Carnation City Council Candidate Q&As

Read how candidates answered our questions about their priorities and why they deserve your vote.

Four seats on the Carnation City Council are up for election this fall. In just a few weeks, during the Nov. 7 General Election, residents will get to chose who they want to represent them on council.

To help voters, the Valley Record has asked all candidates running in competitive races to answer a series of questions about their their experience, priorities and why they would be the best candidate for the job. Their responses can be read below. (Answers have been edited lightly for clarity and brevity)

Council Position 5 — Dustin Green v. Jessica Merizan

Dusting Green (left) and Jessica Merizan. Courtesy Photos.

Dustin Green is current city councilmember and president of the Snoqualmie Valley Government Association. He works a relief driver for Snoqualmie Valley Transportation, hold a bachelors in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington.

Jessica Merizan is an executive producer at Microsoft and hold bachelors in Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley and a Masters in Material and Visual Culture from University College London.

Tells us about yourself and why you’re running for city council.

Green: Carnation has been my home for the past 27 years and it has been an honor to serve as your representative on the City Council. I have been dedicated to making your voice heard and am committed to promoting sustainable practices, Be Dam Ready awareness, preservation of open spaces, and balanced development.

I’ve also dedicated time and energy making sure that Carnation is well represented regionally. I’ve served on the Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association, Sound Cities Association’s Public Issues Committee, and the Association of Washington Cities City Action Days in Olympia.Your concerns matter to me. As your representative, I will continue to actively engage with the community, listen to your feedback, and keep you informed about city successes, ongoing projects, and future plans. Please feel free to contact me anytime. I look forward to the conversations we will have as we shape Carnation’s path ahead together.

Merizan: I’m a mother who sees today’s choices impacting future generations. Carnation is a gem within King County, and I’m devoted to keeping it that way by enhancing our parks and attracting visitors to support the local businesses, farmers, festivals, and music venues that enrich our town. In 2016, I chose Carnation as my forever home, drawn to its charm during a countryside drive. Born into a Navy family, my father died in a plane crash when I was four, so my mom raised us alone amidst poverty, inspiring my resilient mindset. After years of saving, moving her here is one of my proudest achievements. I have a three-year-old daughter and another is arriving in December. My husband, a public defender in King County, shares my commitment to justice. We enjoy weekends at Fred Hockert/Yellow Park. I’m dedicated to Carnation’s prosperity as a haven for thriving families.

If elected, what would your top three priorities be?

G: Infrastructure, Affordable Housing, Climate Resiliency

M: I stand for Sustainability, Vibrancy, and Inclusivity. That translates to the following priorities: protecting parks & open spaces, initiating programs for city-sponsored eco-tourism and greater support for small businesses, and increasing representation for people who don’t see their perspective in the current City Council. Instead of trying to mold Carnation into something it’s not, I believe our focus should be on embracing what already makes our town a sought-after destination to live, work, play, and stay: the remarkable outdoors. My campaign is built on principles that honor the land, promote local businesses, and amplify the voices of the community

What issue or issues do you see as the most significant challenges over the next few years? Tell us why you are uniquely qualified to handle or find a solution to these issues.

G: Mobility & Affordable Housing. As a relief driver for SVT, I’ve experienced the condition and congestion of our roads first-hand and am keenly aware of the mobility challenges facing our rural Snoqualmie Valley communities. As the husband of a Realtor I see the real issues facing home buyers in our area. I will ensure the City Council focuses on these issues with short and long term strategies to address them both.

M: We are not a sustainable city by any definition of the word. Businesses are leaving and we have vacant commercial lots that don’t get filled, giving our town a run-down look. Previous Councils placed the utmost importance on making Carnation a bedroom community, waiving developer impact fees and requirements that have led to massive infrastructure issues. Households like mine, which includes my aging mom, face significant mobility and access challenges because leaders favored those developers over their own neighbors. The budget is precarious, and the town struggles with big picture decisions like the location and build of City Hall, leading to wasteful investments or forming unproductive committees whose recommendations don’t influence meaningful policy decisions. Our farmers feel disconnected from the town despite putting us on the map, and I haven’t seen the city take advantage of the kind of potential revenue benefits that would come with creating intentional tourist strategies and city-led campaigns. I’ve been an active voice in this community since moving here, and I believe that my passion, along with my professional background as an organizational leader with strong program management skills, can benefit the town in a more meaningful way while providing a differentiated perspective.

