Running for: OS City Council Position 7. Running against: Rich Hartman
Q: Why haven’t you been more involved in the city, such as a volunteer on boards?
The answer is simple. Just this year I applied to the Planning Commission and was turned down. You can only get on a board or commission if the mayor nominates and appoints you. I have very little chance of that happening, as I have been a critic of the mayor. As a result I decided to run for the most influential governing body this city has, one that the mayor does not appoint: City Council. I leave it to the citizens of this city to decide and I hope they will vote to place me on council.
Q: What have you done as a private citizen in Ocean Shores to make you worthy of being elected to represent the city?
A: I have worked very hard to improve our community. I have attended and listened to our council and other city meetings. I have been the voice for many of our citizens who could not participate or felt uncomfortable navigating our city processes.
I spoke out many times at City Council against the city swapping Perkins Pond for Chinook Park. We were successful.
I spoke out and marched with the other citizens to stop roadside spraying. We were victorious.
I spoke many times at council advocating giving the COVID CARES money to our local businesses instead of the Convention Center providing the meals (and keeping two $100,000 employees working). I wanted the restaurants to contract and provide the meals. This would have kept our businesses busy in a time when they were not. But most importantly, the CARES money would have paid the salaries of the employees in our business community, keeping them working, paying their bills, and putting money in their pockets, which, in turn, would have been spent in this town. To this end, I was not successful.
I’ve made the city and the council become more transparent by pointing out RCWs and laws that we as a city were not following. This helps all citizens.
My wife and I always participate in the Fourth of July clean up.
My wife and I have donated money privately and quietly to many of the charitable groups here in town.
I have donated my time and photographs for different organizations raising money and awareness for their causes.
My wife volunteers at the Ocean Shores Elementary for many of its projects and activities, while I contributed my time and money by building carnival games for the school.
We are members of the Elks Lodge.
Finally, this Christmas, we will be giving over one hundred gifts to the children of the North Beach.
As you can see, I am active both civically and socially in making Ocean Shores a better place than I found it.
Q: Your opponent has extensive experience in managing people and large budgets. What do you bring to the table as far as experience with budgets and management?
This question presupposes that I don’t have experience with large budgets and managing people. Saying that, the position of a councilperson is not responsible for ‘management of large budgets’, nor is it to ‘manage people’. These are the responsibility of the Administrative branch of our city government. This concept appears to be lost on my opponent. He is much more concerned with hiring people and talking to staff. I’ve said this many times before. Council people do not hire staff. Council people are forbidden from speaking to staff unless the mayor has authorized it.
It is a councilperson’s job to review and approve the budget, based upon what the mayor and city staff present. We do not have control of what is presented during budget time. We must, as a council, ask the pertinent questions and decide if we should fund a particular budget and/or items. But saying this, my experience is:
I was Director of Operations for a $200 million dollar high tech hard disk drive company with over 2200 employees. My responsibilities included all operations, both here in the U.S. and our factory in Singapore. I was responsible for (along with our directors and managers) for Manufacturing, Planning, Material Handling, Quality Assurance, Human Resources, and Inventory Control, and of course, budgeting.
It was my responsibility to create our multi-million dollar budgets. I would present them to the Board of Directors for approval. Once approved it was my responsibility to produce our product within the constraints of the budget. The end result was to ship a quarter of a million hard disk drives, on time and on budget. We never missed a deadline or went over budget.
My partner and I eventually bought the assets from my previous company. Together we ran a hard disk repair company, dealing with budgets and employees. We were profitable every single month of operation and I sold my interest in 1991.
I’ve worked for and consulted to The Walt Disney Company. I created IT budgets for corporate users and made presentations to the executive committee to get them approved. I always got budget approval.
Q: Your opponent has complimented your technology knowledge and experience and said you are “a good guy.” What nice things to you have to say about him?
A: This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not about being the nicest guy in the room. We are elected to make very difficult decisions. decisions where sometimes the outcome may not be not popular. Having said that, I have no animosity towards my opponent. I don’t know him well enough to say anything about him. We have never have spoken at any length, but I think he has some good ideas. We agree on many of the topics that face Ocean Shores. The difference is probably how we would attack the problems. There’s nothing wrong about that, just different approaches. I wish him well and he will have my support if he wins this election.