Growing up in the '80s, Bellingham was a small and simple town. The schools were modest, property taxes were low, and local families ran grocery stores. The gradual and thoughtful renovation of Fairhaiven's historic buildings starkly contrasted with the development of Bellis Fair Mall and the sudden shift in shopping patterns that affected downtown merchants for years to come.
I often think about what is lost as a small town inevitably and irrevocably transforms into a mid-sized city. I miss dinner dates with my wife gobbling down whiskey crab soup at the Cliffside restaurant and find myself lingering in the aisles of Yeager's Sporting Goods a bit longer than needed when I shop there. A bit of community connection is lost as a city grows—new people arrive, and others move on. If we want to retain a small-town sense of community, we will need to work a little harder at it.
I'm sure many of you work at building community in your own ways through hobbies, churches, neighborhood associations, volunteer organizations, and your work, family, and friend networks. I would like to expand my community through public service on the City Council.
Our City Council will make important decisions impacting our growing city's future in the next few years. We will update our most significant long-term planning document, the City of Bellingham Comprehensive Plan, which includes chapters on housing, transportation, economic development, environmental protection, infrastructure, capital facilities, parks, recreation, and open space.
As a Council, we will also be addressing the emergent and evolving danger of Fentanyl and other deadly drugs while continuing to seek solutions to the persistent challenges of homelessness and poverty. The decisions made over the next couple of years are essential and critical to the health and prosperity of our community.
As a Council member, I want to be a conduit for our community members to direct their thoughts, frustrations, wisdom, and experience into the policy-making branch of our local government. I want to listen to you, collaborate with my fellow Council members, and make good decisions on your behalf.
Serving on the City of Bellingham Planning Commission, I learned to listen to community members, receive criticism, respond to requests for information, and hold public hearings. Along with my colleagues on the Commission, we helped draft the current Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2016. As a City Council member, I will apply what I have learned from that experience to inform my decisions and improve outcomes.
Thank you for considering my candidacy for the City of Bellingham at-large position on the City Council. The at-large position is a two-year term, and all registered voters in the City limits are eligible to vote for the at-large candidates in the August 1st primary election. To learn more about my policy priorities, please visit my campaign website at: bellinghamforward.com. I would be honored to earn your vote and be in your service for the next two years.
Editor note: Each candidate for elective public office in Whatcom County is invited to submit a statement for posting on NW Citizen. For specifics, click here.