How are you currently involved in the community?

G: I currently serve on the Carnation City Council, represent Carnation at the Sound Cities Association (SCA) Public Issues Committee (PIC), and volunteer in the community for city and non-profit events.

M: As Parks & Planning Board Co-Chair, Pride Picnic Founder, and Fourth of July Celebration Marketing Lead, my goal as a volunteer has always been to contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive Carnation. Previously, I was the HOA President for my neighborhood as a way to really get to know the community and also served as the Vice Chair for the Tolt Commons Visioning Committee.

Tell us about your professional experience and how it would benefit the city council.

G: My background is Mechanical Engineering so I bring an analytical perspective to every issue we face. I pay attention to details and process and scrutinize our policies & budgets through those lenses.

M: Community management has always been my passion, and I’ve been fortunate to lead communities consisting of millions of fans for video games, movies, and television at Electronic Arts and Legendary Entertainment. During that time, I also founded and ran my own small business in new media, which led to being featured in a theatrical film documentary, two seasons of a docu-series show on the SyFy Channel, and multi-year partnerships with Google/YouTube and Amazon/Twitch. For the past 7 years, I’ve worked at Microsoft, starting as the Executive Producer for the HoloLens Community and currently serve as a Principal Program Manager in one of the Chief Technology Offices. I’ve owned budgets of around $2 million and led multiple advertising campaigns that spent $20+ million. A people manager since I was 23 [years-old], I have led multi-disciplinary teams as large as 12 and managed up to 30 vendor staff.

Housing in our community has become unaffordable for many – including service workers, first responders, law enforcement and teachers. What policies or ideas would you support to address this?

G: Rather than increasing density to achieve affordable housing, Carnation needs to descale our housing: a 1,500 square foot home will be more affordable than a 3,000 square foot home. Carnation’s zoning, code, and design standards need to be updated and I will work toward those ends.

M: Diversifying both currently available and newly created housing would benefit the community by ensuring that more affordable options such as multi-family units, multigenerational housing, ADUs, and smaller lots are accessible, versus the current trend to build big box single family homes. I have advocated for this as Co-Chair of the Parks and Planning Board, which recently proposed edits to the Housing portion of the draft Comprehensive Plan to be submitted in 2024. In addition, I’ve reviewed and made recommended updates to the latest round of zoning to ensure that existing affordable housing like our apartment complexes and mobile home units are preserved.

How would you balance the need for economic development and more housing with sustainability and preserving our community’s small-town feel?

G: Economic development should focus on main street being fully built out. Currently we have empty lots and buildings on Tolt Avenue. I support a proactive approach for the City of Carnation to attract new business to come set up shop in our little town.

M: My priority is addressing growth responsibly – focusing on infrastructure and affordability – while protecting our beloved parks and outdoors. To counteract previous policies that pushed Carnation toward bedroom community, the focus must shift to welcome recreating visitors and drive revenue for the city such as agricultural and ecological tourism, as well as outdoor festivals and venues. Incentivizing businesses to protect the land makes conservation profitable. While a tiny city of one square mile, Carnation has 38 acres of open space and recreational land within and adjacent to city limits and 500 additional acres in public ownership by King County, Riverview School District, and the State of Washington. We must preserve this space and stop inconsiderate development choices.

In your opinion, is the city headed in the right direction?

G: Yes and no. Our current focus on infrastructure improvement and Tolt Dam Emergency Preparedness are definitely moving in the right direction. I’d like to see the Council be more responsive to citizen feedback and not ignore citizen and committee feedback as has happened in the past.

