Candidates for Roslyn’s mayoral race took time to answer questions submitted by the Daily Record staff about their future vision for the city. Doug Johnson is currently running against incumbent Brent Hals.

BRENT HALS BIO

My name is Brent Hals and I am the current Mayor of Roslyn. I was educated with two degrees from CWU, and I owned and operated a business in Cle Elum for three years before working at a technology company for the last 20 years. I have lived with my family in Roslyn for the last 25 years.

DOUG JOHNSON BIO

Personal Experience: I have lived in Roslyn for 44 years, married and raised our family here, and am grateful for the recreational opportunities here, having hiked, biked, skied, and snowshoed Roslyn Ridge over 2,000 times.

Professional Experience: I have taught mathematics for over 30 years in the county, operated three small businesses, and served on the Roslyn City Council in the 1980s and 1990s.

If elected, how will you work to accommodate the logistics related to city growth via new commercial and residential construction?

HALS: As I do now, myself and staff will make sure all growth and building follow the established Roslyn municipal codes to preserve Roslyn’s Historic designation. We have a dedicated Planning and Historical Preservation Commission that reviews every project during the architectural design review process, which reviews plans in relations to our codes and design standards. Growth, to a certain extent, is a given. And controlling it to benefit all Roslyn citizens is a must.

JOHNSON: I will work closely with Roslyn’s Planning and Historical Preservation Commission, Citizen Advisory Committee, and Roslyn Downtown Association to ensure that the unique character of Roslyn is respected, celebrated, and maintained, while concurrently supporting local business and economic opportunity. This is a constantly changing situation and requires regular and ongoing attention. I will work collaboratively and openly with the citizens, staff, organizations, and council to address growth issues the city is facing. I listen to all viewpoints and have gratitude for those willing to come forward and work for the betterment of the City.

If elected, how do you plan on balancing the influx of tourism and recreation in the city with the needs of full-time residents?

JOHNSON: Roslyn has seen many changes and challenges in its history and has proven resilient. The economic base was coal and timber, now Forest Service work, highway jobs, education, local businesses, and more. The most recent economic drivers have been tourism and construction due to growth. The influx of tourism and recreation, while creating some challenges, also helps meet the needs of local residents. It is providing jobs and opportunities for new businesses. The Farmers Market brings huge crowds to town, and those crowds can be seen shopping the stores, buying ice cream, and eating in the local restaurants. That said, there are major parking problems on summer weekends, with cars parked all up and down the streets radiating out from downtown. For parking, we can take better advantage of the undeveloped flat areas behind city hall. It is also important to make sure that short-term rentals don’t negatively impact neighborhoods with noise, litter, and vehicle crowding. These kinds of issues can be, and are being, addressed through zoning and regulation. I will work with all shareholders in an open and collaborative way to find solutions to an ongoing changing situation.

HALS: Improving the parking situation is something I have worked on since becoming mayor. I will asphalt the road edges on Penn and 2nd to create more clearly marked and enforceable parking space. I will also work with Suncadia to better establish an organized public parking area behind city hall, with more signage to direct visitors to the appropriate areas, including areas for larger vehicles and trailers. We also try to work closely with the groups and organizations that bring the larger events to our town, and the city park, to help them understand our expectations and requirements with sanitation, noise and parking. I have a great relationship with our police force, and we continue to improve enforcement to help alleviate issues in our neighborhoods that may have spilled over from the downtown core. The balance between tourism and residents is always under review as we continue to improve how things are measured and accomplished.

What is your 10-year vision for Roslyn?

HALS: I will continue to regulate and control growth with all of the power the city has available to us. I will continue to improve the infrastructure for public safety, and how our roads, water, storm and sewer operate and function. In the next 10 years we will see changes, but not to the extent that Roslyn won’t still be Roslyn. It is in no one’s best interest to make Roslyn something that it is not, including Suncadia, the county, the visitors, the neighboring communities; no one. People come here to live and visit because of our historical charm, our friendly demeanor and our small-town atmosphere; and that will not change as long as I am mayor.

JOHNSON: My 10-year vision is that Roslyn will look like the Roslyn I saw when I moved here in 1975. The character of town will be preserved. Roslyn will not have suffered catastrophic wildfire and will be surrounded by healthy, fire-wised forestlands. Excess brush and flammable debris in town will be cleaned up. Increased population will have been accommodated through infill (We currently have about 200 remaining building sites.), additional dwelling units and possible multi-unit complexes to provide affordable housing. Such structures will be carefully considered so as to not compromise the Roslyn style. The downtown business community will continue to thrive and may be expanded somewhat to the east. Roslyn will continue to be both a great place to live for residents and an attraction to visitors.

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