Robin Farris

Robin Farris, Puyallup City Council
25ft Democrats Questionnaire
Legislative District Democrats
Candidate Endorsement Request (City)
Office Sought: Puyallup City Council, Dist
1 Today's
Date: May 27,2015
Campaign Information
Name of Campaign: Elect Robin
Campaign Manager:
Bill Hilton
Campaign Address: 4722d St NW, Puyallup WA 98371
Campaign Phone : 253 -90 5 -245
Website : www.
1 Email : [email protected]
com Fax: None
lectrobinfarris. com
Party Affi liation: Democrat
Are you using union printers and/or sign shops to do your campaign printing? Yes
Personal Information:
Full Name (as shown on ballot): Robin Farris
Address: 412 2'd St NW. Puyallup. WA 98371
Years at this address: l0 ),ears Legislative District:
Years in the city that you want to represent:
Precinct: 25-204
years (Home of record for 50 )zears)
Education @lease indicate highest level attained)
Degree (specifo): MBA
School: Western Governors University
Previous Public Service
Office/Position Held: Recall Dale Washam Dates: October 2010
August 201
Nature of Orgatization: Political action committee to recall then Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam
Duties: Chair. raised
Office/Position Held: United States Navy Dates: May 198 1 - November 2004
Nature of Organization: Deters military aggression. safeguards the sea lanes and the commerce that flows through them.
preserves territorial waterway boundaries and the right to resources contained within them. and responses to natural disasters
and other catastrophes at sea.
Duties: Electronics technician and naval officer
Robin Farris, Puyallup City Council
25ft Democrats Questionnaire
Current Job Information
Employer: Rgdlgl
E-mail Address:
Work Phone:
Major Civic Interests
Veterans issues. positive govemance. Friends of the River Walk
Robin Farris. Puyallup City Council
25th Democrats Questionnaire
rf you need more room, attach
attached', on the questionnaire.
Please list your qualifications for seeking office:
Political Experience: Chair of the Recall Dale Washam Committee, 2010-2011. Responsible for collecting 64,000
signatures across 1000 square miles in Pierce County.
Professional Experience:
United States Navy (Retired); 23 years of service and attained rank of Lieutenant Commander. Five years working at State
Farm insurance and as a business manager in a family-owned small business.
Please list your reasons for seeking office:
I'm running for office because I believe that Puyallup citizens deserve an ethical and efficient government. Our leadership
should be respectful to other council members and to their constituents. Collaboration and respectfully agreeing to disagree
promote government efficiency.
Secondly, after sitting through al1 20 l5 budget meetings, there is a lack of vision in setting policy that balances short-term
and long-term goals. I will work to build a sustainable long-term budget for the city.
I oppose the litigation regarding the disclosure of emails containing city business. I project that the West y. Vermillion
lawsuit will cost the city $lM. I do agree that there has to be a balance in the business costs of open government and
accessibility to the public, but transparency in government build trust with citizens.
Have you been involved in partisan politics in Washington State? Please give details:
Have you run for an office before? Please give details:
Have you held office, either elected or appointed? Please give details:
What do you believe will
be the three most
important issues in your campaign?
1: [nfrastructure
Infrastructure is essential to our quality of life and economic $owth in our community. We need to stop deferring road
maintenance; deferring road maintenance will increase long-term costs and will lead to core service failures.
Issue 2: Public Safety
The City of Puyallup is lucky to have an extraordinary police department. My goal is to ensure our police department has the
resources available they need to keep our community safe.
Public safety is critical in ensuring our city maintains its small-town charm. ln order to maintain our public safety and plan
for the future, it is critical now to develop a long-term plan to provide the Puyallup Police Department with facilities that
suppoft public and staffsafety.
Ultimately, meeting the needs of our public safety sector is important to our city's foundation.
J I r' ;r r c
Robin Farris, Puyallup Cify Council
25tr Democrats Questionnaire
Issue 3: Strategic Approach to Budget Process
A strategic approach to the budget process includes maintaining
a sustainable and balanced budget, managing budgeting
priorities, and providing budget accountability to our citizens.
The City of Puyallup budget-in-brief boasts a balanced budget, which is a statutory requirement. However, a balanced
.budget is not necessarily a healthy one. A balanced and sustainable budget ensures that the reql costs ofservices and city
revenue are balanced.
Additionally, I want to identify key goals for the budget year based on a combined council's strategic plan and city staff
Fiscal policy is developed based on constituent input and city council member's best judgement. At the end of the budget
year, city leaders have a responsibility report expenditures in a meaningful way.
When elected, how would you make sure that you and your fellow elected officials continue to be accessible to
constituents and their concerns and open to public input?