M: The City Council lacks the perspective of young families who made huge financial sacrifices to put down roots in the Valley. This means that simple things like building a sidewalk can be deprioritized for a decade, forcing parents to push baby strollers or seniors to walk their dogs literally in the busy street with no lighting and poor visibility for drivers. I’m committed to an intersectional approach so decisions reflect our diverse population, including children, elders, and people of color. Furthermore, I have found that the current Council embraces divisive rhetoric that pits the City against residents. I’m tired of hearing public officials talk to concerned neighbors with disdain. We are a community that needs to take care of each other. An elected official represents everyone, not just the people who agree with their voting record. I want to see policy reflect the opinions and desires of the town, because right now it seems like public hearings and committees exist to merely check a box instead of influencing the behavior of Council members


Council Position 4 — Ryan Burrell v. Max Voelker

Ryan Burrell (left) and Max Voelker. Courtesy photos.

Ryan Burrell is a current city councilmember and works as a business analyst at Costco. Max Voelker is a senior producer at Epic Games and hold a bachelors in philosophy from Eastern Illinois University.

Tells us about yourself and why you’re running for city council.

Burrell: As a 20 year resident and a busy parent of two kids born and raised in the Valley, I wanted to find a way to give back to my community. Both of my kids are in high school and work in our community. I’m seeing first hand the challenges of a future for them on the west side of the Cascades. I see affordable housing options for anyone outside of the tech industry slipping away as housing inventory falls further and further behind. I want to strike the right balance between providing opportunities for those without high incomes to live in our community, preserving our small town character, providing additional jobs, and protecting our environment.

Voelker: I’m a project manager with proven experience defining goals, building plans, and coordinating teams to drive successful outcomes, and I will use these skills to ensure that the council and the community are working together to protect our resources, protect our citizens, and grow safely and intentionally. We’ll need the city to work with groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Lee Arts Foundation, the Parks and Planning board, and other citizens groups to identify an action plan, and I will be an active leader in bringing everyone together and moving in the same direction. I am also connected to and passionate about the people that make Carnation, Carnation. I’ve sat with many of you, talked about your fears, and I’m committed to carrying those concerns with me and bringing solutions to the city to ensure no one is left behind.

If elected, what would your top three priorities be?

B: 1) Enable some workforce and affordable housing options near the downtown core. 2) Preserving our small town character and protecting our environment. 3)Creating job opportunities and strengthening existing businesses.

V: Ensure that any growth within Carnation is economically, infrastructurally, and ecologically sustainable. Protect the economically vulnerable members of the community, focusing on those living on a fixed income and ensuring neighbors of all financial means have a path to remain a part of the community. Spearhead an action committee composed of representatives from the city as well as organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Lee Arts Foundation, the Salish tribe, etc, to ensure that we as a community are aligned on what our overall goals are, the roles that each of us play driving to those goals, and driving accountability in doing the work to move those forward.

What issue or issues do you see as the most significant challenges over the next few years? Tell us why you are uniquely qualified to handle or find a solution to these issues.


One of the largest challenges we face immediately in the city is the lack of traffic mitigation at the new MainVue Development. Proper traffic mitigation such as turn pockets and center-turn medians is essential. We need roads and other infrastructure in place ahead of development rather than constantly playing catch-up. The lack of traffic mitigation along Tolt Avenue and at Tolt Hill Road continues to be a major challenge to the city’s ability to sustain itself economically and maintain its quality of life.

Economic diversification for the city – Right now our biggest employers in the city are service workers and the school district. We need to further diversify our jobs base to create a more resilient local economy that can attract and support businesses on Tolt Avenue. These jobs can also help to provide additional support to our service sector jobs outside of the summer tourist season.

Housing development and Growth pressure coming from the state: The Growth Management Act housing targets from the State/County want us to have a growth target of nearly 800 homes in the next 20 years. It is not realistic to double in size in the next 20 years.

