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5th District, House of Representatives, Position 1
1. Name: Di Irons
2. Age: 46
3. Political party affiliation: Democrat
4. Occupation: Self-employed, All Points, Associates
5. Family members: Husband; Bob Iness, King County
sheriff's deputy, son; Cris, 24 years old, daughter; Di, 21 years old
6. Why are you running for office? I have the experience (both
in private business and in government) and energy to make a positive
difference in promoting democratic principles. My concerns for family
and community are paramount and the ultimate welfare of those interests
is dependent upon a responsive, efficient and reliable government. I am
seeking elective office because of my passion for public involvement and
participating in community/government to protect our quality of life. I
have the ability to listen to the public and the competency to be
representative of the people.
7. What are the issues that the constituents in your area would
like you to address? The most common issues that I hear constituents
want addressed in our area are long-term solutions to our traffic
congestion, support for schools, property-tax reform and preserving our
environment (quality of life).
8. How would you address those issues?
Traffic: I support committing ourselves to building
projects on time, on budget, which contribute to solving congestion. We can
accomplish this by streamlining policy making, increasing the accountability
of the state and local agencies involved and identifying a long-term
financing mechanism, that voters will approve, to finance these projects. Local
and state transportation funds need to be better-coordinated with greater
emphasis on regional priorities that will move people and freight.
Education: I support paying school employees
a fair wage, rewarding nationally certified teachers, reimbursing teachers
for required college courses and smaller class sizes. We need more local
control of schools so communities can better address their individual
needs. A stable and consistent school-funding source needs to be identified
that does not pit education against the environment.
Property-tax reform: I favor targeted tax relief to people
who need it the most like low-income seniors and first-time buyers. One
proposal for first-time buyers could be to exempt the state portion of
property tax of qualifying individuals up to a specific dollar amount for a set
number of years. Another proposal is an upward adjustment for the
$30,000 maximum annual income cap to be eligible for the disabled property
tax exemption and the $34,000 maximum annual income cap on senior
citizens to be eligible for deferred property tax.
Environment: Our environment's health is a meter in which to
measure the future health of our own quality of life. We need to safeguard our
air and water quality, preserve ancient forests and restore salmon runs.
A quality environment means quality jobs and businesses.
9. In the Snoqualmie Valley, as well as throughout the
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 GMA is a good document that
does give some basic direction to local governments on development
decisions, but the document needs to be improved upon. Local governments
have misused and abused the intent of the GMA and the results have been
the loss of quality of life for existing neighborhoods/communities
and overstressed infrastructures (congested roads, overcrowded
schools, shortages of water ) I support changes that better define and
explain the intent of the GMA. An example is: When the GMA states that new
development must take into consideration the characteristics of
existing neighborhoods, that does not mean funneling new development
traffic through the existing residential neighborhood. The loopholes in the
GMA need immediate legislative attention.
10. What can state legislators do to address concerns about
protecting salmon and salmon habitat? The state legislators can step up to
the plate with funding assistance to local municipalities that meet state
requirements to help in the protection and restoring of salmon runs. This is a
regional issue that needs cooperation and communication from
government and private partnerships at all levels.
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?
To help protect our water resources we can re-evaluate the development of
our watershed and implement sound management practices. Increased
imperious surface reduces aquifer recharge, diverts water from its natural
course and increases surface water runoff directly into our storm drains, creeks
and rivers this diminishes our future water supply's quality and
quantity. We need quality monitoring of our drinking water source,
improved maintenance of stormwater facilities, reduced pollutant discharges and
a common-sense approach to development and conservation.
12. Lastly, why should a voter cast his or her ballot for you?
A vote for me is a vote for responsible planning for our quality of life and
the environment, significant tax reform, support for schools, affordable
health care and responsive government. I will work with diverse groups, treat
people fairly and with respect. I have experience as a business owner, as a
community volunteer and as a legislative aide. I listen, and will continue to
be responsive to the community. I believe in community service, in
representing all citizens and would be honored to serve in the Legislature.