Holloway and Tumey vie for City Council spot - Gil Tumey
October 2, 2008 · Updated 5:08 PM
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Gil Tumey earned an accounting degree from Xavier University in 1974 and immediately took a job in Washington with Junior Achievements, a nonprofit business education organization.
He settled in Sammamish where he and Shari, his wife of 29 years, lived until moving to Snoqualmie in June 2000. Tumey has worked for Boeing for the past 25 years in finance and as an ethics advisor, where he developed training policies and processes. He also helped to create Seattle University's Institute of Professional Ethics.
He continues to work for Boeing, most currently in information technology as a service delivery manager. The Tumey's have two grown children.
In 2001, Tumey began his involvement with city government, and made a bid for a Snoqualmie City Council position in 2003. Though not elected, he continued to attend meetings and sat on the Snoqualmie Planning Commission while it reviewed designs for the Snoqualmie Ridge II development. After much thought and concern for the issues the council is currently facing, Tumey decided to throw his hat into the ring once again.
Tumey currently serves as deputy chair for the Planning Commission, and he is a founding and current member of the Snoqualmie Emergency Communications and Support Team. He is also a member of the Snoqualmie All Hazards Committee. He is the former president (1999-2003) and current member of the King County Search and Rescue Association. He has also participated in Railroad Days and last year's Bicycle Safety Rodeo.
Growth and finance
Tumey said he thinks a critical aspect for the city's development is balancing the tourist business with residential services. He advocated planning for the long term, a lot of which, he said, is going on right now. He is interested in the recent development proposals and is ready for citizens to evaluate those ideas and make choices.
Tumey said that once choices are implemented, the city would see an increase in investment in the downtown area and the Ridge.
This will happen through basic economics, Tumey said, adding that as businesses and investors take notice, they will be more likely to invest sooner rather than later.
"As the value and perceived value increases, investors will come, they'll pay more for property or they'll invest more money into the area," he said, noting that the council needs to define the area's character well enough so that it remains intact even as it develops and grows. "So, when it's all done, it's something that we intended to happen, not something that just happened haphazardly."
Tumey said that the city needs to entice business and investment to the Ridge and downtown. He suggested that the city needs to get the message across that it is not too far out of the way, make sure that people are aware of the available retail and business park space and highlight the reverse commute, as well as the community.
He also suggested putting trails throughout the city.
Tumey advocated long-term thinking, planning and communication, comparing the city's development to a jigsaw puzzle.
"Right now we have a puzzle that is lying on the table. It has maybe 1,000 or 1,500 pieces to it and every piece is an activity, a desire or something that could be done," Tumey said. "So, somebody comes along with an idea and they pick up a piece and they say, 'I want to do this.' When we do it, we [should] know right where it fits. So, when we have all the pieces, we have a picture. We got what we planned."
Tumey said that protection is the city's first priority. He also noted the continued need for parks and services and he proposed the idea of looking into alternative financial support for parks.
He advocated instilling a sense of job security in city employees, saying that if they do their work, they should have confidence that their jobs are going to be there.
Rather than hiring new personnel (only to have the possibility of laying them off later), Tumey suggested potentially contracting for temporary positions to protect employees and finances. In that way, those who are hired could feel secure in their jobs.
"We're not going to hire people unless we can protect them," he said.
Police and fire
Tumey is adamant about keeping fire and police services local. He ranks protection as the highest primary need for the city.
He said the debate this past year about potentially outsourcing police services through King County severely affected morale within the departments and the community.
"I believe you need to commit to people and one of the statements I made is that I would commit to every employee of this city," Tumey said, adding that the way in which approaching King County was done went against everything he believed in for a community. "We need to work as a team."
Tumey said there are a number of ways to pay for services and keep the police and fire local. Though he does not rule out any possibility for the distant future, he said that the city should not start just slashing jobs and laying people off.
Rather, the city needs to be considerate of what work it is investing in; providing the best police service at the best price, training people and protecting jobs.
Tumey is open to exploring the possibility of partnering services to North Bend or another city, but said it would have to benefit Snoqualmie in some way, possibility defraying some overhead costs or developing a larger officer base. He said he does not see Snoqualmie as a contract organization out to market its services.
"Our obligations are to the citizens of Snoqualmie," he said.
Tumey is in support of building a community center, but without a pool. Tumey said he envisions a basic community center with the ability to expand in the future. He suggested that center begin with meeting rooms, possibly gym space and a crafts/carpentry shop area, but wants the city to be clear on what it wants.
He does not suggest partnering with North Bend or a surrounding area for a community center, nor would he be that interested in renting out the facility.
He suggested that if the city wanted a larger or more expensive community center, it should explore ways to attract financing from private industries or perhaps regionalize services to help pay for it.
However, Tumey would prefer to build a community center with the space and funds available for the people of Snoqualmie.
"I think Snoqualmie needs something of its own," he said. "The key thing I would like to see with that community center - and what I'm hearing from people - is something that belongs to the people."
Tumey said that the tourism industry would benefit from the development of the Salish Lodge's currently under-development conference center.
With an increase in professionals visiting the area and itching to get out of meeting rooms and suits, Tumey said that evening and nighttime activities would be important amenities to have available if the city wants to keep them in Snoqualmie rather than have them travel to other surrounding locations.
"That's revenue we're losing there that could be coming into the city," he added. "[Salish guests] are not going to want to just have all of their entertainment in the lounge or whatever at the Salish. They're going to want to go out and do things and see the area. We need some things to attract them."
Vote for me,
not the other guy
Tumey said his commitment and involvement are strong points for why he would be good for the City Council. Involved with the city almost since he moved here, he has attended council meetings, been a member of various committees and organizations and has ran for office previously.
He also noted that current mayor Fuzzy Fletcher endorses him as does Jay Rodne, a former Snoqualmie councilman who is currently serving in the House of Representatives.
Tumey said that since he does not have young children at home, he has the time available to invest in the city. Though he will co