RBCA Candidate forum - part 1

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Ken Callahan and Kim Fischer
running for reelection as Fire commissioners
By Diane Hettrick

Richmond Beach Community Association (RBCA) held a candidate forum Tuesday evening, October 8, 2019 for School Board, Shoreline City Council, Shoreline Fire Commissioners, and Ronald Wastewater Commissioners. They were the only forum to include commissioners. 80 people attended most of the forum.

Fire Commissioners

Two positions are up for election. Ken Callahan in #5 is running unopposed. Kim Fischer in #2 is effectively running unopposed as her official opponent Tom Moffat did not respond to any contact from RBCA.

Kim Fischer has been a commissioner for six years. She talked about the accomplishments of the fire department: creation of the MIH mobile integrated health unit which includes a social worker to deal with people who are not seriously injured but who need help. The MIH responds to incidents from Shoreline to Woodinville. Shoreline participates in joint training exercises with other local departments. Citizen approval of the 2015 benefit charge allowed the department to stabilize and diversity its funding. The bond passed by citizens allowed purchase of equipment. The department now assessed a development impact fee paid by developers so the department is able to keep up with growth without having to ask for more from citizens.

Ken Callahan thanked citizens for their support. He reminded everyone that there is an EMS (emergency medical services) measure on the ballot for Medic 1. It is primarily a replacement levy - the existing levy expires at the end of this year. He said that the property tax that goes to Fire is based on the value of your property. When the value goes up, the taxes go up. The Fire department has nothing to do with it.

Shoreline School Board

Shoreline School District 412, Director District 1
Michael Jacobs
Meghan Jernigan
Shoreline School District 412, Director District 4
Rebeca Rivera
Shoreline School District 412, Director District 5
Sara Betnel
Joe Cunningham

These are all bright, intelligent, extremely well-educated people who bring different levels and types of experience to the table. Equity is the current hot topic in Shoreline Schools and every candidate talked about the importance of making sure that all students achieved. Most talked about their desire for more communication and transparency from the school board to the parents and community.

In the District 1 race, incumbent Mike Jacobs, currently board president, talked about his long experience in the job and the accomplishments of the district. He spoke of initiatives that are in process and the need to implement them effectively. He said that all the things that the new candidates wanted were already in the works and could not be accomplished overnight no matter how much everyone wants to.

Meghan Jernigan talked about the board needing new voices, and diversity (she's a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). She spoke of her political endorsements from the 32nd and 46th Democrats. I asked her why she was touting political endorsements for a non-partisan race.

She responded that "It's pretty common for people to seek endorsements from organizations that reflect their values. I, along with Sara, Joe and Rebecca, all sought these endorsements from the 32nd, 46th LD democrats. I am the only one that received the sole endorsement. Edmonds candidates for shoreline school board did as well, we were all at the same meeting."

Mike was quite adamant about not ever seeking a political endorsement and the importance of the school board staying away from politics.

Meghan was the Board secretary for Meridian Park PTSA and volunteers as an art docent. She wants to see environmental growth and composting at all schools. She said that Cascade K-8 and Echo Lake have art teachers and we should have them in all schools.

District 4 - Rebeca Rivera is running unopposed. She has a PhD and taught at the college level for a decade. Previously she was a substitute teacher in secondary schools in Arizona. Her daughter was at Cascade K-8 and now is at Ridgecrest. Rebeca was involved in PTA, organizing afterschool programs.

District 5 is an open seat. Sara Betnel and Joe Cunningham are the candidates.

Sara has two children, who have attended the Children's Center (now Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center), Cascade K-8 Community School, and Brookside Elementary. She is now homeschooling but her children will return to school in the fall. She was a local unit PTA Legislative Rep and then the Leg Rep for the Shoreline PTA Council, advocating at the state level for adequate funding for schools. She has an education background. She is looking to have the Board be open, responsive, and transparent, with students and families included in decision making.

Joe has three children. His oldest is autistic and Joe has the experience of many years of working with teachers, principals and the district to get the best outcomes for his son, who is now at WWU. He has a policy background in early childhood and developmental disabilities. 20 year member of Ruth Kagi's Children's Campaign Fund and 30 years experience as a grantwriter. He was a policy analyst for Best Starts for Kids. He wants better funding for mental health, food for kids, and to invest in equity goals.

Candidates were asked what they would do to supply hands-on equipment for science and about art and music. None mentioned the science part of the question. Many candidates decried the lack of music and art. Mike Jacobs said that this is a heavy music district but can't afford to put art teachers in every school. Several candidates were shocked at the lack of art teachers. Sara mentioned that Cascade K-8 has a full time art teacher and monthly field trips.

...to be continued

Correction: Meghan is an art docent at Meridian Park.
Update: Corrected schools info for the children of Sara Betnel, and her statement of goals.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the FeedBurner email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP