Hillsboro City Council candidate Kyle Allen wants to keep government service simple.

“We should get back to basics,” said Allen, who is running in Ward 2. “Basic fundamental services and basic fundamental infrastructure; that is the responsibility of government and will be my responsibility as a city councilor.”

A lifelong Oregonian who grew up in the Portland area, Allen is employed as a field manager for Working America, a nonprofit that does community outreach on behalf of the AFL-CIO. He has served as president of the Chelsea Gardens Homeowners’ Association (HOA); as a volunteer reader for Start Making A Reader Today (SMART) at Brookwood Elementary School; he has collected clothing for homeless youth through HomePlate; and he serves on the city of Hillsboro’s budget committee.

While Allen has always been active in the community, he said he’s ready to pursue city office because of what he believes is an unaddressed safety issue.

Allen’s family lives next to Brookwood Elementary, an area with no sidewalks. He recognized there was a problem when he and his son narrowly escaped being hit by a car in an area that had no sidewalk and a drainage ditch next to the road.

“The school has been there since 1968,” said Allen. “They have a plan to build the sidewalk, but unfortunately it has been pushed back to at least 2017. In my opinion, it is a basic need to have sidewalks — at least in front of schools.”

Several charter schools have this issue as well, and W.L. Henry Elementary School is a walk-only school with no sidewalks available. Allen noted there is a tendency in politics not to offer specifics when running for office, but he believes this is one issue people would agree with.

Further, because of the experience he has gained in his time as HOA president, he believes he can resolve the issue by working with other entities.

“I have encountered some challenges,” he said. One of those challenges was a request for a community garden, which seemed to Allen like a good idea. He ran into a great deal of red tape and found there would be huge costs to making the idea a reality.

“I learned that you can’t do it on your own, and you can’t do some things even as a board,” Allen recalled. “Some issues must be coordinated with other groups. Some sidewalks can be done by the city; sometimes we will have to deal with the county commissioners. You have to put in the time and do the hard work to solve those problems.”

Serving on the Hillsboro Budget Committee is also an asset, he explained. He is currently attempting to streamline the processes involved in starting and maintaining small businesses in Hillsboro.

“Most people are actually employed by small businesses,” he said. “I want to find solutions, make the process efficient and adaptable so people can create businesses.”

Allen believes development should be closely monitored and managed, and he thinks the long-term benefits as well as potential issues should be considered.

“I think we should use the space we have. One of the things that makes our city wonderful to live in is, you can ride in on the MAX and you can also go out to a winery and farm, and experience that part of life,” he explained. “I want to make Hillsboro a place that welcomes everybody and doesn’t exclude anybody, if you want to farm or if you want to work at Intel.”

Though he is an alternate delegate for the State Central Committee for the Washington County Democrats, Allen said the council seat he is running for is nonpartisan and he does not want to bring partisan values into the race.

“I’m concentrating on good governing. People need good emergency services: sidewalks to walk on and streets to drive on. I can’t think of anything at the city level that would be a partisan issue,” he said.

Allen is running for the seat being vacated due to term limits by Aron Carleson, the current council president. Despite this fact, he said he has no opinion on whether he believes term limits are a good idea. In fact, he admits there are several issues he will need to think through, including health care.

“There is no silver bullet,” he explained. “I don’t believe people should come in and say they are going to solve every problem on day one. We will need to work together to move forward.”

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