Submitted by Chas. Ames
On August 1, all registered candidates for Lakewood City Council were asked to answer the same three questions to share with The Suburban Times readers. Following are Mike Brandstetter’s answers:
What is the most important issue facing Lakewood? What is your plan to address it?
While Lakewood has ongoing challenges with improving and maintaining roads and parks, public safety, and economic development, we have plans in place to address these issues. The most pressing issue that needs to be addressed with new ideas is homelessness. This is a complex issue that needs multiple solutions to be able to address varied root causes and impacts. Recent initiatives such as the joint mental health/police response team, investment in the LASA (Living Access Support Alliance) housing and support service center, proactive responses to clean up encampments, and working with existing nonprofit and faith-based service providers need to be continued. Lakewood should seek a non-profit partner to develop a day work program linked to services to divert panhandlers from our streets and move them towards stability. We need to be open to trying new ideas as well.
What is Lakewood’s most valuable commodity that other Washington cities don’t have?
Lakewood has a sizeable tract of land along Pacific Highway south of the I-5/512 interchange. This undeveloped/under developed area is the only major intersection of major highways where a significant retail center has not grown up. This is an extremely valuable resource. The City needs to work with current Landowner and developers to take advantage of the full potential of this area. A key initiative to bring this about is to work with the Washington Department of Transportation to relocate their facility in this area.
Who in Lakewood do you admire most?
Collectively, I admire the many very bright and talented young people in our community now in or recently graduated from high school. They represent the diversity of our city. They have focused individual and collective goals and a strong desire to be engaged and give back to and improve our community. Within their schools, with a variety of organizations, and by individual actions they are effectively making a difference across a spectrum of needs. They exemplify the best of what an American community can be and make me confident in Lakewood’s future.
Contact Mike Brandstetter via email at email@example.com.