Campaign ’05

Published on Thu, Oct 20, 2005
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Campaign ’05

1. Can you share a story with us that gives insight on what has shaped your values and shows how it makes you fit for the office you are running for?

Jason Overstreet:
Any one story may not adequately represent what has shaped my values and qualified me for elective office. Instead, I believe my parents are responsible for shaping and molding me, as they were laying the foundation for who I am today. The qualities they instilled in me include respect for other people, being forthright and honest, and also working hard to accomplish a desired goal. These values, make me a candidate qualified to hold the office of Blaine City Council member.

Charles Hawkins:
Most of my life was spent as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and Puget Sound. It makes me realize how fragile our environment is when facing the onslaught of development. What we have here is so special and we need to do whatever we can to protect it.

Jason Burke:
I have a strong desire to represent the citizens of Blaine. I feel that I am an approachable person who is willing to listen to what the people of Blaine have to say. I have the willingness to stand up and speak my mind when needed. I have lived in Blaine for 30 years and I care about its future.

Mike Myers:
I have no special stories to relate but I will share this: I served 12 years on five different submarines in the Navy. These were not nukes – all old diesel boats which are all gone now. The thing I learned there is teamwork. From the top man to the bottom – everyone is dependent. It never happened but it could – a situation could occur that the lowest man on the team (crew) might be the only man in a position to save the boat. As a result, every man was respected and held in high regard. This still holds over – everyone is part of the team. One other thing that holds to this day – honesty is the best policy – even if it hurts. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then you probably won’t be honest with anyone else.

Bob Brunkow
My family grew up in Butte, Montana and I watched my dad set the finest example of volunteerism and community pride for me. He strongly believed in giving back to the community and lived by action, not just words. We were not wealthy, but my dad continuously gave his time, sweat, and energy to make our town and the community we lived in better. It never crossed his mind not to, it was just the right thing to do. I try to live by those same principles and the example set by my dad. I believe that by serving on the council and volunteering in Blaine and in other efforts, I am able to give my experience and skills to help make the community a better place to live, work and do business.

2. What do you think the biggest challenge is for Blaine?

Jason Overstreet:
Blaine’s biggest challenge both now and in the future is to develop and maintain a healthy, thriving local economy. If elected I will work with business leaders in our community to bridge the gap between city hall and the local business owner, and in turn bring more businesses and opportunities for consumers. As a small business owner in Blaine, I understand this divide and will work hard to bring these issues before the council and staff.

Charles Hawkins:
The biggest challenge facing Blaine is how are we going to provide the needed services and infrastructure that all this new development is going to require. Raising funds is going to become a bigger issue in the near future. Where will the money come from?

Jason Burke:
Growth, whether we like it or not this town is going to expand and grow. The challenge is how we as citizens and the city of Blaine plan for the future.

Mike Myers:
There are no real, great challenges – Blaine is doing quite well. There are a few things, however, to which we need to pay attention – primarily growth of our town without unchecked and carefree, rampant development. Blaine is coming out of the stigma of a border town and we need to continue developing our town as an attractive destination for newcomers and old-timers as well.

Bob Brunkow:
I think the community of Blaine needs to continue to build on a positive and lasting vision of what the potential for our community can be. Blaine is surrounded by so many natural assets that can make a better future for current and the next generation. A “can do” attitude will go a long way to achieving our goals.

3. What is your first priority in planning for managing growth for Blaine?

Jason Overstreet:
Blaine enjoys an amazing quality of life and a unique small town presence. That is one reason I chose to move my family here and put down roots. I believe that growth can be a positive thing for our community, if adequately planned for, without compromising these qualities. Planning ahead for future infrastructure needs (parks, roads, utilities, services, schools) must be a priority. 

Charles Hawkins:
The first priority in planning for managing growth is to finish the comprehensive plan developed by Terry Galvin and the citizens of Blaine. The plan is close to being finished and it will give us some of the tools to deal with growth in the future.

Jason Burke:
Executing a comprehensive plan that will not only serve the recent growth booms that Whatcom County has endured but carry out many years into the future. This also involves working with the city planners and evaluating whether they need more resources, from what I have recently seen they do.

Mike Myers:
I have no real priorities – I think everything that comes up needs our attention and honest input. If I had to assign a priority, I would probably place the airport at a high level and that’s only because we’re in danger of losing it. Our airport is essential to our community and we must not lose it. There is insufficient space here to outline my feelings but I’m available any time for proponent and opponent as well. Suffice it to say – I’ll continue to work to maintain and enhance our airport.

Bob Brunkow:
There are several priorities I continue to work on, on council, beginning with a fiscally responsible budget that we can live with for the next five years – a budget that puts Blaine on a solid financial base for the short and long term. This includes working hard to obtain grants and other funding that will help achieve the balanced budget goals we set at council. 

Another key priority I am focused on is achieving a successful new comprehensive plan that is understandable to the community and has its strong support. Anytime you tackle land use issues, there is a long and challenging process, but I believe we can achieve our goals with the community’s ideas and feedback. This will be Blaine’s blueprint for the future.

4. What new policies or ordinances would you be interested in initiating?

Jason Overstreet:
Walt Whitman once wrote: “True government is much simpler than supposed, and abstains from much more.” Occasionally, there is need to adopt new policies or ordinances for the benefit or protection of citizens; however, I believe that less is more. The areas of emphasis that I would like to revisit are the design guidelines and regulations for downtown, as well as the city’s sign ordinance. The principles behind the existing regulations are well intentioned, but when applied practically to businesses, they are too restrictive.

Charles Hawkins:
I would like to see provisions put in the comprehensive plan that would require developers to help established self-help home sites in the Blaine area. It would be a way to truly provide affordable housing for the working poor in our community.

Jason Burke:
I don’t have any immediate ordinances but my policy will be not to let old business get stagnant. Any council as a whole needs to be willing to make decisions and not just educated guesses, they need to be researched and well thought out. I absolutely have no problem doing this.

Mike Myers:
I have no new policies or ordinances that I would offer. I feel we have an excellent city council and city staff. It has been a pleasure working with and serving with our present city government. I just hope I can continue to do so.

Bob Brunkow:
I am a strong advocate of less rather than more government regulation. I think we have to look very carefully before enacting more limits and regulations by government, whether it is on property owners, residents, or businesses. There are already a number of creative and reasonable alternatives to government regulations that can accomplish the same objectives.