BurienCity emailed these questions to each of the 17 candidates for Burien City Council seats. Patty Janssen, who is running for Position 7, recently got back to us. We will post answers from each candidate as they respond.
Name: Patty Janssen
Current occupation: Wholesale Grocery Sales Manager
Where are you from? Seattle
How long have you lived in Burien? 26 years
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Burien? Small town feel, connectivity to our neighbors
– How will you encourage this aspect of our city? Continue to support the community events such as Strawberry Festival, Farmers Mkt., Old Burien Block Part, Arts a Glow and more. Responsiveness to citizens through public comment, at city council meetings also include more community meetings where citizens can interact with city officials
What do you think is the most important issue facing Burien today? Crime and Safety
– How will you address this issue? I’m an advocate for the block watch program as it works a deterrent, if the bad guys know you and your neighbors are watching out for one another and are reporting suspicious activity, they will decide to go elsewhere. I also give presentations at the Citizen’s Academy on volunteer opportunities, to try and garner more support from the citizens in partnering with our Burien Police Department.
What else could we improve, as a community? I’d like to take a look at having a drug court program in the city, a lot of the petty crimes are a result of drug users/addicts wanting to get that next high and doing anything to get the money to buy their next hit. The drug court program has shown some good results in other cities in providing treatment for those that have completed the year long program, if we can treat those with addiction issues and make them contributing members of society it would be a win win.
How will you support the growth of small businesses? This takes work on many levels, one in attracting them here, and fewer restrictions such as parking and B&O taxes, also supporting them through marketing. We have Discover Burien but I think the city could do a better job in promoting the small businesses here.
What is the best way to reduce crime and improve safety? Some of this is answered in comments above, however I’d like to see more enforcement of the laws and ordinances we have on the books today, talk to our LEO’s here in the city and they will tell you it’s not happening, one reason for that is we don’t have enough of them and two, most of them are low priority, loitering, public intoxication, aggressive panhandling, camping in the public spaces. I will also say the precinct we have here in Burien has the highest call volume of any of the precincts in all of King County, searching and applying for more federal grants for law enforcement would also help in adding the number of law enforcement officers we have to handle that volume and issues not being addressed today.
How should we address the issue of homelessness? This is a nation wide problem and needs to be handled on a federal level or through private enterprise in providing the services needed.
What steps should we take to become more environmentally responsible? This isn’t something I have enough information about in what the city is currently doing.
What other goals do you have for your 4 year term, if elected? I think it’s good to look at long term goals, however I would rather focus on immediate needs in our city, crime being at the top of the list and addressed above, also working with public works in identifying and fixing the roads in and around where we’ve two pedestrian fatalities this year. Code enforcement is another area that needs strong focus, in walking the city and talking to my neighbors there are very few neighborhoods that don’t have a house where they’ve filled out a citizen action request with no resolution.
More information about Patty Janssen can be found on her PDC page and by emailing her at email@example.com