We have two candidates for Olympia City Council who have served on the Planning Commission. We are fortunate in that respect because land-use questions loom large in Olympia’s future.
The city continues to develop its downtown strategy. At the same time a community renewal area (CRA) has been created in the downtown to act as an engine for development that is integrated into our city’s fabric and geography. Rather than condemning private property for public good – already an authority open to our council – the CRA provides the authority to condemn broadly defined “blighted” private property to benefit private development.
In the best-case scenario, this would aid Olympia’s revival with private funds, while accomplishing a community vision for our future. In the worst-case scenario, development interests would overshadow community interests and the best choices for our city would not be made.
Our city also faces the prospect of sea-level rise, legacy contamination, and the prospect of a 4.3-acre county campus in our downtown.
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These are big challenges for our community but they are also important opportunities to reconfigure our downtown to reflect our community values in terms of the environment, growth and development.
In this process, it is the council’s role to safeguard community interests. Therefore, I am enthusiastically supporting Judy Bardin based on her proven commitment to open government and community interests.
We need a City Council willing to stand up for our community values. That is why I urge you to support Bardin in the coming election.