With the passing of legendary Milton stalwart Lois Zaroudny last August, the Milton City Council was tasked with finding a replacement for her position on the team. They landed on Tom Boyle, a longtime Milton resident who spent time on both the Planning Commission and the Parks Board. The Milton-Edgewood Signal sat down with the new council member to get an idea of what he brings to the table.
Milton Edgewood Signal (MES): Let’s start at the beginning, with your history in Milton.
Tom Boyle: I graduated from Fife High School, and my wife graduated from Fife High School. I’m a third generation high school graduate. Then we moved way to Northeast Tacoma and then got married and settled in Milton about 12 years ago. I immediately got involved with the Events Committee as a founding member under the direction of Mayor [Debra] Perry. Going back a few years, Mayor [Katrina] Asay brought me in on the planning commission and we formed the Events Committee. I ended up becoming chairman and we put on the huge Milton Days for about three years. I resigned from the Events Committee then about eight months ago I finished my six-year term on the Planning Commission. With the passing of Lois, the vacancy came up and so I was like ‘well, I already know what’s going on from being on the Planning Commission,’ I follow council, I go to most of the meetings and so I was abreast of what’s happening, so I thought I would be a good fit. I thought I could just jump in running and work with council. I already worked on the 2012 vision, I listen to the citizens and I know what the citizens want so now I can just take that to the next step and start implementing that.
MES: What motivates you to do that? Why put this much time and effort into Milton?
Boyle: It’s kind of cliché to say, but [Milton] is close to my heart. I grew up here. You want to continue to see it thrive and expand as far as businesses go and you want to keep your eye on the traffic and make sure the walkability is good. Really it comes down to I like to see what the government is doing, I want to know what they’re doing. There’s basically seven people representing the entire city, so if I don’t agree with something or if I see government doing something that’s maybe over-stepping their bounds or something, I want to be there, I want to be that voice. So it comes down to this is my vision of Milton as well as the citizens’ vision and I just want to make sure it’s implemented correctly. The best way to do that is to get involved. This council will listen; they will listen to the people. Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don’t get what you want but at least they’re listening and they understand what people want and you go in and do the best you can. A lot of times it’s a fine line between what the government allows and what the citizens want, and you have to work that fine line. I learned a lot of that on the Planning Commission.
MES: Can you name some of your goals for being on the council, what would you like to see?
Boyle: I’d like to see our park system improve and expand. I was appointed when Lois passed away and I worked with Lois on the Planning Commission and I know she was really passionate about the parks. I would like to continue that on and honor her that way, to see our parks improve and expand. Also, I think with all the building going on down on Freeman Road and the projects going on near the post office, you’re going to see a lot more traffic in Milton and that’s something that we need to keep our eye on – traffic congestion and an easy flow through Milton, not too fast. I wouldn’t mind seeing Milton Way down to 25 MPH, and Porter Way as well. I definitely want to encourage growth down in our commercial district on Highway 99.
MES: Can you talk about what you bring to the council, what your voice and role will be?
Tom: I said this when I was on Planning Commission: I’m not the smartest person in the room. But I look at things and I say, “Well, I just don’t understand why this is the way it is,” and a lot of times I’ll bring that up at a meeting and people are like, “Well hey, if he doesn’t understand it, maybe we should take another look at this.” So I bring that aspect to it. Also I got my ear to the ground in Milton and I know a lot of people. I bartended at Dave’s for a few years, I’ve lived here, I get around town I’m really open and will talk to just about anybody. I listen to people and I have a feel for the people of Milton and what their version is. I think I bring that – I’m in touch with the community.
MES: Is there anything else you think people should know about you?
MES: What are your some hobbies, interests?
Boyle: I have a Beatles collection downstairs in my house that I call the “Beatles Wing” I’ve collected Beatles memorabilia and albums and I have a juke box. I have a full costume set of Sgt. Pepper outfits so on Halloween my wife and I and another couple dress up as Sergeant Peppers. I’ve been on multiple Beatles cruises and I’ve been to the Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas a couple times. My daughter and I go see Beatles tribute bands constantly, so yeah, that’s my thing.
MES: What Beatles song best represents your philosophy going into council?
Boyle: “All You Need is Love.” All you need is love in Milton.