I believe I’m the best qualified candidate to tackle many issues because I bring a positive, consensus style approach to the council. I am open to all perspectives and work hard to bring them together to come up with the most effective solution. I am willing to acknowledge if I am wrong and I take responsibility for my decisions and do my best to explain my reasoning. I believe that we can bring in some business growth and improve the livability of our city at the same time.

V: There are several key decisions around strategic growth and annexation that need to be carefully considered and negotiated. This next council will be making decisions for the city in terms of sustainable growth and ecological/agricultural character that have generational implications. When you build a house, you have to be able to support it. When you cut down a 100-year-old tree, you have to understand and offset that impact. In my job, I’m regularly asked to make snap decisions with far-reaching repercussions, and I’m an expert at quickly identifying the challenges, finding experts to inform the decisions, and building consensus. I will find a way to be informed, and I will ensure that those informed decisions are executed.

How are you currently involved in the community?

B: I was appointed one year ago as an interim appointee to the council, so my work on the Safety and Community and Economic Development Committees and Council as a whole take up the majority of my free time. I volunteer for other events as often as possible, such as Earth Day, Chamber of Commerce and the School District. I also attend meetings of the Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association, the Association of Washington Cities, and the Sound Cities Association.

V: Folks may recognize me around town from my times hosting trivia, helping out with karaoke, or my sponsorship of things like the Snoqualmie Valley Pride picnic and Brodie Nation Music Festival. Mostly I’ve been out there sitting amongst my fellow citizens, talking about local issues, and figuring out how we can all make positive change together.

Tell us about your professional experience and how it would benefit the city council.

B: I was a Staff Manager at Costco Wholesale leading both hourly employees and other managers for nine years. At one point, I led an area with 120 employees, three managers, and 14 supervisors in three different departments. I was responsible at varying times for a budget that exceeded $280 million dollars in total sales. The labor budget was around 3.5%.

I have been employed the last 5 years as a Business Analyst/Project Manager for Costco. I have worked on a team with an individual project budget that exceeds $60 million dollars. Project management has a fair amount in common with local government work. There are a variety of stakeholders and objectives and many groups with different interests. Transparency, openness, and collaboration are extremely important in both the private sector and local government.

V: I am a Producer / Project Manager by trade. In my current role as Senior Producer for Cloud and Data for Epic Games I’m responsible for teams that support one of the largest entertainment experiences in the world. I will be bringing my organizational expertise and ability to make difficult decisions under pressure to advocate for what I believe is right for Carnation, and have the hard conversations in a productive, collaborative way to get folks moving in the same direction towards positive change.

Housing in our community has become unaffordable for many – including service workers, first responders, law enforcement and teachers. What policies or ideas would you support to address this?


This is one of the most difficult issues we face in the region. We are very quickly finding ourselves with two types of residents in the Valley: Those who have been homeowners here for many years or those who are wealthy enough to purchase homes. As a result, we are rapidly heading toward the same problem the Bay Area Region has run into. I’ve talked to many different people who work in the service sector in Carnation. One lives in town and can barely afford the rent and all the others commute in. Residents all across the Snoqualmie Valley and exurban areas are pushing back hard against large scale development, and justifiably so. There is no way that smaller towns and communities should have to take on a disproportionate burden of the housing boom.


-Densification laws targeting large cities should be a huge part of this. Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma are large population centers capable of handling the growth and they should shoulder the largest burden.

Start building transportation infrastructure ahead of growth across the state. The Snoqualmie Valley and outlying areas simply cannot handle the growth. It’s like pulling teeth just to get traffic calming measures at areas approaching our town let alone getting a roundabout or other traffic mitigation measures through our town.

More support for environmental mitigation in the Valley to handle the increased growth. Raising roads, restoring rivers, and restoring wildlife habitat will need to be in the same conversations regarding residential housing growth. We need to maintain the quality of life for those who live here.

-Support organizations like the Association of Washington Cities and the Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association. These organizations allow cities and regions to pool their resources and punch above their weight.

