Aberdeen Ward 6 primary contestants answer questions


Michelle Barclay

Previous Experience in Government, Community Organizations or Leadership:

I was a property manager for over 10 years which was a “little city” in itself. From this, I have experience in all three. I wrote multi-million dollar budgets, led my team through thick and thin and organized a community where the residents truly had a sense of being part of a neighborhood.

1. What about your personality and character make you a good fit for Aberdeen’s City Council?

I am a caring, determined, resourceful, flexible and highly motivated person with strong interpersonal and relationship building skills.

2. The pay isn’t great, the hours are long and the learning curve is steep, so why do you want this job?

Investing in my city is not about the pay but the payoff in the end. I have the time to devote and welcome the challenge to learn new things. This is my family’s home; so contributing and getting involved is my way of assuring this city will prosper for generations to come.

3. Ward 6 stretches from the port south, through the western most edge of town up to Grays Harbor Hospital and includes both industrial and residential areas. What issues particular to Ward 6, concern you the most?

Flooding has always been an issue for Ward 6. I would also like to support local business, seek out ways to bring employment opportunities and fill vacant buildings. Our Public Safety Departments need to be further properly equipped for a disaster; and I want to work toward getting the citizens of Ward 6 positively engaged with the city.

4. The condition and economic health of downtown has been a concern for years. What would you do as a City Council member to improve things?

a. The city has done much in the past few years to improve downtown. I would like to go a step further and work with the city to make updating and repairing the dilapidated buildings easier and more cost effective for the owners as well as making the owners accountable for their structures. I believe, if the building looks nice the businesses will come.

Bruce Daniels

Previous Experience in Government, Community Organizations or Leadership:

I am a U.S. Navy veteran having served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea for most of my enlistment. I was a Walk for Multiple Sclerosis volunteer, managed retail lumber and building material stores for a number of years and served on the Board of Directors for the Klamath Basin Home Builders Association. I am currently the IT/Marketing/Inventory management specialist at Aberdeen Honda and lastly a I volunteer my time at Grays Harbor Raceway, occasionally filling in for Stormy Glick driving the pace truck.

1. What about your personality and character make you a good fit for Aberdeen’s City Council?

Having been in sales for most of my professional life, I have learned that being a good leader requires one to be a great listener. Living in Aberdeen for a good part of my life, I understand many of the issues and concerns unique to Ward 6, such as stormwater drainage and residential /industrial area relationship. My past experience will enable me to effectively communicate with a wide range of individual personalities in a variety of settings. My ability to think outside the box will be most valuable. I am ready to listen and hit the ground running.

2. The pay isn’t great, the hours are long and the learning curve is steep, so why do you want this job?

I want this job because I think public service should be about serving the public, not a fat paycheck, a comfy corner office or a Cadillac benefits package. I was born in Aberdeen and have always considered Aberdeen “home.” Serving on my hometown’s city council is one way I can give back to a community that’s been good to me and where my roots run deep. Also, I see several things that I feel have been left unfinished and some never started. For example, I feel that the citizens of Aberdeen deserve a reversal of the road levy shift that resulted in increased property taxes that the County Commissioners forced on them in the last budget session. I will also be a voice for Ward 6 residents when it comes time to prioritizing street repair and paving projects, made possible by a sales tax increase voted in by the citizens of Aberdeen last February.

3. Ward 6 stretches from the port south, through the western most edge of town up to Grays Harbor Hospital and includes both industrial and residential areas. What issues particular to Ward 6, concern you the most?

The rapidly eroding streets in Ward 6 are an ongoing challenge. A related issue is the inadequate stormwater drain system. While recently updated, it is still inadequate in some areas, particularly those with open drain ditches.

4. The condition and economic health of downtown has been a concern for years. What would you do as a City Council member to improve things?

I will help business development by insisting that Aberdeen is an easy place to do business. Some common sense solutions that would help achieve that are, 1. Any city ordinance or other law should pass “common sense” muster prior to implementation. 2 Continue the cleanup effort in the downtown core and continue to monitor and take appropriate action on the transient issue. The biggest item on my list of how to make a good first impression while presenting Aberdeen as a location for new business is cleanliness and attracting new business to downtown Aberdeen is the key to improving its health.

Denny Lawrence

Previous Experience in Government, Community Organizations or Leadership:

I have served as a City Councilperson for seven of the past 12 years and served two of those years as Council President. During the few years not appointed as a councilperson, I stayed involved with the city and its issues by attending the City Council meetings. I served on the board and as chairman for “Our Aberdeen” a group of citizens dedicated to making Aberdeen a “great place to live” through action groups. They were the leading force in the formation of the now HIstorical Preservation commision, putting local artists on the map, getting the faded murals repainted and lighting the bridge project on the ChehalisRiver Bridge

1. What about your personality and character make you a good fit for Aberdeen’s City Council?

Open, honest and caring. I understand that everyone has an opinion and that each opinion will differ from someone else’s. I reasearch each issue and listen openly and then work with the mayor or department heads to find a resolution. Unfortunately, the wheels of government often turn slowly and it is frustrating to not see immediate results on some issues.

2. The pay isn’t great, the hours are long and the learning curve is steep, so why do you want this job?

I don’t serve on the City Council for the money and I enjoy what I do. I don’t mind spending the hours needed to help manage the city and make important decisions. I agree the learning curve is steep, especially regarding understanding the city budget, however my experience and understanding of the budget allows me keep a watchful eye on spending and be a good steward of our tax and revenue dollars.

3. Ward 6 stretches from the port south, through the western most edge of town up to Grays Harbor Hospital and includes both industrial and residential areas. What issues particular to Ward 6, concern you the most?

I am most concerned with crime and suspected drug activity. The condition of our sidewalks is a close second. Both have to do with the safety of our neighbors. To the neighbors where drug activity is suspected, it is a difficult and time consuming task to get a resolution to this problem. Theft and crime generally follow the drug activity so if we can take care of one the other will follow. I encourage you to get to know your neighbors, form a block watch program and participate in the National night out “Americas Night out against crime” Many neighborhoods are participating.

4. The condition and economic health of downtown has been a concern for years. What would you do as a City Council member to improve things?

I currently serve on the mayor’s “Aberdeen Downtown Task Force” A group that is focused specifically on breathing life back into our downtown. You should have already seen some results from this group as we have been on the downtown streets several times with leaf blowers and brooms taking our streets back, working with property owners to place no tresspasing stickers on doors to keep transients from holing up in business alcoves and making it a safe place to go. We have identified short and long term goals to help this issue. My plan is to continue to keep focused on cleaning up and bringing new business into the downtown area.