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Platform / Issues
My views on the following issues:
- Community Culture
- I love our city, but find there aren’t enough events for residents to gather and get to know one another. During the last “regular” year (2019), the city hosted the following events: Traditional Egg Hunt, Music in the Park, SeaScare, Dog-O-Ween, and the Holiday Tree Lighting.
- 2017 was the last year National Night Out was held. Ask any family who has attended and they would tell you this is the best event of the summer. Brier Park was filled with activities for everyone. This also allowed residents to meet one another and have a fun time. If elected, National Night Out would return for 2022.
- Future years may see other fun events added, such as BrierFest. Per the Brier History Book, the event included activities such as snow cones for the kids, a three-mile fun run, fire department water ball fights, a horse show, and pony rides. Who wouldn’t want to do that again?!
- Brier Policing
- I support the Brier Police Department and appreciate all they do to ensure our community remains safe. Currently we have two full-time officers. Isn’t this falling short of the Level of Service (LOS) standard as outlined within the City of Brier Comprehensive Plan? (2020 publication – page 12 which states the City should have one officer for every 1000 residents. The city of Brier’s population is 6560 (per the April 2020 US Census: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/briercitywashington/BZA210219).
- I fully believe the Brier Police need a pay increase which could be the ticket to retaining our current officers and attracting new ones. Please know this is not an empty promise. I plan to use my finance experience to identify where savings can be made and use those funds for increasing pay to police officers.
- Brier used to be known as the city you never sped through. Ask any longtime resident and they will share their stories of what they saw, or how they were personally pulled over for going too fast. With more families moving to the area, cars need to abide by the posted signs. Increasing our number of uniformed officers will ensure our streets are being monitored actively and deterring cars from speeding.
- Growth and Development
- Ensuring minimum lot sizes remain. Brier has a small town feel and one of the reasons is the minimum lot size of 12,500 square feet. I appreciate this and don’t want the city to become over-developed or feel overcrowded.
A vote for me means:
- Diversity. Many folks may not know this, but I am the son of a Palestinian mother and father who immigrated to the United States to live out the American dream. I was born and raised in Seattle and have always had a passion to ensure there is diversity in all that I do.
- Someone who will uphold and follow the Brier Municipal Code
- Having a mayor with a direct perspective of what it is like to be a working family with kids in the school system. My wife and I both work full-time and have two boys who will be enrolled at Brier Elementary this fall. I understand what it’s like to work and raise kids and will ensure that residents can be involved in city governance and connect with elected city officials.
- Expanding the budget details posted on the City’s website (http://ci.brier.wa.us/cityhall/pdf/budget2020.pdf) to allow residents to see where revenue is coming from (property taxes, government grants, utility payments) and where it is going (policing, administrative salaries, infrastructure improvements). This information should be presented upfront and not something that residents must request. My 13+ years of working in finance and accounting will ensure that happens.
- Providing supporting documentation in online meeting minutes. During any City Council meeting, lots of information is discussed and every time, documents are reviewed by the City Council Members which the audience doesn’t always get to see, especially when those meetings are over Zoom. Those documents should be merged into a single PDF and act as support to the minutes. This isn’t a difficult task and one that I have already verified with City Hall is possible as it wouldn’t even require the hiring of additional staff as I possess the knowledge and skills to do the job myself.
- Transparency and accessibility. I believe the current City’s website could be used for getting out more information to residents and proactively answering many common questions that come up. I believe it is best to explain why things are how they are, such as the current sewer billing system.
- Investing in technology.
- Bringing back National Night Out. As a resident of Brier, each year our family looked forward to National Night Out. It was a time to learn about safety in our community, meet our first responders, let the kids have fun touring police cars, fire engines, and ambulances. The last time Brier held National Night out was 2017 and it is sorely missed by our residents. I would also look at holding other events to bring our community together. Maybe a return of BrierFest?