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Council candidate Erika Morgan offers her views
Erika Morgan is running against Bill Roth for the open seat of Position No. 2 on the Black Diamond City Council. Morgan was unable to be interviewed but provided the following responses via email to The Reporter.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Washington, and have lived in BD since 1978.
Why did you move to Black Diamond?
I always wanted to live in Black Diamond. Even as a child when we drove through, I liked how there was communication from yard to yard over the fence. As an adult, I found a culture that “cares for your neighbor as one of your own.” There is a basic equality between our citizens. And I am still blown away by the ecology of the Black Diamond Lake and surrounding natural area.
Why did you want to run for office?
I understand the continuing mistakes the city has made as it reviewed the developer’s proposals. I’ve seen dozens of local citizens, with their particular understanding of their home, be ignored. I’ve witnessed big mistakes in the city before, such as the failed sewage lagoon in the 80’s that turned Lake Sawyer green for years. In addition, I have been watching the government of Black Diamond closely for 33 years, many times I was the only “public” at the public meetings. I want to do more for the people of Black Diamond. Citizens have asked for and deserve a responsive government that avoids mistakes by relying on best proven practices, and insists on financial guarantees and performance bonding for its contracts. My experience living and working as a part of a fully responsible manufacturing firm with 60 years of success has giving me insight into finances, work orders, purchasing schedules, contracting, engineering, and employee law and management, that I know will benefit Black Diamond.
What are the top three issues you would want to focus on?
1. Protecting our area from the problems of over-development. The YarrowBay development will cause traffic problems, school crowding, failures within our natural environment, and probably new taxes and financial obligations. I will be a watchdog that protects us and our neighbors.
2. Transparent government and public participation. We can’t have public participation without transparency, and the city has not been transparent. They have made it difficult to get documents regarding city and YarrowBay’s detailed plans. They have continuing problems with recording public meetings and timely posting of public documents.
3. Basic municipal services for current citizens—road needs, utilities, police and fire, are the priority. Future planning must be reality-based rather then the fantastical, but the actual plan must happen now resting on actual reality on ground level, not from the programmatic level described in the developer’s plan, or we won’t have the trails and parks, walkable schools or proper placement of municipal amenities in our future. I won’t waste good money chasing misguided ideas that do not benefit our current citizens currently.
What do you think of YarrowBay and the MPDs?
I think they are a very weakly conceived, far too big, an impossible idea created and designed for some flat place. I see nothing of the Black Diamond I know and love in them. People move here and live here to be a little bit away from the busy city, they do not want to spend the extra commuter gas money, and have big city life crowding them with all its inherent problems.
What are the top two issues you see facing Black Diamond?
1. The problems of future over development by YarrowBay. YarrowBay is a private contractor who we can expect will first be caring for it’s own interests and maximizing its own profits. Maintaining the spirit, financial integrity and character of our city is the responsibility of Black Diamond’s City Council in consultation with its citizens.
2. Maintaining Black Diamond’s friendly small town culture while supporting and encouraging our existing and emerging local businesses. Once Black Diamond’s balance sheet was in the black, once there were adequate reserves in the bank. We need to get back there through very prudent spending, that is how we built the reserves before, we must do that again.