Dick's Top 6 Priorities as Mayor
If I am chosen by the voters to become your next mayor, here are some of the priorities of my administration to be discussed, of course, with our town council and our citizens before implementation. This will be an evolving list and I seek your input.
# 1 Public Safety: To help the town leadership we should consider forming a public safety committee. I was a volunteer member of our town’s public safety committee from 1996-1998 and my daughter Jennifer Muri was chosen to be the high school representative.
My initial thoughts would be a 9 member committee which would meet six times per year. Our contract with the West Pierce Fire District will need to be renewed. Inputs from our towns many active and retired firefighters is essential.
# 2 Transportation Infrastructure: We are blessed to have some of the best (if not the best) roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails in Pierce County. Mayor Ron Lucas gets full credit for his incredible leadership and knowledge of transportation issues and funding. We need to continue our town's superb maintenance programs. As they say, "a stitch in time saves nine". I served on the Transportation Committees in the state legislature and the Pierce County Council.
# 3 Utility Infrastructure: We may be a small town of two square miles and 6,200 residents, but we have a full-time utility system. We operate an electric utility with power purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Fortunately our leaders in the 1970s made it a priority to underground our utilities so we have a very safe and reliable system. We also need to look to ways to keep electric rates as low as possible while promoting conservation. We also need encourage those homeowners and businesses who want to install solar power by providing information and by making the permitting process as inexpensive and easy as possible. Our water district is doing well; we are again fortunate that we have a very nice agreement with the Lakewood Water District to buy water which we distribute through our systems. We own our sewer system infrastructure but pay Pierce County for waste water treatment. I worked these issues for the town when I served on the Pierce County Council from 2003 - 2012. Storm water management is important and we need to make sure that all water that eventually flows into the Puget Sound is as clean as possible.
# 4 Environment, Sustainability and Emergency Preparedness: These issues are all tied together in many ways. There are lots of issues to discuss here; from proper management of Farrell’s Marsh Wildlife area, Chambers Bay, our shoreline, and our parks, to our ability to safely and economically transition from dependence on foreign oil. What worries me the most? The worst case scenario of a massive earthquake in the middle of the night in the winter. How do we as a town help each other to maintain shelter, warmth, medical aid, security, and sustenance? The best way to survive an emergency is to have written plans. Knowledge is power. We best do this by another 9 member citizen’s committee. I have discussed this with many residents. We will be the best organized and equipped municipality in the state.
#5 - Fiscal prudence: We have been blessed these past twenty years with outstanding leadership from Ron Lucas and the administration of Paul Loveless. In 2001 it was a tough time fiscally for our town. Since then we have rebounded and have built incredible reserves and thus we should be able to maintain the current levels of service without a tax increase.
#6 - Transparency: All decisions and all legally disclosable information needs to be made public. I will look for methods to keep the public informed of all issues and the discussion of those issues and potential solutions will be made in public. Maintaining and enhancing our town’s website and social media will be a priority.