Incumbent Randy Hynek and challenger Kathy Hayden, the chair of the Sumner Planning Commission, and are running for Position 2 on the Sumner City Council.
As the Nov. 5 general election approaches, here are their thoughts on Sumner:
Puyallup Herald: What experience do you have that makes you the right choice for Sumner City Council?
Randy Hynek: Founding member and past president of the Sumner Neighborhood Association, Julie Molkie, succeeded me when I resigned to run for office. We stopped the ill-conceived Town Center plan from leveling the historic downtown core. Stopped a six-story concrete parking garage from being built next to a residential neighborhood. Identified and helped stop the proposed chemical tank farm that was planned for Sumner. Helped stop the use of a toxic chemical in our water supply. Built, with volunteer help, one of the largest community gardens in the state for the least amount of money.
Local community gardens average 7,000 to 10,000 square feet in size. Sumner’s gardens exceed 250,000 square feet. Turned an $8,000 city cash investment into $2 million in organic produce for the people of the Sumner area.
If I had gone along to get along, none of the above items would have occurred. I’m here to represent the people, not to click my heels to, and follow the orders of, one of the largest property owners in town as he enriches himself and his close family members at the public’s expense.
Kathy Hayden: I have been on Sumner Planning Commission for 5 1/2 years, acting as chair for the last 2 1/2 years. I have regularly attended council meetings for 20 years. My husband and I have owned and operated a barbershop in Sumner for over 30 years, where we have been “an ear in the community,” listening and engaging with Sumner citizens from all walks of life.
PH: If elected to Sumner City Council, what is one priority you would accomplish, and why?
RH: My opponent favors restricting the flow of information that the people receive as is confirmed by her refusal to attend a League of Women Voters candidate forum. In addition, she further slandered this wonderful group of people by putting her name on a letter which accused them of being incompetent to hold a fair meeting.
My No. 1 priority is to ensure the people receive all the information and not a censored version. I did agree to attend this meeting, contrary to this paper’s last story on the issue. One of the organizers of the forum, Mrs. Pederson, can confirm my statement.
KH: If elected to the Sumner City Council, I would help solve city issues efficiently by working with other council members and staff, as a team, using good communication and listening skills in a respectful manner.
PH: What is one challenge you think Sumner is facing during the next five years? What is the best solution to this challenge, and why?
RH: The council should be composed of seven independent voices acting together for what is best for the people of Sumner. Right now, Mayor Dave Enslow, Steve Allsop, Cindi Hochstatter, Mike LeMaster, Ed Hannus and my opponent all belong to a private business organization whose membership is limited to business, and access is granted only by a vote of the members. They meet in private outside the oversight of the public. They almost always vote as a block.
Contracts and jobs are, I believe, given preference to members of this group. I believe it is inappropriate for such a large number of your elected officials to meet and plan in private what should be open to the public. This group meets every week, hidden from public oversight. I believe members of such groups should conform to state law limiting the number of public officials meeting in private to three people.
KH: In my opinion, parking is the biggest issue that Sumner faces. With Sound Transit adding more trains and more people coming to the Sumner commuter station without increased parking, our city is filling up with parked cars. We need to take back our neighborhoods and provide parking, whether it is a parking garage or shuttle lots, working with Sound Transit and the citizens of Sumner.