Hayes is battling Rich Hartman and David Linn in the Position 7 primary. Top two vote getters move on to the general election. As the first candidate to answer the North Beach News’ questions, Hayes gets the honor of his answers being posted first. His answers are in bold/italic:
Question: What, if any, do you assess to be major areas of concern for OS — and what if any are your plans to fix them?
Answer: Transparency, Public Safety and our Fresh Waterways are our three major concerns.
- Be open: Tell us when something is happening. Use the city website to communicate to the citizens. If we get hit with a lawsuit, let us know. If we lose, tell us that immediately. How hard is it to say, “I’m sorry today Mr. Smith has filed a lawsuit against us claiming he was mistreated. We find the lawsuit frivolous and will defend ourselves to the fullest extent of the law.” Or, “Our road project ran into unforeseen problems and the cost just jumped 15%. This is how we will deal with this expected increase in cost…..”
- Accountability: Don’t compete against our own citizens. We saw this happen when the city outbid at least two different businesses ventures, in the purchase of the movie theater. The city could bid more because they have deep pockets from our tax money.”
- Public records should be online and easily accessible to everyone. I understand that not all records can be online but certainly permits, emails, city documents etc. can be. Imagine being able to get an accident report without filling out a Public Records Request.
- The city should be held to a higher standard of accountability than a normal citizen. No side deals, no veil of secrecy.
- Finance Committee Meetings should be public.
- Honesty: When asked a question…. tell the truth. Court records indicate that this is not always happening.
I consider Public Safety as ”The safeguarding people from crimes, disaster, potential dangers and threats.” Our city has a responsibility to its citizens and the thousands of visitors that come to enjoy our town and beaches.
In order to fulfill our obligations we need to once-and-for-all address the lack of crosswalks downtown. During the busy summer months, traffic and pedestrians are at odds. We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve not had many serious injuries.
We need to address extending the firebreak from the hotels, south, down the dunes, to protect our citizen’s homes. We saw the need to protect the hotels and downtown area. We are foolish not to see the danger we face if a fire were to break out near these homes.
We need to develop a plan to have safe walking paths along our major roads. These don’t have to be sidewalks per se, but a safe pathway away from the cars and traffic.
- We, as a community need to completely buy into any proposed solution. Last week a candidate offered an opinion, on social media, for what they thought was a good idea. The Facebook crowd shouted it down. I came to the realization that we have over 6,000 residents and we have 8,000 differing ideas. Nothing will get done unless the majority of people support a plan. Without unification as a group; nothing will advance forward.
- We have two organizations whose charter it is to protect, manage and preserve our waterways. These groups have dedicated, intelligent members that have studied the problem for many years. They are the experts! I suggest we let them propose a solution and then we, as a community can either support or reject it.
- Remember; the rules that existed at the time the lakes and canals were dug no longer exist. We now have to deal with multiple government agencies. There are many regulations we need to follow. Options from the past may not be available today.
- The council has financial authority. They vote to allocate funds for whatever projects are chosen. I certainly would be in favor of any project supported by the majority of residents. However, we’d have to make sure the costs are reasonable and we have known revenue streams to pay for it
- Speaking for myself, I would support any effort to get the waterways dredged. (And I’m not sure that is an option anymore) It won’t be easy. It won’t be cheap. And we would have to work with the state to do it. I’ve said it more than once; I see it as Ocean Shores Moonshot program. It needs to be done.
Q: OS looks to be on pace for record revenues — what should the money be spent on?
A: The money should be spent to enhance our public safety. We need crosswalks (plural) for our downtown area, a firebreak extending from the hotels, south, down the dunes, behind our residents homes. We cannot get firefighting equipment back there to fight any fires.
We need safe walkways on our major streets for pedestrians. Clean up our nuisance properties.
We need to fund a new department. The Fresh Waterways Department Of Maintenance. They would be responsible for the maintenance and protection of the waterways. Working along side the Fresh Waterways Advisory Board and with direction of the mayor, the FWDM would be chartered to address the maintenance and issues of our lake and canals.
Q: What are your thoughts on the firing and subsequent lawsuit of former OS Fire Chief David Bathke?