V: In terms of direct city impact, the best bets are to incentivize diverse commercial and industrial businesses to come to the area to help fund needed city infrastructure and improvements without further burdening its citizens. [We need to] ensure that any new residential development in the area both comes with commensurate infrastructure and commercial improvements attached, and that development plans include a diverse economic variety of housing options to ensure that anyone who wants to be a part of the community can be. Outside of those things, the best thing we can do is build relationships with King County and state government, bring them out to us to see the fantastic community, and help them understand why we need their support to protect that.

How would you balance the need for economic development and more housing with sustainability and preserving our community’s small-town feel?

B: Threading the needle here is very difficult. The best we can do is try to strike a compromise between providing some residential housing and maintaining our small town feel. I believe our city and most of the Snoqualmie Valley is on the same page here when it comes to growth targets required by the Growth Management Act. It’s one thing to ask cities to grow, but we are being asked to double in size in the next 20 years. The state is asking us to grow by 800 housing units, which would double the size of the town. We have responded by proposing to grow by less than half that number.

Other measures we are taking: 1) Strengthening design standards in residential and commercial development so that new construction will reflect the look and feel of Carnation. 2) Improving infrastructure in the town. Improving sidewalks and roads to connect different parts of town together to encourage pedestrians and biking around town. 3) Making sure growth pays for growth and improves transportation and pedestrian movement through the city. 4) Revising and strengthening our tree code to begin the work of improving tree canopy in the city. 5) Diversifying our job base to help support businesses and shopping in town to reduce excess commuting.

V:I think there’s a false premise in this question. Residential growth for the city is a short-term boon, but it’s an overall economic burden, so the notion of a “need” for more housing in a 1.1 square mile town I think isn’t accurate. That said, with the annexations, we have an opportunity to grow our overall economic development in an intentional way by putting together comprehensive plans with developers to invest heavily in diverse commercial, agricultural, and recreational space to offset the financial implications of more houses. I also want to lean heavily on the Tree Committee for not only a new city tree policy but a more holistic idea of how we can guarantee ecological sustainability while still growing the city. We have experts here that want to help, and I intend to listen to them.

In your opinion, is the city headed in the right direction? If yes, what is it doing well? If not, what needs to change?

B: I believe our city is headed in the right direction, but there is still much to be done. We can strike the right balance between a sane expectation for growth, diversifying our base of jobs, protecting our environment, and preserving the small town character that makes us unique.

V: The city is on a precipice, and the next term will decide a good deal of the future. Developers are looking to build in the city aggressively, and the decisions we make in terms of how we react to those requests will fundamentally affect where we’re headed. A blanket “yes” to these developers means unrestrained and unsustainable residential growth that our budget and infrastructure cannot support, and a loss of the green space that is integral to making Carnation special. A blanket “no” sends them to lobby unincorporated King County, and we potentially lose control of our future. The path forward is to have an active conversation around how the land would be used, how the developers can help support infrastructure growth, and how we best benefit the community to grow while keeping what we love about Carnation.


Council Position 3 — Tim Harris v. Brodie Nelson

Brodie Nelson (left) and Tim Harris. Courtesy photos.

Tim Harris is the current Deputy Mayor on the Carnation City Council. He works as a data and applied scientist at Microsoft and attended California State University Sacramento. Brodie Nelson is a Technical Support Manager at BECU holds a bachelors degree from the University of Washington in Law, societies and justice.

Tells us about yourself and why you’re running for city council.

Harris: I came to Carnation in 2013 and loved the city and the way of life it offered. The growing housing crisis in King County threatened to ruin that way of life and the City Council at the time thought “rooftops to retail to revenue” was the answer to the city’s financial problems. I got involved when there was a plan to increase taxes for police, and decided to run for city council when one of the last pieces of Carnation’s Industrial land was sold to a residential property developer. Turning into a bedroom community would bankrupt the city, and I did not want to be just another part of unincorporated King County to be ignored. Carnation residents deserve regional representation and investment, and sensible local decision-making based on preserving our rural character. I am running to focus on the local economy and our quality of life over unfunded housing mandates.

