Candidates vie for 42nd District positions
Democratic incumbent Kelli Linville is a former speech therapist and now represents the 42nd legislative district. A fourth generation county resident, she and her husband Will Roehl live in Bellingham. They have two grown sons and two granddaughters.
Aside of your experience in office, what qualifies you to be a state legislator?
“I have 16 years as a speech therapist for Bellingham public schools. I grew up in a successful small business family and have owned small businesses for the past 14 years.
“I have also negotiated contracts for the Bellingham Education Association, learned interest-based (win-win) strategies that have allowed me to be an effective problem solver in the legislature. I know the district and have lived here 58 years.”
What are your top three accomplishments as a legislator?
Local watershed management and other water policies; priorities of government process to make government more effective and accountable; and local Infrastructure funding tool- state version of tax increment financing available in every other state.
Do you favor or oppose Initiative
“I oppose I-933. It goes too far, potentially costs too much, or may reduce local government’s ability to protect farm land and everyone’s private property rights.”
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) requires certain administrative duties on the part of local districts in administering the WASL test but does not fund them. Do you favor the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) testing approach as a requirement for high school graduation? How do you propose to help local districts meet these unfunded mandates?
“I will continue to support strong standards for our children and young adults. I believe all students should have the support to achieve at their highest ability and they should have the fiscal and policy support from the state.
“We should have standards for graduation and we also should have alternative assessments and funding so that districts and educators have the tools to make that happen.”
Rural fire districts are prohibited by state law from raising money through impact charged to new subdivisions that may strain a fire district’s ability to serve their area adequately. What remedies do you feel are necessary, and how do you propose to implement them?
“If rural fire districts need broader authority to keep people safe then I would do what I did with the local health clinics, which was to sponsor a bill to give it to them.”
What are three things that could benefit Blaine/Birch Bay that you could help make happen in the coming legislative session with the support and cooperation of local officials?
“Facilitate safer, simpler border crossings, spearhead cooperation on cross border environmental issues with the governor’s office, federal and local officials; and continue fiscal and policy support for primary school and healthcare accessibility.
Republican challenger Craig Mayberry currently teach economics, finance and organization behavior while pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. Mayberry and his wife and five daughters live in Lynden.
What qualifies you to be a state legislator?
“I have been to hell and back and stayed true to my values. People can say or believe anything they want, but the right decision was made and everyone that fully understands the situation agrees.”
In view of the nearly quarter of a million dollars you owe in back taxes, why should voters trust you with the money they pay in taxes?
“I had a tough choice between my employees and myself. I could have made sure that I did not owe any back taxes, by simply closing down the business in 2002 and terminating everyone, but in the end I decided to protect employees and try to keep their jobs going in a tough economy.
“I suffered in the end, but my employees are now far better off. In the end, my leadership saved the employees, government, and creditors and all are better off.
“I then stood up and took responsibility and said I would spend the rest of my life paying everyone back. Isn’t that the type of character we need now in Olympia?”
You’ve said that the state government is “broken” and infer that part of the solution is to elect you to the legislature. How does your decision to withhold paying taxes legally placed on you and your business help fix a “broken” system?
“First, let’s be clear, there is no difference between my response to a tough choice than our current legislature’s decision to not fund pensions of current employees.
“In the end, none of my employees were hurt by the decision and I will repay what I owe. When is the state government going to take the same responsibility?
“What I have learned over the last week is that I should have saved myself and not have worried about anyone else, then I would have been more qualified to run for office. That would probably explain why we have the current broken political system.”
Currently, rural fire districts are prohibited by state law from raising money through impact charged to new subdivisions that may strain a fire district’s ability to serve their area adequately. What remedies do you feel are necessary, and how do you propose to implement them?
“We need to make sure the true cost of development is born by the development.
“There may be some disagreements over what to include in true costs, but we need to work it out and then define the law accordingly.”