Paul Greenlee, City of Washougal City Council Pos. 3

1. What has motivated you to step forward and run for office?greenle.gif

 In January 2006, I wrote to our new Mayor, “I’m retired, and a little bored. What can I do for my city?”

Some years later one of my citizens suggested the similarity with “Ask not …” It frankly had not occurred to me, but I am of that generation. 1960 is the first Inaugural that I remember.

2. What makes you better qualified for this position than your competing

I have dedicated myself, over the past seven years of service on the Council, to learning the job. I have spent literally hundreds of hours in trainings and education. The Association of Washington awarded me the Certified Municipal Leader in 2008, and the Advanced CML, in 2010, and I haven’t slowed down since. I’ve made time to attend he 3-day AWC Annual Conference 7 times, the 2-day AWC Municipal Budgeting and Fiscal Management training 3 times, (beginning, intermediate and advanced,) and the week-long NW Economic Development Training Course, are just a few examples.

3. If you are running to affect change, what is it about the incumbent and/or the
governing body that needs changing?

We need to reign in our Utility Rates, and our expenditures on EMS.

If we fail to do so, our budget is unsustainable.

We need to do a better job of building “Community.” We can do this with absolutely bare minimum expenditures, but it will take vision and commitment.


4. In your opinion, what is the proper role of city/county/board (whichever one you
are running for office in) government?

We are Trustees, Fiduciaries, for the future of our city.  

I have a duty, to pass on, to those, who follow, not only not less, but greater than was given to me.

5. Is there a difference between powers and rights?

In general “powers” are limitations on the “rights” of others.

6. Do governments have rights?

Yes, but largely in the context of an international agreements. Diplomatic Immunity, rights of free passage on the high seas, and rights of self-determination and self-defense are a few examples

7. Where does the power of the office you are seeking come from?

Ultimately all powers within these United States derive from the Constitution of the United States. Under the U. S. Constitution some powers are delegated to the States. Under the Washington Constitution the Legislature delegates powers to “Municipal Corporations” (Cities.)

8. Can you define what the word "liberty" means to you?

Freedom of action within the standards established by the consent of those governed.

9. As a trustee of the public's funds how would you prioritize spending?

Human Health and Safety is job one.  

But, and this is a big but, budgeting is always a trade-off.  We can’t just pick our top priority and fund it to the max. For example, we usually think of “Public Safety” as Fire, EMS, and Police, but safety of drinking water and disposal of human waste (sewage) costs several times as much and failure would jeopardize the safety of untold thousands of our people.

The point is that budgets must balance a whole range of complex and competing needs – Fire, EMS, Police, Streets, Water, Sewer, Planning, Inspection, Code Enforcement, Accounting and Finance, Personnel Management, and even Parks must be carefully and intelligently balanced.

10. What projects should local government avoid?

Washington law is quite narrow, and specific about what projects a municipal government can undertake To the best of my knowledge those limitations are adequate.

11. What is your stance on the proposed CRC project?

1) Given the enacted budget, it’s a dead issue.

2) The City of Washougal has no say in the CRC Project, and so it is wrong for the City to speak on the subject pro, or con. To do so muzzles roughly half our people. They can and do speak for themselves. City Council should not pretend to speak for all the people on a non-city issue. (See Federalist #10)

12. Should the public have a right to vote on the light rail - tolling project called the

They do have the right to vote under the State of Washington Initiative process.

Also, it is my understanding that, under existing law, any additional taxes would require a Vote of the People.

Under present law, tolling is a power preempted by the state and federal governments.

13. What do you think motivates those on the C-Tran Board who are denying the
public's right to vote on light rail in Clark County?

I have no idea; you’ll have to ask them.

14. Will you unilaterally oppose any CRC proposal that includes light rail?

See answers to 11 and 12 above.

15. Is it ever proper for an office holder to go against the majority if he/she feels the
majority to be wrong or misled?

Yes. That duty is fundamental to the republican form of government.  See Federalist #10 and others.

16. What are the most important issues facing the city/town/county/ board
(whatever entity you are running for office in) today and in the future?

Short and medium term, it is financial sustainability. Long term it’s how do we plan for growth and shepherd that growth for the greatest benefit to our people.

17. What do you feel is the job description for the office you are seeking?

Trustee for the present and future of our city – to pass on to those who follow, not only not less, but greater than was given to me.

18. What ideas do you have to promote job creation and make our community more
business friendly?

We have greatly speeded up our permitting process.

Through the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association (CWEDA) and with the assistance of city staff we provide expert guidance and support in speedily and successfully navigating the maze of state and federal rules and regulation, toward allowing a business to start or expand.

 We currently have moratoria on some permit and impact fees for commercial or industrial construction.

19. Ultimately, who or what is responsible for creating jobs?

City, County, State and Federal Government can create the environment within which job growth can take place. We do so by building a skilled workforce in our public school systems, skills centers, community colleges and universities, by building roads, water, sewer, and other infrastructure; and by land-use planning. For example one of the keys to success for the Camas Meadows- Prune Hill development was the establishment of large minimums for lot size. Large lots, 50 to 100 acres or more, are necessary to attract Wafer-Tech, Underwriters Laboratories, and Fisher Investments.

Our experience in CWEDA is that taxes and fees play a relatively minor role in site selection.

The major requirements are work force, infrastructure (especially transportation,) and availability of suitable sites. That is as true for a micro-business as it is for a Fortune 500 company.

That said, once we build those pieces, it’s up to capital markets, and competitive entrepreneurs, to create the businesses and the jobs.

20. How much influence will the U.S. Bill of Rights and Washington's Constitutional

enumeration of rights have in your decision making when dealing with issues?

It is my sworn duty to obey the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of the State of Washington, and the Ordinances of the City of Washougal.

21. What will be your greatest challenge if you are elected?

Rein in cost of EMS and Utility Rates