Nelson: My roots are in the Snoqualmie Valley and I graduated from Mount Si High School 1996 and the University of Washington 2008. My family has lived in Carnation for the last 10 years and our two youngest daughters attend Carnation Elementary and our oldest is at Tolt middle school. I live in a multi-generational home within the downtown core and understand what our community’s past has been and the challenges it faces in the future.We need a leader that can work to bring our community together and focus on our common interests while promoting common sense politics. We need a leader that represents our growing number of families and has direct interest and experience in Carnation schools. I am this leader!

If elected, what would your top three priorities be?

H: 1) The city’s comprehensive plan update will happen in 2024. It will decide how many more houses will be built, the zoning of any land annexed into the city, and the priorities for local economic development. My main goal will be to make sure the city’s policies are financially sound and sustainable while preserving our quality of life. 2) If I am reelected, I will keep representing our interests on the King County Regional Water Quality committee to reduce or eliminate these harms. 3) Carnation is changing its focus away from “rooftops” to building a local economy. Getting the infrastructure investment to support and sustain our local economy is very important. The State and County have not done their part under the Growth Management Act to invest in the infrastructure around Carnation. The City of Seattle has not built the infrastructure required to ensure the safety of Carnation’s residents in the event of a dam failure. Our main corridor has empty lots that are used as investments instead of being part of our economy. There is still a lot of work to do to finish this change and put the city on a stable and sustainable path forward.

N: Preserving the community we know and love. Working to address the multiple vacant lots throughout Carnation. Ensure we have adequate and well-maintained infrastructure – specifically around roads and mitigating traffic.

What issue or issues do you see as the most significant challenges over the next few years? Tell us why you are uniquely qualified to handle or find a solution to these issues.

H: Tectonic shifts in the way people work, social upheaval in large urban centers, and increased impacts of climate change are causing more people to look at Carnation as a place they want to live and raise their family. This creates upward pressure on housing prices and results in an increased proportional share of property taxes hitting our long-time residents – disproportionately impacting our elderly and renters. While these issues require intervention at the state, and county level, it is the role of a city councilmember to advocate effectively for those interventions. It is also critical that city policy is mindful of the macro-environment in which it operates.

I am a systems thinker, and an analyst. I work every day across organizational boundaries to find common-cause with other leaders to effect positive change within my own organization. I leverage data and insights to inform my advocacy and drive solutions that positively impact as many stakeholders as possible. It is these qualities that make me suited to working to bring solutions to Carnation that benefit as many residents as possible – particularly focusing on underrepresented communities that lack a seat at the table today.

N: Continued challenges around non-residential based revenue. Continued challenges around traffic in and out of Carnation. Lack of diversified housing – stratification of existing homeowners and renters. Lack of diversified central business district

How are you currently involved in the community?

H: I’m a “pitch in and get work done” volunteer, and I’m blessed with the financial resources to support several local non-profits, including the Sno-Valley Senior Center, Empower Youth Network, and the Carnation Fourth of July Committee. When there are opportunities to work, whether building and distributing Power Packs to local kids, or setting up barricades and vendor stalls for the Fourth of July, I try to be involved wherever and however I can.

N: I volunteer with my wife in our local schools and work with local community based organizations to help others with food accessibility needs.

Tell us about your professional experience and how it would benefit the city council.

H: I haven’t worked for a local business in Carnation, but I have worked in a small business. One of my first jobs out of college was as a typesetter for a local real-estate magazine. I’ve worked for a couple of small industrial companies making filtration products and high-precision tubing for aerospace customers. I know what it is to get your hands dirty, and how important quality workmanship is. In software companies, I’ve managed small engineering teams with twenty employees spread across the world, and have been responsible for projects in the tens of millions.

In a council-manager form of government, it is critical that councilmembers remember that their responsibility is to empower the city manager’s success instead of trying to do her job. My experience enables me to understand the complexity of the challenges she faces, to act as a sounding board for her, and to leverage my seat to address challenges she may face at the county or state.

