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My Priorities

I am running for election to City Council as I want to continue to help shape the future of our wonderful community. My work as a neighborhood advocate and volunteer on several boards and commissions has helped define my priorities for the City.

Providing Greater Transportation Options

Working to improve and invest in our transportation system is a major goal of mine. There is no single solution to improve our mobility, so my goal is to focus on a range of investments to all modes of travel. This includes small safety projects in our neighborhoods to help manage cut-through traffic and make it safer to walk and bike to school. However, it also includes larger corridor investments such as improving Juanita Drive and enhancing Central Way between downtown and the eventual bus rapid transit station at the I-405/85th Street interchange. We must also continue making progress in improving the transportation system in and around Totem Lake, such as working with WSDOT to build the NE 132nd Street interchange and creating safe and accessible connections to the Cross Kirkland Corridor.

I have been successful at implementing specific policies and projects that have benefited the City, such as the Transportation Master Plan and improvements to the 100th Avenue NE corridor. As a transportation professional, I will bring a strong background and existing relationships to work with our regional partners to address ongoing congestion issues, improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, provide reliable and convenient transit options, and implement the latest technology to better operate our existing infrastructure. 

Investing in our Parks and Open Space

As our community grows, there will be a greater reliance on our natural open spaces and park system for places to gather, find solitude, and recreate. I have experience in advocating and bringing people together for the shared purpose of preserving our remaining open spaces, and enhancing our existing parks. This desire of mine was cultivated through my involvement with the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance, where I had the opportunity to help secure funding to expand Juanita Heights Park and preserve a forested ravine along Simonds Road.

I plan to explore ways we can implement all-season fields to provide greater utilization of our athletic facilities. Due to our northwest weather, many of our fields are not able to be used regularly, but there is an increasing demand for our facilities from recreational organizations. I also want to continue to expand the Green Kirkland Partnership group of volunteers who are critical in helping maintain our existing parks and open spaces. I also plan to work with King County and other regional partners to help preserve our remaining forested open space areas throughout our community, such as the slopes above Juanita Village and the hillsides along Forbes Creek.

Enhancing our Police and Fire Services

The safety of the public is our number one priority as a local government. That is why a majority of the tax revenue we collect goes towards our Police and Fire Departments. However, our police and fire departments are being challenged to maintain the high levels of service our citizens expect due to the growth we are experiencing.

As a member of the public involved in the Fire Strategic Plan and Fire Station Siting Committee, I worked hard to improve emergency response times to our northern neighborhoods. Locating fire stations strategically to provide the best overall response to our citizens benefits the entire City as fires are not able to be fought until more than one engine company has arrived at the scene. I plan to continue working to site a new fire station in the Juanita area and eventually relocate Fire Station 27 to the east side of I-405. Additional efforts must also be made to advance our firefighting and emergency response capabilities to respond to our growing community. I am committed to finding ways that we can continue to provide high service levels for fire, medical, and police protection.

Responsible Planning with Improved Community Engagement

Our region is experiencing unprecedented growth which is resulting in additional pressures on our existing infrastructure and services. While our future as a City is guided by our Comprehensive Plan and individual neighborhood plans, things do not always occur "as planned." I believe we need to place a higher emphasis on responding to the development pressures we are facing, so that we grow in a manageable and responsible way. Over the past 5 years we were focused on initiating redevelopment in our downtown and Totem Lake commercial areas, with that development now occurring, we now must accelerate the completion of our infrastructure plans to support this growth.

I offer a background of navigating land use and planning processes throughout the state, knowing what has and has not worked well. Kirkland is unique in many ways, but one differentiator is how much residents care about the future of the City. I want to find a way to have more meaningful dialogue with the public, including more town hall style meetings, to discuss the impacts and benefits of current regulations and any proposed changes. I believe the City and neighborhoods have a responsibility to educate residents and business owners on what our current plans envision, why, and what benefits or impacts may result. Planning is often overlooked by many officials, but I see it as critical to the success of how we respond to growth because it is the time when we are able to have conversations with the community about what they want to see changed. 

Maintaining a Strong Local Economy and Fiscal Responsibility

As a part-owner of a long-standing Kirkland business, I bring the perspective of employers and small business owners. With my business being located in Totem Lake, I have experienced the need for additional commercial space to grow, so it is my desire to achieve a significant and prolonged transformation of this area into a robust and diverse economic center that will retain and attract employers. During my time representing Kirkland as an appointed official, I actively worked to develop policies, regulations, and infrastructure strategies to achieve that vision.

With the end of the annexation sales tax credit looming, I will bring an eye toward the future, ensuring that the decisions we make today consider the long-term cost impacts down the road. In order to address the upcoming revenue shortfall, I plan to work hard to explore opportunities to boost economic development to generate additional sales tax revenue, leverage existing tax dollars with outside revenue, and consider ways in which technology can improve efficiencies to maintain and enhance the services our citizens demand.

Working to Address Housing Affordability

With growth and housing prices at an all-time high in Kirkland, it is increasingly important to provide housing options that are affordable for those who want to live here. Each demographic—elderly, families, immigrants, students, recent graduates, and those who simply struggle to get by—have unique situations, and distinct needs as it relates to housing. We need to ensure that we have a variety of solutions that can address many different needs and lifestyles.

As a former Planning Commissioner, I supported regulations to encourage more cottage housing, accessory dwelling units, transit oriented development, and residential suites in the City. All serve a different purpose, and all are needed to help address housing affordability. I’m committed to working to provide affordable housing options to those who struggle to live here. I am currently talking with other City and Lake Washington School District leaders to find ways to bring forward more workforce housing options for police officers, firefighters, service industry workers, and teachers. Kirkland has been a leader in working with our regional partners like A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and the King County Housing Authority to find solutions that support all communities in our region. I plan to continue to support these efforts and look for ways we can be doing more as a community.

 

 



Paid for by Friends of Jon Pascal
218 Main Street #487, Kirkland WA 98033
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