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Calvin Goings responds

Goings focused on tough decisions, not mudslinging

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I believe the taxpayers of Pierce County want leaders who can make tough decisions.

Sometimes that means ruffling feathers.  Sometimes, it means we have to boldly stand for change even when special interests and the bureaucracy of County government are not ready for it.  For far to long we have had a "go along to get along" philosophy in County government.  The taxpayers of Pierce County demand crystal clear leadership from their elected officials.


It's clear that the Director of the Planning and Land Services Department and I disagree.  I respect the Director, however, we have an obvious difference of opinion about the efficiency and effectiveness of his leadership.  While we disagree about the management of his agency, I have not and will not make this disagreement personal.  The facts speak for themselves.  A projected $4.8M deficit, an independent performance audit not fully implemented, mapping errors impacting over 14,000 acres, environmental laws not enforced, and permitting timelines still not being met, and the list goes on and on.


When evaluating the operations of any government agency, I draw upon my past private sector management experience, having worked as a staff supervisor for Key Bank of Washington and as the Executive Director of the state-wide Washington Credit Union Foundation, to help guide my decision making process.  I had a simple rule while serving in management - one that I believe government agencies must heed now more than ever - the customer always comes first.


Maybe I am old fashioned or need to ignore my private sector roots, but when a government agency fails to meet numerous independent standards and racks up a projected multimillion dollar deficit - shouldn't someone be held accountable?  On this matter like most, the public is way ahead of government insiders.  The taxpayers are ready for change and a bold vision for a better Pierce County. 

That is why I have always fought for the issues and values that matter to Pierce County's families.  Whether it is having the courage to call for a change in leadership in a broken planning department, standing against a sole source monopoly for County contracts, fighting against a huge fee increase on small businesses, or vigorously opposing a 21% pay raise for the Council and Executive - I am never afraid to stand up for the taxpayers and fight against the forces of the status quo.


I believe Pierce County has the potential to be a national leader on issues such as economic development and environmental sustainability.  In my heart I know that we are poised for a bright future, if we only have the vision and energy to reach for our full potential.  We must also have the courage to challenge the old ways of doing business.  If Wednesday's guest column in the News Tribune by Mr Kleeburg is any indication, the forces of the status quo aren't going to give up without a fight.  Well, I am a fighter and I am ready for the battle ahead. — Calvin Goings


Councilmember Calvin Goings (D-Puyallup) serves as Vice Chair of the Pierce County Council.

LINK: News Tribune story on Kleeberg

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