VOTER’S GUIDE: Q&A with Normandy Park City Council Candidates


The General Election is coming up fast – Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 – and the final candidates for Normandy Park City Council are finishing up their campaigning.

Last week, we emailed out a list of 10 Questions to all candidates who are running opposed, and we are publishing their answers below, in an effort to help our undecided Readers make up their minds.

Here they are, listed in numerical and alphabetical order:

City of Normandy Park, Council Position 1:

Shawn McEvoy

1. What are the three biggest issues facing Normandy Park that the City Council should focus on?
Public Safety has got to be our number one priority. We have challenges ahead including an undermanned police force. Outside our borders there are areas of high crime, gang activities, and violence.

Secondly, we need a sustainable source of revenue for a healthy financial future. Going to our voters to ask for another Levy of taxes has got to change.

Thirdly, maintaining our roads and parks are essential to our quality of life we’ve come to enjoy and expect. It takes careful planning ,prioritizing, and prudent use of our resources to accomplish this.

2. If you are an incumbent city council member, or have served on a commission, what is your attendance record for council or commission meetings you were required to attend?
My attendance, as a Councilmember/Mayor for 14 years, has been very good. I’ve made it a point to either be available by phone when not present, or give my fellow Councilmembers notice and be excused.

3. What ideas do you have for spending tax dollars more efficiently for both the City of Normandy Park and the Metropolitan Park District?
Our tax dollars are being fairly well managed, but there is room for improvement. We need to keep on the lookout for more Grant opportunities.

4. How do you regard the Normandy Park Police Department’s record in patrolling and controlling residential safety?
Sadly, Normandy Park is woefully under staffed in our police force. While we have an excellent Chief and awesome officers, we are at about 1/2 strength from our original 12 man force. Nevertheless, they are doing a good job keeping our citizens safe from rampant violent crime and gang activities like those seen in other locals.

5. How should Normandy Park react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it produces over the city?
Normandy Park has been at the forefront in the battle to keep the Port of Seattle/ Sea-Tac Airport from overwhelming our cities. We have challenged their environmental misdeeds and have been successful in seeing them, eventually, reduce and control their pollution. They have embraced this new ‘Green effort of theirs’ and have even become a model for other airports in this regard. There is still much to do. The planned expansion will bring, during peak hours, 120 flights vs 88 currently!

Passenger traffic will swell from 37 million to 66 million! Increased flights (and overflights) will mean more noise and more pollution. Ground traffic on our roads will be severely impacted. Then there is the cost. Who’s going to pay? We need to address this together with our sister cities; we need to speak with unified Regional Voice.

6. What would you like to see happen in Normandy Park over the next few years? This is an open-ended question – you can address city council wishes, wishes for the community as a whole, or other topics you feel passionate about.
I would like to see Normandy Park have a sustainable financial future; one that allows us to adequately address public safety, maintenance of our roads, storm water, and parks. I would like to see Normandy Park remain essentially as it is.

7. Is enough being done to develop more business and economic activity in the city to ameliorate tax income beyond residential?
I don’t believe enough is being done to do “a better job” of economic development and revenue sustainability. There are ideas we should be looking more closely at.

8. What is one question you would like to ask the person running against you?
“Is he concerned his radical ideas may cause anger and resentment towards himself?”

9. Is there anything else you would like voters to know? Please limit this closing statement to 50 or so words.
Normandy Park is a wonderful City. It is safe, it is clean, and it is green. Let’s keep it that way. The Council positions are volunteer as are the Commissioners positions. We’ve gotten here by volunteers. Whether it’s as a Councilmember, Commissioner, Boy Scout/ Girl Scout, Coach, or other, let’s keep it going. Let’s keep this community wonderful.

10.  What’s the best way for voters who have further questions to get in touch with you?

Earnest Thompson

1. What are the three biggest issues facing Normandy Park that the City Council should focus on?
Airport pollution, Street Maintenance and Financial Stability.

2. If you are an incumbent city council member, or have served on a commission, what is your attendance record for council or commission meetings you were required to attend?
Easily over 90% as a Parks and Planning Commissioner.

3. What ideas do you have for spending tax dollars more efficiently for both the City of Normandy Park and the Metropolitan Park District?
The Parks Commission should be more directly engaged with overseeing the financial  budget of the M.P.D. They have the time and best in depth knowledge of our park system.

