Letters to the Editor

Gerken endorsed by Maple Valley deputy mayor | Letter

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage our Maple Valley voters to cast their vote to re-elect Noel Gerken to the Maple Valley City Council.

I have known Noel for well over 16 years.  We first met when our youngest boys played local baseball together.  Throughout the years I would run into Noel either volunteering, supporting a community activity, or attending a local fund-raising event.

When Noel applied for and was appointed to fill Council member Gary Patrick’s vacated City Council seat in 2003, I knew Noel had the right stuff to become a remarkable council member, and I was right.

I have served on the Maple Valley City Council for the past 12 years, and over the years, I have had the privilege of working  alongside a number of very remarkable council members of which Noel is one.  Over the past eight years, Noel has become a very effective lawmaker and political community leader.  Noel understands the complexities of city government operations and has consistently demonstrated effective leadership and initiative to keep Maple Valley moving forward in the right direction.

Noel’s mission as an elected official is simple, helping our families.  One of his highest priorities is public safety.  Keeping our neighborhoods safe and keeping drugs and gangs out of our city and away from our families is critical to Noel. His  commitment to our public safety has earned him the endorsements of our police and firefighters.  More parks and recreation are needed in Maple Valley.  Noel enthusiastically supports the building of Summit Park ball fields and is interested in continuing our conversations with the YMCA for a potential site in Maple Valley.  Economic development  and  growing the city is critical to our future.

Noel is pro-business and wants desirable businesses to locate here. The new Fred Meyer and TRM center is an important step forward and will add much needed services, jobs and businesses to our city.  Economic development enhances our national stature and will serve as a catalyst for additional economic development.

Balancing our city’s budget every year is a state law.  We have a very lean city government staffing structure.  In fact, Maple Valley is among the lowest in operating budget and employees per capita of cities in King County.  Noel is proud of the City Council’s very conservative financial strategies of providing sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars and exercising fiscal responsibility, especially in the midst of the toughest economic recession our community has confronted since the great depression.

In our form of local government, every two years our City Council elects a mayor and deputy mayor.  In January 2010 when it was time to elect a new mayor, our City Council elected Noel. In my opinion,  we had  confidence in his leadership skills, valued his lengthy public service experience, recognized his commitment to community and selfless dedication to serve our great city of Maple Valley.  Over these two past years, Noel has done an outstanding job as our mayor. Recently Maple Valley was selected one of 10 “Best Towns for Families” in the U. S. by Family Circle magazine. This is a testimony to his leadership as mayor during the past two years.

Noel has worked hard both locally and regionally to help Maple Valley be the best it can be – a safe and secure environment for our families with recreational, business and job opportunities for all.  It is interesting to note that four years ago when Noel ran for re-election, he made a campaign promise to become more actively engaged in regional transportation forums.  Noel kept his campaign promise and has succeeded to further enhance Maple Valley’s influence by serving on five regional transportation boards.   With his active participation, Noel has made a positive difference in Maple Valley by helping secure road funding (Maple Valley received a federal grant of more than $1 million) for the Witte Road roundabout project and expanded METRO bus service.  In that most suburban cities are lacking in sufficient transportation and transit infrastructure needs, including Maple Valley, Noel recognizes that a strong partnership with surrounding cities including King County is good for Maple Valley.  Noel has worked hard for our community which is reflective of his 13 endorsements from municipal, regional and state elected leaders.

As we move forward, Maple Valley will continue to face many complex challenges that require seasoned, proven leadership to ensure that our long-term prosperity and quality of life continue.  I believe the residents of Maple Valley deserve the best local government representation possible, therefore, when I cast my vote this election cycle, I will be voting for the most qualified candidate, hands down, for City Council Position No. 5. I will be casting my vote to re-elect Noel Gerken and I hope you will consider doing the same.

 

 

Victoria Laise Jonas

Deputy mayor

Maple Valley

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