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Voting day is Nov. 3 - Fife

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In this issue of the Fife Free Press, we focus on incumbent Bryan Yambe and his challenger, David Zarate, both vying for the Pos. 1 seat on council.

Bryan Yambe Pos. 1

What are the three issues that you plan to address or that form your election platform?

Strong neighborhoods: Strong neighborhoods are the key to our future. You, your family and your neighbors are Fife’s greatest assets. I promised to work at making local government more accessible during my first campaign in 2013. It was an honor to play a part in persuading my colleagues to come of out City Hall and meet with neighbors and citizens at Five Acre Park in Radiance. You gave your input and ideas. We listened. I will continue advocating for more listening tours by City officials, additional resources for community policing, and community grant opportunities. Building a better Fife takes all of us.

A beautiful downtown: Every city needs a heart. Our city’s commercial center was once at the corner of 54th and 20th Avenue East, where the reinstallation of Fife’s Historic Memorial Fountain is taking place. Today’s citizens deserve a city center with shopping, restaurants, and places to proudly share the place we call home with our family, friends and visitors. Our future downtown calls for thoughtful and deliberate planning, with input from citizens, businesses, schools, churches, service organizations and community partners. I’ll fight to make this vision to become reality.

Better roads: For 30 years a bottleneck of related projects has gathered waiting for the State Legislature’s vote to fund SR 167 and complete the SR 509 spur. Heavier traffic on transportation corridors up and down I-5, entering and exiting our neighbor the Port of Tacoma, have greatly impacted local navigation and all-important drive times. We deserve good roads, safe, accessible and attractive, walkable streets. I’ll continue to fight for additional outside funding for these projects, work to break down existing divides between our neighborhoods and find solutions to fully connecting our city together again.

How are you qualified to champion those issues?

I bring over twenty years of experience bringing people of all ages and points of view to the table as a community organizer, precinct committee officer, campaign worker and dedicated community volunteer. I was Best Councilman, Fife Free Press 2014, and serve on the Education Advisory Board, Association of Washington Cities; the Fife-Milton-Edgewood Community Investment Team, and Rainier Communications Commission. I spearheaded the founding of Fife’s first Youth Commission. I’ve represented the city in a delegation to Washington D.C. and lobbied in Olympia for local funding for Fife, transportation projects and testified before a State Legislative Committee on voting rights.

How do you see yourself working, or at odds, with other members of the council?

In my two years on the City Council I’ve earned the respect of my colleagues and a Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities. I’ve been endorsed by Deputy Mayor, Pat Hulcey; Councilmember Winston Marsh; and Councilmember Lew Wolfrom. On council, I’m both a bridge and consensus builder. When we work together, we will build a better Fife.

How do you see Fife leveraging its position between the Port of Tacoma and warehouse hubs in the Kent-Puyallup Valleys to preserve and protect the quality of life in Fife?

Our city’s vision statement says we are committed to “a healthy balance between residential, commercial and industrial uses.” The newly formed Seaport Alliance between the Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle is in its infancy. Growth will surely follow and the city of Fife will be able to leverage our location. We’ve come a long way from our agricultural past. We’ve been divided by highways and a railroad. Our geographical proximity to the port has always played a critical role. But we’ve always valued self-determination, perseverance, and community values. The vision we are working toward and commitments we make along the way is for a city with vibrant retail, housing, restaurants, great parks, and a future train station.

What is your preferred outcome regarding the controversial 54th Avenue railroad crossing plans?

The opening of 54th Street is not a question of if, but how it will be done. I am willing to look at any option to bridge these neighborhoods while also ensuring the safety of our school children and families. I believe opening 54th Street is in the best interest of our city. All parties involved, City of Fife, Fife Public Schools, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Washington State Utilities and Trade Commission, and BNSF railroad should and must work cooperatively in order for this highly desired and necessary idea to become solid reality.

Fife seems to have outgrown its traffic system, a trend that will become more apparent in the coming years, with Port of Tacoma expansions and Interstate 5 widening. What ideas do you see as mitigating the gridlock?

Fife’s traffic system is complicated. It not only serves the private residences and businesses in our community but serves the state and region as well. Fife has been at the forefront of promoting and lobbying for major transportation projects at the local, state and federal levels. We’ve committed local funds to assist major traffic issues at the Port of Tacoma road. The city has taken steps to try and restrict truck routes on our back roads. No band-aid fixes, just real long term solutions.

Fife residents recently saw their water, sewer, and storm drain bills increase in the face of needed improvements, delayed increases during the economic downturn and raising pass-through costs from Tacoma Public Utilities. What do you see as the council’s role in keeping costs down but also funding needed upgrades?

Being good stewards of our resources and keeping Fife a livable and affordable place to live is critical. There is some relief for elderly and low-income residents who may apply for a reduction in utility rates through the city. I am committed to locate new ways to help provide additional savings to as many residents as we can, while also addressing the needs for a utility system that we all can depend on. Regular maintenance, upkeep, and improvements to the system are also required to avoid major equipment failure and huge rate spikes that follow.

What else should voters know about you?

I have been endorsed and supported by a wide range of elected officials, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike- and by labor groups, civic organizations, community leaders, business leaders, and neighbors in and around the Fife community. They Include: Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy (D); Pierce County Councilmember Joyce McDonald (R); Puyallup Tribal Councilmember David Bean; Port Commissioner Clare Petrich; Pierce County Labor Council, AFL-CIO; Tacoma Firefighters Phil Waldner, April Balsley, Frank Mizukami, Julie-Vraves Anderson, Robert Satiacum, Jr., Brenda Edgington, and many more.

In my first election, I committed myself to always being accessible to you – that still stands today.

Where can voters learn more about you?