As for our spending tax dollars efficiently the city is currently running a budget surplus and we recently have seen the city bond rating improve from a single A+ to a double AA- . I was a member on the Budget Advisory Group during this improvement in our bond ratings. I have always found the  finance  department to be very forth coming when I have asked questions about finances and one can check all the financial documents on line at the city web site.

4. How do you regard the Normandy Park Police Department’s record in patrolling and controlling residential safety?
Compared to other surrounding communities which have seen 10-15% or more rises in crime rates Normandy Park has seen according to our latest data 0 % increase. Crime rates are  mostly a reflection of the socioeconomic status of Normandy Park and are not always contingent upon how many police officers a community has. Do we have crime? Of course,  but we are much better off than other local cities. I would also suggest that for anyone who wants a  detailed discussion of these facts that they contact the chief of police of Normandy Park as  he is very accessible .

5. How should Normandy Park react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it produces over the city?
This is the elephant in the room! I have spoken extensively on this topic in the past and during this campaign. I strongly recommend that everyone who lives within a 12 mile radius of SeaTac airport read a book called “Over My Head” by Debi Wagner who is currently a Burien City Council member. Short of a multipage answer, suffice it to say that data shows that we have large increases in cancer , respiratory disease and skin maladies directly attributable to airplane pollution. The noise as bad as it is , is the canary in the mine shaft compared to the dangers of Volatile Active Compounds, (VOA), and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons,(PAH). As a career  medical professional  I  concur  with the data referenced in her book. I support Quiet Skies Puget Sound Organization in this regard.

Lets make it clear that the Port of Seattle, (POS), is not a friend of Normandy Park or any city in south King County. The POS is beholden only to massive corporations and the downtown Seattle financial elite.  You won’t see endless  pollution and noise producing flights over Medina or Mercer Island.

The mid and longer term answer to the Highway in the Sky dictat from corporate America and the FAA is bullet trains like Japan, Europe and China  currently have. Also we need to be pushing for implementation of  the coming Hyperloop transportation systems  being developed in California that will start to be built within the next 5 years in various countries around the world. Why are we stuck with antiquated choo choo trains? We need to turn SeaTac Airport into Seatac Hyperloop or SeaTac Trainport. Obviously Normandy Park has no real influence on these events but we can at least be on record as supporting these improvements to our environment .

6. What would you like to see happen in Normandy Park over the next few years? This is an open-ended question – you can address city council wishes, wishes for the community as a whole, or other topics you feel passionate about.
As can be seen from the above airport pollution is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Then there are more local problems of why the city allows derelict buildings like the old  Dairy Queen to continue to fester year after year. Road paving is an issue that needs to be further addressed.  Sometimes there is a painful lack of code enforcement of regulations we already have on the books. What good are regulations if we don’t either have the staff or political will to enforce the laws? At the end of the day , fiscal responsibility is paramount and we must continue to build our Reserve Fund so we don’t get caught out like the city was back in 2008.

7. Is enough being done to develop more business and economic activity in the city to ameliorate tax income beyond residential?
Lets be honest, we are a bedroom community and there is not a lot of open land left to develop . That said, the Planning Commission of which I am a member, has been engaged with rezoning  some select parcels along 1st Ave S. to facilitate possible Mixed Use development in the future.

I have also been reading lately about how encouraging artists and public art leads to increasing  investment of small business retail services, like coffee shops , restaurants , bakeries etc., as well as small high-tech  business start ups . The best thing we can do might be to encourage these sort of artistic  social and business community efforts and in the process demand the highest level of standards of construction for new buildings. In this way, we can as my slogan states:   Protect & Improve Normandy Park .

8. What is one question you would like to ask the person running against you?
Let me first say, that I have no personal animosity toward my opponent ,as I know him to be a polite person.

I would however ask him where he gets his information from? We are not currently down at half strength on our police force. Our full force compliment is 10 officers. We have 8 officers currently and with the passage of the Levy Lift the city will have filled the remaining 2 positions very soon, after their vetting process- possibly by Christmas.  Our Planning Commission is full with 7 members. The Art Commission has 1 opening currently to the best of my knowledge.

