Campaign Statement

09/08/2013 22:39

Campaign Statement from Cheryl Selby.

Dear SWONA Officers, Members and concerned friends of West Olympia,
It was a pleasure to doorbell your neighborhood for my campaign this last June. Being on the ground, block by block, I came to understand why the issue of opening Decatur St. SW and/or 16th St. is passionately debated. Early July I was contacted by Dan Leahy and received a copy of the “Decatur Dialogues” which again added another layer of context to the situation. Dan organized a walking tour and I was delighted to join Julie Hankins and SWONA board members Janis Rich and Phil Cornell on July 10th. It was informative to get off the beaten trail of a walking list and visit the pocket parks and trails in and around your neighborhood. It’s obvious that you are very invested in creating community!
I believe in taking a pragmatic approach to policy positions and always do my homework before reaching a conclusion. Learning about all sides of an argument may take extra time but when I take a position I do it with the knowledge that I sought wise counsel and can defend how I reached my decision. That’s why I took it upon myself to arrange a meeting with staff from the City of Olympia Planning Department. I learned about part two of the West Olympia Access Study that is tentatively scheduled to begin mid-2014. They showed me the aerial view of the area and explained the theory of connectivity to break up traffic flow over larger areas. From 10,000 feet it made sense.
Where the wheels fall off their argument is when you walk those streets and meet the people that would be affected on their doorsteps.
I received an e-mail from SWONA members Jack and Susan Havens which reflects my position quite beautifully:
“We very much appreciate the charm, unpretentiousness and quietude of the whole southwest neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood of character and contributes to the support of downtown. A prime asset of Olympia is its comfortable (sometimes funky) residential areas. As much as traffic engineers and urban planners may feel differently, the value of these neighborhoods must be preserved.”
After doing all my homework, taking numerous meetings with staff and SWONA neighbors, and thinking long and hard, I can now unequivocally state that if elected to represent you on the Olympia City Council, I would do everything within my power to remove the references to opening Decatur and 16th/Fern St. to traffic in the Comprehensive Plan update. Period.
Thanks again for all you do to make Olympia a wonderful place to live, work and play,
Cheryl Selby
Candidate for Olympia City Council Position 4