A: The lawsuit was unfortunately justified, as was the judgment. I am not happy at all with having to pay for it but I believe in fair play and the rule of law. The city’s blatant disregard for employment law, standard HR practices and them taking the firefighter’s side (whose overtime was cut because of the Chief) without a proper investigation is the reason we received a $735,000 judgment.
Q: What “fresh” ideas do you have to tackle the weed/algae problem on the city’s fresh water system?
We’ve had what, five mayors and maybe twenty council members and over twenty years trying to solve these problems? There is no a silver bullet solution. I am no aquatic expert. I would ask our two groups that currently oversee the Fresh Waterways. We need to listen to the experts! Let them propose solutions. Then we, as a community can vote to embrase or reject the plan. We need to determine if the cost is acceptable to us as taxpayers. Once we have consensus, we dedicate our time completely to putting the solution in place. No delay, no kicking the can down the road. Do nothing else until we solve the problem.
-What is your track record as far as listening to and responding to complaints from citizens (and/or customers)?
I can be reached anytime, anywhere. My phone number is available, call or text me. Facebook/Messenger is always available; I’m immediately notified. Email me. Or stop by my house. A couple of examples of how available I am; During the Candidate Forum I received two questions from constituents. I was able to answer and still participate in the forum. Another time, I was on vacation in Iceland. I was at a glacier in the middle of nowhere (they have Wi-Fi throughout the country). I received a message and I responded within five minutes.
-What are your thoughts on the golf course?
The golf course should be one of the jewels in the city’s treasure chest for promoting the city and to provide recreation for our citizens. I would fund projects that improve and promote it; providing the data shows that it will bring more people to our town. We do however; need to get a better contract that brings money to the city. We pay far more money to maintain the golf course. More than twenty times the amount we lease it for. We can use this revenue to offset the tremendous expense we incur.
-With a strong field of candidates — why should someone vote for you?
- I believe in the saying. “If it’s a priority you will get it done, if it’s not, you will find an excuse.”
- I will represent the citizens, and not my personal interests. The citizens are the reason the city exists. The citizens are the people we serve.
- I will make this city answer to its citizens. I will fight for the things they want. I, along with our other council member will be open, honest and available to the voters.
- As stated previously, my immediate priorities are; Focus on getting our crosswalks completed. Get the firebreak extended. And do it at a cost that is acceptable to the citizens. The citizens of this city deserve nothing less.
- I will do the best to spend the citizen’s money wisely. I will vote to spend their money as if it were mine.
- I will listen to everyone one in our community and not just a chosen few.
- I will do my best to research every issue that is brought forward to council and to completely understand what all the complexities are. I will not rely on conversations and promises. I need to see the facts for myself.
- I am honest. I won’t lie to you. Even if it’s not something you want to hear.
- I am driven, and tenuous. I firmly believe there is a solution to every problem. And we as a community will find the right one together.
- I will not make a penny from serving the community. Any salary paid will be donated to charity.
-How would you communicate with residents especially in times of crisis like the pandemic?
As stated previously, I’m available by phone, text, email, Instant Messenger, FaceTime and through my website. I’m available to meet with anyone in person if they’d like.
-What is your vision for the town? Another Seabrook? Add marina like Westport? What do you picture the future to be?
Ocean Shores will never be another Seabrook. Seabrook is a planned community, with a vision and plan from the very beginning. As I have said before, it’s up to the citizens to determine what our brand is. As council people, it’s our job to work together to make these goals a reality. A marina would be good but this will only come to fruition by private investors. The Quinault owns the Marina. However, it is up for sale. The city should remove any obstacles (within reason) that get in the way of attracting private investors to purchase and develop it.
-How do you feel about dumpsters on the beach and affordable housing?
I’ve advocated having dumpsters up and down our beaches and not only at the approaches. Make it easy as possible for our visitors to throw their trash away. If it’s close they will walk and utilize it. If not, they will leave it on the beach.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard someone say they are against affordable housing. But this is for the private sector to address. If it makes good, sound financial sense, investors will build them. The city is not in the business of being a landlord. Perhaps the city could, when advantageous change zoning restrictions or some kind of tax credit.
What do you think about more crosswalks in the business area?
As I’ve stated earlier, crosswalks are mandatory for our business areas.
-How do you feel about off-leash dog parks?
I am all for an off-leash dog park. I would probably be the first one to use it!