9. Is there anything else you would like voters to know? Please limit this closing statement to 50 or so words.
My opponent paints a picture of our city as in “trouble” or crisis . Well our country may be in crises but Normandy Park is not. We have an Ending Balance Fund of > $500,000 , with upward projections of 1 million .The last time we were in  financial ”trouble”  was after 2008 when my opponent was a member of the city council.

10.  What’s the best way for voters who have further questions to get in touch with you?


City of Normandy Park, Council Position 2:


City of Normandy Park, Council Position 4:

Kathleen Waters

1.  What are the three biggest issues facing Normandy Park that the City Council should focus on?

  1. Increasing our revenue stream.
  2. Establishing a reliable street repair and replacement process
  3. Expanding up-zoning along First Avenue south (provides increased revenue)

2.  If you are an incumbent city council member, or have served on a commission, what is your attendance record for council or commission meetings you were required to attend?
Excellent –  90+ percent

3.  What ideas do you have for spending tax dollars more efficiently for both the City of Normandy Park and the Metropolitan Park District?

  • Expand communication between individual council members and management.  Proactive interaction by council members assures that they are informed, able to plan financial strategy on a regular basis and ahead of the curve so that negative financial surprises are avoided.  It is up to the council as a whole and as individuals to assure residents that we are fiscally sound.
  • Populate an appropriate number of new advisory ad hoc committees with voter residents.  This will continue transparency introduced in the past four years and increase resident’s access and interaction with policy makers and city staff.  It brings new ideas and innovation and expands our shared direction of expenditures for the city and the parks.  It definitely assures better understanding of how the city works for those who live here.
  • Encourage voters to elect council members with confirmed track records of city volunteer work, leadership skills and demonstrated communication skills that will enable quality interaction with city manager and the management staff.  The success or failure of the city directly relates to quality council decision making.

4. How do you regard the Normandy Park Police Department’s record in patrolling and controlling residential safety?
We did not have any increase in our crime rate in 2015, 2016. Zero% !   Currently, we have 8 officers, one new officer in the pipeline and the 10th on track to be hired in 2018. 

Our city has a very low overall crime rate and low level crimes.  2017 is not over and we know that crime is random and periodic.  So, until the year is over its hard to know if there will be an increase this year. I doubt it.

Our department is led by a well educated, experienced chief who has upgraded our policing to practice the best law and order procedures with an eye on the fiscal accountability of his department.  He sustains our reputation for security and safety.

5. How should Normandy Park react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it produces over the city?

In the next five years, the Port expects to triple air cargo volume at Seatac, in addition to escalating passenger traffic.  Collecting independent air-quality and noise-level data in our neighborhoods is key.

Our best option for holding the Port and FAA accountable for limiting noise and air pollution is maintaining a clear and active participation with these agencies. Dialog is very important if we are to influence their policy decisions that impact the quality of life here.

I believe we should work with reputable civic organizations and individuals who understand that solutions to the issues should be negotiated in good faith and with civil discourse, i.e. Quiet Skies Coalition.

6. What would you like to see happen in Normandy Park over the next few years? This is an open-ended question – you can address city council wishes, wishes for the community as a whole, or other topics you feel passionate about.
I’d like to see several areas on First Avenue south blossoming with revenue generating businesses including one or more destination businesses.  Further, I’d like to see improved streets and sidewalks where there aren’t any on First Avenue South and throughout the city.  I want our parks sustained and enhanced, especially Marine view park that needs improved access for everyone (disabled) for acces to the beach.

7. Is enough being done to develop more business and economic activity in the city to ameliorate (make better) tax income beyond residential?
Many people are working on this but at this point, the answer, due to no particular malintention or lack of trying is, no.  The challenge is delayed by, among other things the inherent tension between a city and private enterprise.  I think we need:

  • Destination businesses
  • Conversation with business owners on B & O taxes
  • Additional up-zoning along First Avenue South  

Destination businesses would bring increased revenue opportunities to our city.

I think the time is past due to host a Round Table of business owners to discuss the city’s need for more revenue. Without discussion of this option to increase revenue we are left to believe rumors and misinformation about the pros and cons of a B & O tax.   Let’s talk to brick and mortar businesses that generate at least $200,000 or more in gross taxable income.  Note that etail business deliveries occur on our streets 7 days a week.  Without discussing ways to improve revenue, we will remain reliant on levies and residential property owners will continue to be taxed directly to pay for city services including streets.  A conversation on B &O taxation for etail and retail is overdue.  My challenger tabled a conversation about B & O taxes until after this election. 

