Why are you running for city councilor, what do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?
I am running for city councilor as I believe Tualatin is facing some fundamental issues which will determine our quality of life for many years to come. The theme of my campaign is “Tolling, Transit and Traffic” and I believe the decisions made on these key issues will shape the future of Tualatin. Should I-205, and then I-5, have tolls? What transit options should be supported, busses, light-rail or other? How are we going to expand the housing stock in Tualatin, so key to affordability, and yet not worsen the already terrible traffic situation? I have 20+ years of senior business experience which has taught me key complex negotiation skills in a multi-cultural environment. I learned that listening is critical and if elected, I would have regular “office hours” to ensure that any constituent has a chance to discuss issues of the day. I also founded and grew a business in Portland and understand the challenges facing small business owners. I believe that these skills will be critical as we work with our neighboring cities, Metro and our surrounding counties, and Salem. I grew up in a family dedicated to public service and I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring my business and personal skills to the challenges we are facing.
What is the #1 issue facing Tualatin and what do you propose we do about it?
As I mentioned in the previous answer, Tualatin is facing a complex series of decisions which will determine future livability. Housing prices in Tualatin are quickly becoming (or have already become) unaffordable for many of our residents. This requires adding “inventory” to stabilize and reduce prices. However, many of our roads are currently gridlocked during the day (I live off Boones Ferry Road and experience this often!) and residents despair that the new developments already planned will only worsen this situation. In addition, more than 90% of the people working in Tualatin do not live here and commute daily, also exacerbating the traffic situation.
We need to insist that additional road capacity is added along with the new housing. We need to ensure that we provide “east-west” transit service, and not just rides into Portland. With the workers coming into Tualatin, and the need for many Tualatin residents to get to service providers in Oregon City, we must be more creative when it comes to transit services. We also must focus on the reality of having a Tri-Met light-rail service terminate in Tualatin. How exactly are we going to deal with the extra traffic and parking in an area that already suffers from lack of parking and high levels of congestion.
I believe my business experience in dealing with large, complex projects across many cultures will support my ability to help negotiate these complex projects and ensure that our needs are heard and taken into account. If you elect me to the Tualatin City Council, I will work for what matters most to the people who live, work, learn and play here. I will put our community values first, working together with residents, businesses and local, regional and state governments for the future of Tualatin.
Thurber for Tualatin