Eight vie for five potential Bull Mtn. council seats
BULL MOUNTIAN - Eight people have registered for five city council positions that would become available if Bull Mountian is incorporated as a city following the Nov. 7 election. If incorporation is approved, the city would come into being as soon as the votes are certified, and the top five vote-getters would assume the council seats Jan. 1. The council would then appoint a mayor from among themselves during the first council meeting in January.
The Times asked three questions of the candidates:
(1) Why are you running for city council?
(2) What do you think the biggest issues facing the new city will be?
(3) How do you plan to address them?
Question 1: As a member of the management committee for incorporation (of Bull Mountain) and an owner of three homes on the mountain, I understand the hopes and concerns we all have for the community. I will bring my entrepreneur, business and creative mindset to the table to ensure that Bull Mountain is a desirable place for generations to come.
Question 2: I look at the issues in front of us more as opportunities. We have opportunities to address park spaces and walking trails. We have opportunities to address future planning, density and livability concerns. We have opportunities to ensure that we create a city that citizens want to be a part of and be proud to call Bull Mountain home.
Question 3: I plan to address then the same way I address my business ventures. I would identify the need, look at the resources available and come up with the best strategy that will yield a positive result. We have an incredible amount of talent and resources in our community and an incredible group of citizens running for city council. With this talent pool of success-minded and results-driven individuals, we will work through everything, therefore ultimately placing us in a better position than when we started.
Steven C. Burke
Question 1:I am running because I deeply care about my community and want to be involved. The incorporation of a new city is a rare and extraordinary event. How the city starts will establish its institutional character. Its character will reflect on the quality of life in the community. I want a responsible government that will consider the interests of the community as a whole before the interests of the government. Unfortunately, too many local governments do what is in the interest of the government but not the citizens it serves. Local government should not cater exclusively to special interests or the vocal minority. It should not put form over substance. The goal of government is to maintain livability provide service while keeping costs to a minimum.
Question 2: Creating parks is the biggest issue. The new city budget will take a lot of work to develop in detail, and bringing parks to this community will take hard work, creative government and patience. We know we have the tools to bring parks, but to attain our short-term and long-term goals, we will have to spend considerable time developing the solutions. After parks, the biggest issue is giving the citizens of Bull Mountain the best services using the most cost-effective means.
Question 3: I plan to develop good relations with local, state and federal agencies to work on our plan for parks. Partnerships are key to bringing Bull Mountain parks quickly while controlling costs. The key is to build positive relationships with our neighboring cities and agencies with mutual interests. Together we can make it work. Another plan is to seek land grants from private parties to bring about public lands that will preserve the character of Bull Mountain, control development and assure that our families have a place to gather. In terms of controlling costs, the key is to look around the region and see what has worked and what does not. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. We have tremendous resources to draw upon to assist the city in its development. If we draw upon that information, we can't fail.
Question 1: I am running for city council because I feel obligated to do my part to help get the new city off to a good start since I have been very involved in getting the issue in front of the voters. Also I can bring my skills in finance and accounting to assist in a practical way. I am pragmatic by nature, and I feel that will be an asset as the new council deals with the issues before it.
Question 2: The biggest issues will be developing a good city charter that will meet the needs of the city and allow the city to meet the needs of its citizens. Also long-term comprehensive planning will be essential to manage the continuing development on the mountain and provide for some future parkland.
Question 3: Key to addressing these issues is citizen involvement. I will push for forming a planning commission and parks advisory board as soon as possible to assist the new city council on these issues.
Question 1: For the past three years I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many talented and committed Bull Mountain residents to ensure a fair vote and a meaningful voice in the future of this wonderful community. I have been encouraged by friends and neighbors to stay actively involved once the city is formed. I remain ready, willing and eager to continue to serve Bull Mountain. I look forward to actively working together with the community to shape our future.
Question 2: The biggest issue facing the city of Bull Mountain will be the need to select the most highly qualified, best-suited interim city manager.
Question 3: The best way to address this issue is for the community and the council candidates to begin thinking about the potential interim city manager candidates now.
Question 1: I care deeply about our Bull Mountain community and want to make it a better place. For three years I have worked with other community volunteers on livability issues, and with the knowledge I have accumulated, I think I can help the new city to get up to speed.
Question 2: Quickly transitioning from an unincorporated area to a lean and efficient small city and molding together a new city council of folks who must learn to work together in a fast-paced environment.
Question 3: First we must recruit a quality interim city manager who can help with the myriad of tasks necessary to get the new city off the ground. Next we must 'think big' and make sure we prioritize and not be pulled into the minutia. A city charter will be an important early step and will require much citizen participation. We must also lock in the key urban service contracts necessary to ensure a seamless transition for the community. Then we must begin work on our comprehensive plan.
Question 1: I love Bull Mountain and want to make sure it reflects the values of the people living here. I have the right skills to succeed in a fiscally responsible and logical manner.
Question 2: I think it will be most important to renegotiate the existing contacts and set up the infrastructure.
Question 3: I suggest we prioritize services and structure needs, and begin with critical items first. An example is addressing public safety and guaranteeing we have adequate coverage for out community.
Question 1: I have been actively involved in the Bull Mountain community since 2003, taken an interest in local affairs, and developed an understanding for the issues and the players. We need to take control into our own hands.
Question 2: Getting started will be a major challenge. In the short term we need to ensure proper arrangements for law enforcement. Then we need to look at how to develop the new UGB areas, making sure that there is ample accommodation for parks and to set up a new arrangement with a water provider.
Question 3: In short to medium terms, we should outsource in a competitive manner. In the longer term, as the city grows it might make sense to perform more functions in-house, but that depends on future economic conditions which are difficult to predict right now. We will have to continuously monitor the costs.
Question 1: I've always had a heart for public service and have been involved in public service for most of my life, both paid and unpaid. With starting a new city, I feel my education (graduate work in public administration) and experience (management levels in government) could be very beneficial.
Question 2: The first year will be extremely important in establishing the new city - charter, ordinances, intergovernmental agreements, contracts, etc. - and most importantly setting the vision for the new city.
Question 3: Involve as many citizens as possible through groups such as neighborhood associations, budget committees, planning commission, citizen task forces and hiring the right city manager.