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Bonney Lake councilmembers weigh in on 2003 and the future

By Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

As the political curtain drops on 2003 and the new year is around the corner, a few of the political leaders in the community offered their views on the highlights past, present and future in Bonney Lake and Lake Tapps.

Mayor Bob Young

"A high point of last year was winning 70 percent on the change of government proposition (Bonney Lake Proposition 1). That was vindication of what we are doing," Mayor Bob Young said. "The year is ending up on a very optimistic note. The bills are being paid and I walked the new road around Lake Bonney the other day and thought, this is all right."

Young has just concluded his sixth year as mayor of Bonney Lake. At 57 years old, Young said he is not ready to consider retiring politically or otherwise.

"We've worked hard, but I've had fun. I've really enjoyed it. I think that Bonney Lake has really grown up. Target and several big box stores are looking at coming here. Home Depot is coming. Next year we have a number of very ambitious public works projects. I think the city will do very well.

"One of my main goals for next year: I would love to break ground on a new city hall project. A number of things have to come together. It will take some time, but I'd love to get that started."

Councilman Neil Johnson

"Bonney Lake Days was a highlight this year," Councilman Neil Johnson said. "It was the first year we had it after four years, for me that was the highest point. Also the council retreat. It really helped set our priorities for the coming year. I thought it was a good building block. And the Neighborhood Traffic Control program was important."

Johnson researched, wrote and guided the Neighborhood Traffic Control program through the City Council this year. The program provides a procedure for communities impacted by increased traffic problems to go to the city for help.

"Next year, I'd like to get people more involved through our newsletter and quarterly gatherings, to show people what we are doing and how to build on what we have.

"I also want to see the Neighborhood Traffic Control program expanded to sidewalks and street lighting. They all go hand and hand with safety."

Councilman Phil Deleo

"Dedicating the skate park to Jack Kobelin was a important for me," Councilman Phil Deleo said. "He was a real inspiration for youth activities."

Deleo has been a city council member for 10 years and cites youth activities and youth sports as important aspects of his work on the City Council

"Next year we need to look at more money for parks and other land for parks in and around Bonney Lake. We need to move forward with a new city complex plan."

Councilwoman Cheryle Noble

"Getting the word out about the Washington State University Demonstration Forest was very important," Councilwoman Cheryle Noble said. "So many people didn't know it didn't have to be developed. There is such a lack of open space in Bonney Lake and it's important it be preserved."

Noble also noted winning her first election for political office was a top moment of the year.

"Next year I would like to see a civic center and more parks. And the water issue is going to keep growing. At what point do we keep rubber stamping and supplying water to these developments?"

Councilman Dan Swatman

"During 2003 so many projects came together like that piece of land on the Sumner-Buckley highway that we will use for traffic realignment," Councilman Dan Swatman said. "And we've been fairly successful in acquiring new water rights."

Swatman lost an election in November for an at-large seat, but will continue serving in his Ward 4 seat. He is a member of the Lake Tapps Task Force.

"The Lake Tapps issue may be solved by the end of the year. It would be nice to see that.

Availability of utilities like water and sewer is very important, Swatman said. How you divide them up and make them available for new homes will be very important issues next year.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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