Valley community for the Rempfers and for the
"Rempfer Hit-and-Run Bill" legislation
that now puts a harsher punishment on those that flee the scene of a
hit-and-run incident. Thank you for the honor of serving you in Olympia for the
last four years and I hope to have the honor of serving you again.