Feel free to reach out to me at (206) 383-7499, or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Visit www.bryanyambe.com and/or like the campaign on facebook at www.facebook.com/YambeForFife.

David Zarate Pos. 1

What are three top issues that you plan to address or that form your election platform?

Traffic. Traffic is the number one issue in Fife. Getting around Fife is a huge challenge for everyone, but if you live here it can be a daily struggle to where you leave your home only during certain times of day to avoid morning and evening commuters. More effective routes must be established for better access to the heart of our city. Short-term solutions to traffic include opening up thoroughfares like 54th Avenue East, restricting large truck traffic to non-peak driving times and invest in road improvements like Levy Road and others that will be safer and attract people who want to live in Fife.

Planning for the future. It seems to me that Fife isn’t doing any real long-term planning. For example, the city put the library in on 20th Avenue without any real thinking or planning and now it’s in the middle of all these warehouses. Getting in and out of there is very difficult. That’s how it happens here. City leaders are not thinking ahead. All the land that’s being sold in Fife is being used for warehouses. There’s nothing for future housing or community development such as a park. Even the closing of 54th Avenue East was a short-range solution. We need to project our thoughts 10, 20 years into the future so that as Fife continues to grow, it can accommodate that growth and avoid problems later.

Building a solid relationship with the Puyallup Tribe. Fife needs to look for other sources of revenue. One of the things Fife has failed to do is partner with the Puyallup Tribe, our largest employer. With the Tribe’s outside revenue sources, a solid partnership can help us achieve better roads and other improvements that our city deserves.

How are you qualified to champion those issues…?

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and in my professional life I have been required to mitigate issues among state, federal and tribal governments. I’ve been the Executive Director for tribal gaming commissions so I have had to work with tribal councils, other tribal gaming commissions, casino management, and federal and state gaming regulating entities. That’s five different entities that have to find a way to make those gaming regulations work. You have to be able to work with people to find common ground.

I come from a family of civic-minded people. My sister ran for the legislative house in Idaho and I worked on her campaign. My wife served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council. My mother was a social worker and ran the American Indian Center in Spokane for years. I have this same drive to get involved in my communities and help make things better for my family and my neighbors.

How do you see yourself working, or at odds, with the other members of the council…?

That’s just it – working – is the key word. This council has a lot on its plate with plenty of challenging issues to work out that are unique in this area. Working to find common ground rather than being divisive is the only way we can achieve goals. As a small business owner, my success depends on working with people and that’s exactly what I intend to do on Fife City Council.

How do you see Fife best leveraging its position between the Port of Tacoma and warehouse hubs in the Kent-Puyallup Valleys to preserve and protect quality of life in Fife…?

More effective transportation routes must be established through the city of Fife. That preserves the integrity for the people living here. Valley Avenue is just ridiculous, and so is 20th – it’s just trucks and cars forever and if it’s rush hour, forget it. I don’t even leave work at rush hour. I just stay there until at least 7 p.m. We see all these warehouses going up and that’s what the city is becoming – an industrial district. An on/off ramp at the I-5 and 70th Street juncture would reduce traffic congestion in the city considerably. We must work closely and consistently with the Port of Tacoma to find mutually agreeable solutions for truck routes in order to keep as many trucks as possible off our city streets while at the same time ensuring that our Port remains strong with Fife as a key partner.

What is your preferred outcome regarding the controversial 54th Avenue railroad crossing plans?

I believe that 54th Avenue East should be opened for traffic. Why is it closed? Surely not for pedestrian safety, as pedestrians are already making their own way across the tracks through any barriers. A tunnel or overpass is just cost prohibitive. And even if there is an overpass people will still walk over the tracks. 54th should be open. However we can come to an agreement to get that done, let’s do it. The Tribe is willing to partner with the city to get this done.

Fife seems to have outgrown its traffic system, a trend that will become more apparent in the coming years, with Port of Tacoma expansions and Interstate 5 widening. What ideas do you see as mitigating the gridlock?

One of our residents’ top concerns is keeping heavy trucks off residential streets and I support this fully. That way, we can protect the heart of our city and maintain some control over how our city grows. I also support an enforcement of keeping large truck traffic down during morning and evening peak traffic hours. In addition, the council must remain an outspoken and helpful advocate of getting SR 167 finally completed and to do whatever we can to facilitate WSDOT’s efforts. And open 54th Avenue East – this must be done and soon since it has dragged on now for much too long. Making Fife more livable by improving our traffic issues and relations with the Puyallup Tribe should be Fife City Council’s number one goal.

Fife residents recently saw their water, sewer, and storm drain bills increase in the face of needed improvements, delayed increases during the economic downturn and raising pass-through costs from Tacoma Public Utilities. What do you see as the council’s role in keeping costs down but also funding needed upgrades?

The Council must develop farther-reaching policy that can be effectively applied for future city upgrades. This means studying revenue source options, such as grants or potential agreements with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, to bring Fife’s water, sewer and storm drain systems up to par without passing that cost on to the residents. Maintaining these systems is critical in order to keep costs down. The Council must study options to reduce residents’ utility rates now, and this should be at the top of Council’s agenda.

What else should voters know about you…?

I am Native American from the Coeur d’Alene Indian reservation, although I do have strong ties to local tribes. I’ve been married for 25 years and have four grown sons. My wife and I are proud to call Fife our home and we plan to stay living here to both enjoy and contribute to maintaining that “Fife feel” in our beautiful city. Fife can and must keep up with the times while protecting the very reasons we all live here. Fife has one of the best school districts in the state and it’s a great city in which to raise a family. Our city has a fantastic community center, parks, City Hall and other amenities that residents have enjoyed going back generations. Let’s hold onto those as we look to the future and plan accordingly.

Where can voters learn more about you…?

Please feel free to contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I will answer any questions that I can.

 

 

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