By David Anderson
Bikini barista stands; Police Use of Force Policy; Taxes for Road Maintenance – questions for Lakewood City Council candidates, Sept.5 forum.
The featured presentation at the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association meeting September 5th (6:30 P.M., Tillicum Community Center, 14916 Washington Ave. SW) will be a question-and-answer time with the final two contenders for Lakewood City Council Position 5: John Simpson and Bryan Thomas. Below are questions so far that have been submitted to the candidates. Your questions are also welcome. Post them here or send them as soon as you can to David Anderson, TWNA pres., firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll forward them on. Questions will also be received from the audience the night of September 5th.
Questions for the candidates:
1. Bikini Barista Drive-thru Coffee Stands
Would you work toward classifying such establishments under the Sexually Oriented Business license category beginning with a moratorium on applications?
· Lakewood is one such stand away from tying for second in the state for bikini barista stands per populace.
· Tillicum, situated just outside two military installations, is a likely location for a bikini barista stand even as the Lakewood community of Springbrook, at the entrance to McChord AFB, boasts a Cowgirls Espresso franchise – the national chain judged by Maxim Magazine as “sexiest in America.”
2. Lakewood Police Department’s (LPD) Use of Force Policy (UFP)
Would you work toward ensuring the UFP includes a statement to the affect:
(1) “to communicate both to the community and to police officers that the preservation of human life is at all times a central tenet of the police agency;” and
(2) “that the use of deadly force is an extreme measure to be employed only in the most limited and extraordinary of circumstances;” and
(3) “that an officer may withdraw to a position that is tactically more secure or allows an officer greater distance in order to consider or deploy a greater variety of force options”?
· While (3) above is stated in somewhat similar fashion in Lakewood’s 16-page UFP it is not as emphasized as it might be whereas (1) and (2) occur not at all.
· The Lakewood City Council currently is undertaking a study of what constitutes a weapon. Ought not these three qualifications on the Use of Force also be a part of that discussion?
3. Road Maintenance
(a) Support a tax increase on property in Lakewood for road maintenance?
(b) Support an-up-to $20 car license tab fee for that purpose?
(c) Support a cross-the-board utility tax flat rate of 6%?
(d) Do any of the above without a vote of the people – especially when the people are at the top of the decision-making flow-chart the city developed?
(e) Support a survey to garner public opinion on the matter?
(f) Support raising the gambling tax to help with this as well as aim toward balancing the budget?
(g) Inquire – and make public your findings – as to whether in fact, under the previous city manager, road maintenance funds were moved from “designated” to “general” and thus may have been left unprotected from the city’s budgeting discussions and diverted instead to plug other holes in the regular city operations budget rather than used solely for street repairs? For example there is an article in the TNT, August 27, 2013 that contains this excerpt as it relates to Tacoma’s street maintenance proposal: “‘We are going to focus very much on transparency and financial accountability by creating a new and separate fund — what I would term a lockbox — to make sure the funds go where voters expect them to go,” Broadnax (Tacoma City Manager) said at a community meeting Monday discussing the ballot measure, which goes to voters Nov. 5.”
(h) Inquire – and make public – as to where Lakewood ranks state-wide in the ratio of city employee salaries, including benefits, relative to household income?
(i) If your answers are generally ‘no’ to ‘a-f’ above, how do you suggest the shortfall be made up? Tax increases and/or spending cuts? And if the latter, how are those determinations made?
Note: A recent “City Connections” contained two graphs, one showing “how much each resident pays on average for city provided services annually;” and the other the “Number of City Employees per Thousand Population.” However, there was no chart showing city employee salaries relative to household income.