N: I have worked in leadership my entire career and currently manage a team of 27. In the past I have also led other leaders and had a division that totaled 80-plus team members. I have never run a local business in Carnation. My experience would benefit the city council as I am not currently a politician and am able to act independently to meet the needs of the community.

Housing in our community has become unaffordable for many – including service workers, first responders, law enforcement and teachers. What policies or ideas would you support to address this?

H: The challenge of housing in Carnation is systemic in nature. There is very little a city of 2,200 people that is one square mile in size can do to impact housing affordability being driven by the regional economy. We simply don’t have enough land to “build our way to affordability”, and any attempt to do so would destroy the quality of life we enjoy. We can leverage zoning to protect affordability to an extent, such as Mobile Home Park zoning, and affordable housing designations for specific areas in town. We can also pursue grant funding and volunteer opportunities to help seniors maintain their properties so they can age in place.

The larger question of affordability requires structural changes at the state level. Our state’s tax system is one of the most regressive in the nation. It compounds the problem of scarcity by driving up taxes and rents for service workers, first responders, law enforcement, and teachers.I will continue to advocate for tax reform and additional grant opportunities at the state and county levels while also reminding our representatives that the overly simplistic “build more houses” approach they’re taking elsewhere doesn’t work in Carnation.

N: Preserve existing affordable housing like the Carnation mobile home park. Create zoning requirements that push developers to create fair and equitable housing for all.

How would you balance the need for economic development and more housing with sustainability and preserving our community’s small-town feel?

H:Carnation does not need more housing given the state of the infrastructure that surrounds us. SR 203 will not get wider. County roads will not be getting capacity improvements. We aren’t building new schools. We already question whether Carnation could safely evacuate in the event of a dam failure. There will be some additional housing built as in-fill development in existing residential zones, but I am against bringing any new residential land into the city.

Our focus should be almost exclusively on economic development that complements the strengths we have today. With more musicians and events per capita, Carnation is the music capital of King County. We have two rivers, forests, and access to biking and hiking and fishing and hunting. We are surrounded by farms growing healthy foods. We have incredible assets to protect and leverage to grow our economy. Our focus should be on using these strengths. We need to build an economy that entices the region to come visit Carnation, spend their money, then turn around and go home to tell their friends about what a great time they had.

N: Any future developmental projects need to reflect the character of the community while also providing affordable housing for middle and low income families. Likewise, any future economic development needs to provide small business opportunities for our community members and people that want to do business here.

In your opinion, is the city headed in the right direction? If yes, what is it doing well? If not, what needs to change?

H: The city is no longer headed in the wrong direction. It is in the middle of a course correction that will take a couple of more years to complete. It has a renewed focus on supporting and servicing its residents instead of housing developers. It is repairing its assets and investing in preventative maintenance instead of just letting things deteriorate and break. We have eliminated the waste from the budget and put financial controls in place to ensure we collect all the money we’re owed by developers instead of simply “forgetting to bill”. Carnation’s voice is being heard at the county and at the state in ways it has not been heard before, and it is “punching above its weight”.

Carnation needs a council that is focused on keeping this momentum going and that isn’t tempted to go for the “easy one-time money” offered by residential real-estate developers. It needs effective advocates that put in the time and research and depth – who do the work behind the scenes instead of just showing up when there’s a camera. It needs a council that can disagree respectfully, and that is willing to work together despite policy differences.

It’s easy to look at the state of things and see a glass half empty. There is always something you wish was better. But when I think back to where Carnation was four years ago, and the direction it was headed, and all the challenges it has weathered in the interim, I am excited to see what we can accomplish together over the next four.

N: Greater accountability for developers within Carnation. Additional focus on maintaining and improving existing infrastructure. Ensuring that people in leadership are reflecting the needs of the community while promoting common sense ideas.


Council Position 1 — Adair Hawkins (unopposed)

Adair Hawkins. Courtesy photo.

Councilmember Adair Hawkins is running unopposed in her reelection bid.