Will city tidy up?
Express Staff Writer
Bellevue and city infrastructure were two of many issues Bellevue City
Council candidates had to answer to last week at a Meet the Candidates
event at the Bellevue Elementary School.
people showed up between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on March 20 to get to know the
five alderman candidates.
Anderson, Jon Wilkes, and incumbent Parke Mitchell are running for three
two-year seats on the council.
and incumbent Tammy Schofield are running for a one-year seat.
Fairfield also had been slated to run for the one-year seat, but on March
23 he informed the city of Bellevue that he was withdrawing from the race
and giving his support to Schofield.
was the first to answer the question about how to clean up Bellevue.
think it starts in the home," he said, triggering laughter in the
He said he
knew the city had laws about derelict cars and trash in yards, or worse,
in the alleys behind houses.
think if people would call city hall and demand that laws be enforced,
something would be done. Itís a case of the squeaky wheel," he
mentioned the cityís volunteer cleanup effort that happens when weather
permits around May Day, the beginning of spring, or when enough snow melts
told the audience that a citywide cleanup was going to become her issue.
that while she was driving to the school, she noticed a melting pile of
god, thereís a car under there," she said.
said the city might think about doing monthly cleanups, using volunteers
like the Boy Scouts.
brought up the point that some of the cityís trash problems might relate
to low-income people or the elderly who need help to clean up.
said that in the past, the May Day cleanup wasnít advertised well enough
for people to know where to pile trash for pickup or that the event was
it was "unfortunate some people have to be told twice" about
cleaning up their yard and their alley. "What we need to do is to
instill a good dose of community pride.
pride comes from doing. It doesnít start with blaming someone else for
the problem," he said.
with upgrading, maintaining, expanding and improving infrastructure led to
the question of where to get the money.
infrastructure includes all city services, like police and fire
protection, water and sewer services, parks and recreation, and libraries.
Peak saw an
opportunity for raising city revenues through annexation fees and having
developers of new subdivisions pay for infrastructure improvements and
said he would like to learn more about the budget.
got your payables and your receivables. You can either raise taxes or cut
response was that the city "couldnít afford to put services any
She said if
residents wanted better services, it would mean higher taxes or higher
said an "unpopular method" of raising revenues would be a
franchise fee on utilities like electricity.
fees are an indirect way of taxing.
can levy the fee on utility companies operating in the city, but the
utilities typically pay this fee by having its consumers pay more.
things "canít get done in Bellevue unless they are funded."
can ask developers to bear the brunt, but there will be a time in Bellevueís
future when it will be time to raise taxes," he said.
expect something for nothing, just as long as the money goes to help
Bellevue," he said.
candidates also fielded questions about animal control, snowmobiles
driving on city streets and encouraging businesses to come to the city.
election will be Monday, April 1, at the Bellevue City Hall, from noon to
ballots are available now at city hall and will be accepted up until 5
p.m. March 29.