I recently read the article about “Candidate answers bankruptcy questions” ( Sept. 23 edition of the Maple Valley-Covington Reporter) and wondered really Ms. Crowe had to answer the bankruptcy question on the front page of the paper when I have been waiting for our City Council to answer the question, “What is the vision for our community?”
The council’s role in Maple Valley is to create sustainable policy by providing and setting strategic direction for our community. The city manager’s role owns the duty to manage our budget and while assuring staffing ratios are productive. So regardless of whether her family had to file bankruptcy, especially during these difficult times our country and community is facing, she gets my vote come November.
Clearly our community is not immune to the financial hardships as realized by increased numbers who qualify for free and reduced lunch and the increased numbers of mortgage defaults that have hit all neighborhoods, yes in Maple Valley.
We need a candidate that is not afraid to make hard choices and answer them in a public forum. Ms. Crowe’s ability to expose herself open to public scrutiny over a private financial decision leads me to believe she will be honest, forthright and open to the community questioning her decisions made as our community leader. Let’s vote her in.
I wouldn’t classify myself as an expert but I can assure this community I understand how municipal governance should work to achieve success. I have worked for a municipality that can say they participate and have a voice within the larger King County. The city of Maple Valley needs to step up and make some tough decisions on how they want to collaborate with the larger group, the cities in King
County; otherwise we will continue to be a true donut hole city within King County. The cities around us have moved forward, maximized their collaborative efforts to achieve stability for their communities, especially in these times of strained budgets and economic development dilemmas.
I am not advocating for growth, but I am asking is for our community to take a hard look at the current council members biographies and ask yourself what regional county committees they are actively participating on as sitting members and not merely alternates. Ask yourself, at least for the two of members, if their membership has improved the community needs? Then examine whether or not
Maple Valley is being a collaborative partner in order to be proactive rather than reactive? The city can’t simply stay with status quo. I have firsthand experience seeing month after month the Maple Valley seat sit empty at a regional committee.
It’s going on five years since moving to Maple Valley and I have yet to see a tough decision resolved, community planning principals achieved or an identity of what we call Maple Valley. We have the greatest schools, yet they are overcrowded and no community support, we have argued over a piece of property in the middle of the city and if you ask anyone around town, no one really understands what is actually going to be built if Maple Valley gets ownership – matter of fact how are we going to mitigate further community impact – no one really knows. What I have seen is a group of council members who seek their own fame – which drives name recognition for more votes, yeah. They have it down how to get elected. Wake up Maple Valley, we now need courageous activists who can work together among their own but also regionally.
My wish for MV is that we could realize a working council who effectively provides policy and direction to a city manager that can then mange a city to achieve what is needed for the greater good of our community from cradle to grave so the saying goes. If we want to remain small and quaint then we need to look at the turning down the housing growth that has impacted our schools and still continues to do so without hope in site.
If we want our city staff (and need them) to increase the diversity of the tax base, to include planned economic development to support a balance between business and residential planning then we need a sustainable community plan. While looking at potentially bringing a YMCA to town is super idea, where does it fit into the greater economic planning for the community and how is that going to support our tax base and other needs? Perhaps they will build enough space to have classrooms available to our children as our schools burst open because again while we say no to physically growing our school facilities we have said yes to building houses on top of houses and we are still building houses. “If you build it they will come” is so true. We just keep building houses yet are not balancing that growth.
Clearly we have impacts to our schools, community infrastructure and lack of support for business growth to meet the needs of residents. Our local surrounding communities can thank Maple Valley residents for supporting their tax base as that is where we find ourselves having to travel to purchase our goods and services (equates to loosing tax base dollars).
We are a prideful community and we all have our own reasons for moving to this city, but as you dig deeper into just how a city should or could work, we are missing the mark on effective municipality governance meeting its need to sustaining the community. This lack of productive and professional work on behalf of our council and city staff management will result into seeing greater lasting impacts that could adversely affect our city more than just overcrowded schools.
Let’s get real leadership who wants to answer the tough questions, who are vested in long term transitions that have real impacts and vote for something new, I am voting for Ms. Crowe.
Lynnette S. Hynden