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Making the pitch: Arlene Buetow voter's guide statement

Candidates for the Bainbridge Island City Council have submitted candidate statements for Kitsap County's voters's pamplet.

Arlene Buetow is seeking the Central Ward, Position 5 seat on the Bainbridge Island City Council. Her opponent is Wayne Roth.

Here is her statement as it will appear in the county voter's guide.

Arlene Buetow

Biography: As an advocate for restoring community trust in City Hall through improved fiscal accountability and respect for citizen input, I bring specialized economic and communication skills to ongoing change of government reforms.

As a former utility manager and current chair of council’s Utility Advisory Committee, I appreciate the importance of fairness and balance in issues affecting all Bainbridge Island residents.

A member of Bainbridge’s business community since 1992 and former board member, National Association of Water Companies (WA Chapter), I studied Environmental Science and Economics, earning a BA in Economics, from the University of Washington.

Statement: As we try to balance our small town sense of community with changing world economies, our city faces serious fiscal challenges. I believe we have struggled more than most due to 1) an excessively broad scope of services, 2) shrinking revenues, 3) lack of fiscal controls and 4) self-imposed isolation from collaborative opportunities. Our main purpose should be to meet State standards for infrastructure and to honor community values.

Let’s meet our challenges by improving city fiscal structures and efficiencies, rather than continually increasing taxes and fees. The city council could start by taking a fresh look at the City’s scope of services, reviewing costs versus benefits of individual activities, and embracing regional cooperation where it provides savings and efficiencies. Specifically, our city needs to provide core services like road repairs, overdue storm sewer repairs, and public safety. Freed-up revenues could then be used to support prioritized community efforts that will keep Bainbridge affordable, safe and secure.

My goals are to increase accountability, efficiency and transparency throughout our City Hall. Let’s develop a well-balanced mix of regulations that protect our natural landscapes and our investments. Let’s explore new ideas that will sustain Bainbridge Island’s healthy future.

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