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Bill Roth vies for open City Council seat
Editor’s Note: Erika Morgan was unable to schedule a time to participate in this article.
Bill Roth, who has lived in Black Diamond for about 14 years, is running against Erika Morgan for the open Position No. 2 seat on the Black Diamond City Council.
Roth, who moved to Washington in late 1991 from California and lived on the Eastside before moving to Black Diamond, is a career businessman and has worked in sales, sales management, distribution management as well as marketing and budgeting.
Roth said that the community is what drew him and his wife to the area.
“My wife and I were living here on the Eastside and we wanted to move to a nicer community that we felt was a little bit smaller, less concerns about crime, more open spaces, more recreation opportunities,” Roth said. “And also a place where we could get a yard larger for our three children.”
He said that he decided to run for office because he wants to make a contribution to the city.
Roth’s wife is a member of the Planning Commission and he started attending those meetings three years ago after she was appointed to the commission.
“The more Planning Commission meetings I attended and became aware, I decided I should start attending City Council meetings and I gathered more knowledge through that experience,” Roth said. “And the more knowledge I gained I felt like I might be able to make a meaningful contribution to the city.”
Roth said the top three issues he would want to focus on if he were elected would be public safety, management of the master planned developments of YarrowBay, which call for more than 6,000 homes as well as commercial development in Black Diamond and financial wellness for the city.
The police and fire departments would be a public safety priority for Roth, who said he wants to be sure there are adequate police and fire services for residents.
As for the MPDs, Roth said, he wants them to be implemented the way they are intended to be in the plans the city approved.
“I’d like to see that the developments for the plan of Black Diamond are developed completely and as per the law, as per what has been submitted as legal documents,” Roth said. “Just the assurance that the city actually gains everything that it’s supposed to gain and nothing less.”
Roth also pointed out that Black Diamond has always struggled financially.
“It would be almost like your household budget,” Roth said. “If you looked at your household budget for, in the case of the city it’s almost 50 years, but if I looked at my household budget and said for three years we’ve struggled to try to make our household budget needs, something has to change. I feel the same way about the city. After 50 years, something has to change.”
Top areas Roth said he would look at in relation to the city’s finances would be the budget and making cuts where possible, if possible.
“Second to that, would be finding new ways of revenue for the city and I think the best opportunity for the city to get more revenue would be through the development of business,” Roth said. “And the opportunity I see for the city to attract more business is to have more residents. I think also that if the city has more revenue that we’ll be able to better support the businesses that are currently here.”
When it comes to YarrowBay, Roth said that they are a partner with the city and should be treated as such.
“I think that they need to be treated with the same respect that we would treat any business partner,” Roth said. “I spoke very frankly with executive management at YarrowBay and told them that I would expect to see that the MPDs are built exactly as they were filed and nothing less. And actually the response I got back is that they, too, support that and they told me that they completely accept the idea of somebody who will hold them accountable to that because that’s in turn what they want out of a partnership.”
Roth said that the top two issues he thinks Black Diamond faces are responsible growth and financial wellness.
Roth said that he would classify the MPDs as responsible growth.
He said the council’s role going forward will be to monitor the progress of the MPDs and call attention to any exceptions they find in the implementation of the projects.
“They are legally filed documents at this point,” Roth said. “The City Council can’t change anything that’s been done there. So it’s really just policing.”