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Survey says: Bruce Allen offers views on Langley issues
The Record is surveying candidates for the city council in the 2011 election. Bruce Allen responds to the Record's candidate survey with his take on improving Langley's economy, hearing examiner appeals, sidewalks versus bike lanes, and more.
Bruce Allen Bio
First attempt at elected office. Seeking election to Position 4 (four-year term) against Thomas E. Gill and Jonathon Moses. The top two will advance to the General Election in November.
Occupation: Retired Army command sergeant major; former business owner.
Volunteer: South Whidbey Youth Connection, WICA, Mystery Weekend and other community events.
What specific ideas do you have for improving Langley's economy?
"I believe we should help foster new ideas from local citizens on what should be done including adding new businesses including possibly another drug store and medical clinic and other types of business not currently in the community. Talking with members of the community and listening to what they would like to see here could help foster new business also."
Should decisions of Langley's hearing examiner be subject to appeal to the city council?
"I do believe that decisions by the hearing examiner should have the ability to be appealed to the city council."
Unless the current salary structure for the mayor is changed, the next elected mayor in Langley will be paid an annual salary of $53,000, which cannot be lowered during the mayor's four-year term. Should the city council revisit the issue of the mayor's salary?
How much should the mayor be paid annually?
"The city council should certainly revisit the salary of the next mayor, particularly since the next mayor has said he only wants to be paid the original amount of $21,000. If they don't change it he will be taxed on the whole amount of $53,000."
How many hours a week do you expect to devote your work on the council?
"The hours I would spend would be determined by the tasks to be done. I have no problem spending time in order to accomplish the mission before the council. I would plan to attend all meetings of the council unless an emergency or illness got in the way. You can't be on a council and not participate."
Langley's Parks and Open Space Commission has pushed for a network of walking trails through Langley, and there has also been support for biking lanes in the village. Which should be a greater priority for the city — installing sidewalks in neighborhoods that currently lack sidewalks, or establishing new walking trails and bike lanes?
"On sidewalks of bike trails and lanes, I really we should do some of both, as money allows. Extending current sidewalks on First through Sixth and down Edgecliff would be nice if we could afford it over a period of time. Walking and bike paths are always good. Bike lanes on the street would entail widening most of the streets which would be very costly. I think bike sharing could work in a small city like ours."
During the council's review of the 2011 budget, one council member said the city should consider contracting out for police services. Should Langley contract with Island County to provide police services, and decommission its police department?
"I do not think we should contract the police department and its services with Island County. I think this community needs to be in control of our own policing."
Should building heights be increased where water views will not be impacted?
"I think most of the areas in Langley that have water views have already been built on with current height restricting. If there is a area that has no possibility of a view building height could be increased within reason. I see no need for multi-floor buildings in this small town."
Does the city need an ethics ordinance/policy that covers elected/appointed city officials?
"I believe elected/appointed officials have the responsibility of policing their own ethics. No ordinance is going to keep an unethical individual from doing unethical things."
"I hope that I have covered all of the questions and made my position understood. As I said at the League of Women Voters meeting the other night, I do not have an agenda that I would go to the council to try and get accomplished. I think that the council needs to work together for the common good of all of the citizens of this community."