Up-zoning on First Avenue started this year with a small section of single family zoned homes.  We should expand our options and come to an agreement on further sections of First Avenue up-zoned to include mixed use and neighborhood center.

8. What is one question you would like to ask the person running against you?
Why did you vacate your own seat on the council to run against me?

9.  Please describe what you have achieved for the city during your term.

  • Chaired the Finance committee 2014 – 2017
  • Introduced the idea for the Facilities Task Force and got council agreement to put it into action.
  • Introduced the idea of a Budget Advisory Group and got council agreement to put it into action.
  • Recruited the bulk of the membership for the Facilities Task Force and the Budget Advisory Group.
  • Initiated the discussion on Re-zoning on First Avenue and achieved approval by Planning commission and City Council.
  • Led Council compromise on Fourth of July regulations.  Four council members were present for the vote.  The new regulations were enacted for the first time this year.
  • Co-led the Finance committee’s work on developing a Contingency Fund, also referred to as a “Rainy Day Fund”.  The council adopted the Finance Committee’s recommendation to start a Contingency Fund that is currently capped at one million dollars.  Currently we have two years of deposits with a balance of $100,000.
  • Initiated audio recording of the Finance Committee meetings, late summer, 2017.
  • Initiated joint meeting of staff and Parents of Normandy Park Preschool.
  • Worked with representative of the Parents Group to negotiate pre-school fees.

9. Is there anything else you would like voters to know? Please limit this closing statement to 50 or so words.
I use data, research, historical perspective, conversations with neighbors and other council members and staff, to determine how to make a decision.  Advocacy alone cannot achieve legislative action.  I rely on lots of preparation and all of the above for due deliberation to determine how to vote on any issue.

10.  What’s the best way for voters who have further questions to get in touch with you?
Facebook, phone and email:

Mike Bishoff did not respond to our inquiry.


City of Normandy Park, Council Position 6:

Patrick McDonald

1. What are the three biggest issues facing Normandy Park that the City Council should focus on?

  1. Maintaining a healthy police force in Normandy Park – we need to be fiscally responsible and continue to explore other areas of revenue that complement our current income sources and don’t rely on continued tax increases to fund our police. 
  2. Work on improving and maintaining our economic development in the main commercial centers in Normandy Park – I will take an active approach in making sure our existing businesses grow while attracting new economic opportunities.  I would like to develop an organization similar to Discover Burien and work with the Normandy Park EDC to build on what they have already done.
  3. Keep the existing culture of Normandy Park through well-funded parks and generous lot sizes – I will make sure we continue to keep laws and regulations in place that don’t impede on our residential rights.

2. If you are an incumbent city council member, or have served on a commission, what is your attendance record for council or commission meetings you were required to attend?
N/A

3. What ideas do you have for spending tax dollars more efficiently for both the City of Normandy Park and the Metropolitan Park District?
I believe NP is a great and safe communities for families and we need to keep that culture, which is what I plan to do.  We need to make sure we are making financial decisions that don’t leave our city in debt or struggle financially.  The present and future culture of Np is rooted in a well-funded PD, clean parks, and up-to-date roads/sidewalks.  In order to maintain those things, we need to come up with creative and innovative ideas that create revenue for our city so that we don’t continue to use increases in property tax to fund our projects and put ourselves in a bad place financially.

4. How do you regard the Normandy Park Police Department’s record in patrolling and controlling residential safety?
A big part of our culture here in NP is that we have our own PD which makes it a very safe place to live.  I think the PD has done a great job and I would like to make sure they keep getting the funding they need and continue to be a force that attracts other quality police officers in the future.

5. How should Normandy Park react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it produces over the city?
This is a big issue for our citizens.  I believe it’s important that we start to partner with them to deepen our collaboration and build on the relationship, but also to keep them honest in their expansion and make sure they are taking our citizens views and health into account in terms of noise and pollution.  We have a unique opportunity to leverage our location being this close to the port and we can use that opportunity to help create better revenue streams for our city. 

6. What would you like to see happen in Normandy Park over the next few years? This is an open-ended question – you can address city council wishes, wishes for the community as a whole, or other topics you feel passionate about.
Normandy Park is already such a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  We have to get the budget under control and figure out creative ways to produce more revenue for the city, but overall we have an amazing culture and place to live and I don’t believe we have to change a whole lot to continue to keep our city culture where it is now.

