Decision 2013: OP&L Candidate Questionnaire, Olympia City Council, Pos. 7

News Politics

Who are these people? And why are the running for local office? To help find out, we wanted to give every candidate a chance to speak directly to you, our wise and discerning readers. Thus, this candidate questionnaire. Some of the questions were submitted by readers. Some were prepared by OP&L. (Disclosure: OP&L co-publisher Matthew Green is working with the campaigns of Sue Gunn for Port of Olympia Commissioner, and Darren Mills and Julie Hankins for Olympia City Council. Matthew did not determine the questions for those races.) The answers are straight from the candidates. We did not edit them, except to fix a few typos and grammatical errors. (Because OP&L never prints typos and grammatical errors. Ever. So shut up.)

General election ballots will be mailed on October 16, and must be postmarked or dropped in a ballot box by November 6. For more election information, visit


Position: Olympia City Council, position 7

Candidates: Jim Cooper, Prophet Atlantis

1.         Where do you see the art of civic responsibility playing a role with all the stakeholders in downtown Olympia?

JC:     The responsibilities that come with belonging to community should not be taken lightly.  It is our job as citizens of Olympia, Washington, Cascadia, USA, World, Universe to hold each other accountable for our actions and set a standard of behavior for each other. We need to listen to every voice in our downtown, report crimes to the police and use our collective resources and brainpower to provide for the needs of all of its users. If we can all play our part and know one another’s part we can polish the rough edges of our awesome downtown.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*        

2.        Please speak to the Olympia Downtown Association’s influence on City of Olympia policies and decisions.

JC:     The Olympia Downtown Association (ODA) is a stakeholder group of downtown businesses with a goal of advancing their agenda in the community.  In my opinion they are a group of business leaders who care deeply about Olympia’s downtown. As with any group they represent some of the voice on their issues, other views will always exist. It is my job as an elected representative to make sure that all interest groups and individuals have equal influence and access to policy and decision making in the City and the ODA is no exception.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*

3.        What is your position on graffiti and street art?

JC:     Graffiti or tagging is undesirable and done by vandals and must be removed immediately.  If we can continue to remove it immediately and enforce consequences when vandals are caught then our community will remain a beautiful place to live.  Street art is done by artists who are thoughtful about their work and seek permission to install a piece. I am in favor of providing more “free” street art space and encouraging artists of all ages to contribute.  Maybe someday we will use art more creatively on street projects to reduce some of the grey.  Murals painted right on the road or parking lot can greatly beautify a space.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*

4.        What is your position on the future of Capitol Lake and the empty properties nearby?

JC:     Capitol Lake is in dire need of attention. It’s an unhealthy system that is also a valuable social asset to our community.  There is no money for re-engineering the mouth of the Deschutes River any time soon so we need to focus on the matter at hand which is getting the lake cleaned up, dredged and open so the public can use it again.  As for the derelict properties on the north side of the lake: I’m proud that we now have some of that property in public ownership and look forward to developing a community vision for the area.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*

5.        What is your position on the People’s House low-barrier shelter, and what would you do to address the needs of this population? Would you support a moratorium on the creation of low-barrier shelters?

JC:     Adequate and accessible shelter is a core component of a homeless services system.  Today we have neither.  The People’s House project has a desire to improve this piece of the system.  This program has demonstrated a willingness to listen to the community and adjust barriers based on our community tolerance. There are nearly 500 people in the region on the streets every night and this project is only 40 beds. I believe that the People’s House is a good project and the community should support it as long as they continue to listen.  I am against a moratorium.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*

6.        What is the appropriate role for your jurisdiction in working with others – such as the County and Intercity Transit – to meet the goals laid out by the Sustainable Thurston Task Force?

JC:     It is yet to be seen at what level the sustainability plan will be implemented across the county.  Once it is final the city will begin to parse out its roles and what of it is attainable.  In general the City of Olympia is already working towards many of those goals.  As a city we work collaboratively with the surrounding cities and the county along with many other entities like Intercity Transit and the LOTT Clean Water Alliance on an ongoing basis. I believe we have a responsibility to coordinate government services across jurisdictional boundaries whenever practical.

PA:     This candidate hates voters.*

* Seriously, this candidate hates voters. We warned every candidate, in repeated messages, that if they failed to submit answers to the questionnaire, we would print these precise words next to their name. They ran for a position of public trust, and yet they can’t be bothered to answer reasonable questions to inform the voters on their views? Hmmm, sounds to us like they hate voters.


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