I have several initiatives I am researching
and the city as a whole.
as best practices on open and free
flow of information with citizens in my district
Communication should be focused on the convenience and preferences of the community. Currently, input to council
members is open to everyone; however, not convenient or desirable for most citizens. My goal is to research and implement
several options to push information out and to pull information from constituents, including:
Easy-to-read dashboards on city performance and fiscal challenges
Developing an Open Data Policy that outlines how the city intends to engage the community by working with
citizens, soliciting their ideas, input, and creative energy
There are many more tools available than are currently being used. Many of the tools addressed above are low or no-cost
I would support an environment on the council that is open and accessible. Every constituent should be treated with respect.
Why should the
25th Legislative
District Democrats support you over any other candidates running for this position?
I believe one short fall on the city council now is in soliciting, disseminating and managing information. The process of
information sharing and group consensus is important to effective representation. My military experience taught me how to
work with large groups and influence them for the best outcomes. My work on the Recall Dale Washam was an example of
generating a cofilmon goal with a large number of citizens. Roughly about 25,000 citizens were aware of the problems at the
Assessor-Treasurer and the other 40,000 citizens were as a result of outreach.
The other strength I have is understanding the process of services Puyallup provides. Naval ships are essentially micro-cities
afloat; I have served on many ships from an Aircraft Carrier to Destroyer. I keenly understand the processes and the
importance of infrastructure (sewer, potable and waste water), facilities maintenance, and ensuring the safety and security of
the staff. Understanding the planning process is important; however, I have approximately 6 years of practical experience
serving on these micro-city environments.
Finally, I have an educational and recent business experience advantage. My undergraduate studies are in political science
and history. I have a Master's in Business Communication majoring in Leadership and Influence. In 2013, I completed my
Master's in Business Administration. Since my retirement, I have worked in a large insurance firm and in a small local
business. I understand the challenges ofoperating in the business environment.
Robin Farris, Puyallup City Council
25ft Democrats Questionnatre
What would you do to encourage economic development in your city?
My goal is to support an economic development plan as a part of the City of Puyallup's Comprehensive Plan. I believe that
economic development should be well thought out and purposeful. lt should focus on a sustainable growth model, which
reflects access to qualified employees, transportation needs, traffic requirements, and ease ofuse.
Additional actions include developing a Business Roundtable to discuss: best practices, networking opporhrnities, how the
city can suppoft small businesses, training sessions and feedback to community and city leaders.
What would you do to address the transportation/transit challenges facing your city?
The Transit budget cuts directly impacted citizens who have special needs and limited resources. The Puyallup Connector
has helped bridge the gap. The one area for improvement is to make citizens aware of the Connector routes and I plan to do
that by communicating the service on my website and email list.
SR 167 Connector. Truck traffic is an issue on some residential roads as a result of the traffic congestion on Meridian from
River road to Valley road. It is in the best interest of the City of Puyallup to have access to I-5 and SR 509. I have a good
working relationship with Rep Hans Zeiger and Senator Dammeier, I will continue to communicate the need for that
important transportation improvement.
The biggest challenge for the City of Puyallup is an underfunded life-cycle road maintenance by $4M annually. This is a
short sighted plan with significant implications. Road maintenance should be given priority funding as it saves taxpayers
money by avoiding costly replacement down the road. No plan is currently established to deal with a $4-5,000,000 annual
deficit with the exception ofpotential federal and state grants.
Are there any additional comments you would like to share with the 25th Legislative District Democrats?
As a citizen who initiated a recall, I tackled an issue that no elected official was legally able to address. I was motivated to
lead the recall because I felt passionately about the working conditions for the employees at the Assessor-Treasurers office.
Further I was enraged at the cost to Pierce County funds for inept leadership decisions.
What is not as widely publicized is the four years of litigation I pursued to change the law to allow pro bonolegal services
for recall cases. We were ultimately not successful in court; however, it demonstrates my level of commitment to my
community in the absence of personal benefit.
I believe very strongly in servant leadership and cooperation in govemment.
is the intent of the 25th District Democrats to support qualified Democrats seeking political office for both partisan
and nonpartisan races. To that end we are looking for individuals who adhere to Democratic principles as
demonstrated by Democratic Party activity, community activities, their reputation among Democrats, and statements
they make supporting the Democratic Party and fellow Democrats. Endorsed candidates are discouraged from giving
support in any partisan race to non-Democratic candidates. If an individual is running against another Democratic
candidate(s), such endorsed candidate is encouraged to draw clear distinctions and differences with his/her opponent
in a friendly, informational, and non-confrontational fashion. My signature below signifies my agreement with these
principles and that I understand that the 25th District Democrats may withdraw its endorsement if I do not adhere to
Candidate Signature:
73, 2 Cl5
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