7. Is enough being done to develop more business and economic activity in the city to ameliorate tax income beyond residential?
The short answer is no.  Like a lot of other small residential based cities, most of our revenue comes from property taxes, which will continue to be our biggest revenue source.  My goal is to slow down our property tax increases and find other and increased areas of revenue for our city.  To me, that starts with better economic development of our main commercial areas.  By complimenting and helping grow our existing businesses, I’d like to see us do a better job at being proactive in reaching out to the business community to attract new destination businesses to the area.  It’s important to our tax revenue that we drive a community of business here in Normandy Park.  I would like to spend some of my time as a volunteer economic development specialist for the city to help attract those businesses. .  Examples of this would be working with the owner of Manhattan village to help revitalize the space by taking down the empty Dairy Queen or filling it with high revenue business, which equals additional tax dollars to the city.    

8. What is one question you would like to ask the person running against you?
Why did you decide to run again?

9. Is there anything else you would like voters to know? Please limit this closing statement to 50 or so words.
I believe we need to listen and educate our citizens more on what we are doing as leaders in the community, especially when it comes to the city budget.  I’d like to come up with a platform that allows us to meet and/or poll our citizens on various issues, rather than doing things behind closed doors and without the input of our citizens.  

10.  What’s the best way for voters who have further questions to get in touch with you?

Phone or Email.  You can also always contact me through my website, electmcdonald.com

206-992-6901 or [email protected]

Kathleen Quong-Vermeire

1.  What are the three biggest issues facing Normandy Park that the City Council should focus on?

  1. Emergency Preparedness
  2. Airport issues expansion, noise
  3. Revenue, Spending and savings

2. If you are an incumbent city council member, or have served on a commission, what is your attendance record for council or commission meetings you were required to attend?
I volunteered to served on Normandy Park Budget Advisory and the Facilities Planning Task Force Committees and maybe missed One meeting.  As a Commissioner for Highlinewater District 18 plus years and my attendance record is about 95%.  I do attend Conferences related to water and sewer issues and sometimes the scheduled dates are also our meeting times.

3. What ideas do you have for spending tax dollars more efficiently for both the City of Normandy Park and the Metropolitan Park District?
I would like Normandy Park to continue developing a more detailed Asset Management plan.  A more detailed plan of all the cities assets their value, future value, and costs associated with maintaining them and replacing those assets if destroyed unexpectedly.

4. How do you regard the Normandy Park Police Department’s record in patrolling and controlling residential safety?
It is very important to me that we all feel safe in our city.  I’m all for sitting down with Police Chief Dan Yourkoski and concerned citizens to discuss issues of concern. I do support our police department.

5. How should Normandy Park react to the Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to Sea-Tac Airport and the increased noise and air pollution some say it produces over the city?
Normandy Park should take an active roll in the  Port of Seattle’s proposed large and rapid expansion to SeaTac airport by listening to citizens concerns and be their voice at meetings with the decision makers.

6. What would you like to see happen in Normandy Park over the next few years? This is an open-ended question – you can address city council wishes, wishes for the community as a whole, or other topics you feel passionate about.

  • Actively engage police, citizens, city council members and city staff to create an emergency plan for Normandy Park that would also create relationships with surrounding communities.
  • Come up with a plan to increase our revenues without increasing taxes.
  • Reinstalling our Normandy Park signs that are being refurbished.
  • Work with staff on getting grant dollars that can be used for economic development.

7. Is enough being done to develop more business and economic activity in the city to ameliorate tax income beyond residential?
Normandy Park Economic Development Committee members are dedicated to attracting new businesses and work closely with the current business community. Attracting businesses to our city takes time, energy and dedication which those committee members have shown.  There are limited grant dollars available and the competition for those dollars is getting harder and harder to acquire.

8. What is one question you would like to ask the person running against you?
Do any of our city services need to be changed and why???

9. Is there anything else you would like voters to know? Please limit this closing statement to 50 or so words.
Serving my community is a privilege and a passion.  I have the time, energy and commitment to support the city I call home. I will work to develop working relationships with neighboring communities that will be of great benefit to all.

10.  What’s the best way for voters who have further questions to get in touch with you?
[email protected]


City of Normandy Park, Council Position 7:


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