Editor's note: Patch has submitted candidate questionnaires to all candidates in the 45th and 48th legislative districts, as well as those in the 1st Congressional District, and will post the responses verbatim as we receive them.
NAME: Hank Myers
OFFICE SOUGHT: 48th District House, Seat 2
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Redmond
CURRENT OCCUPATION/PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Redmond City Council member since 2007; transportation economist with 40 years of experience in government affairs, planning, commute trip reduction and transit operations. Directed Alaska Airlines government affairs, pricing and contracted services programs, while developing econometric models for new route development. Member, elected author and spokesman for three Metro Transit Eastside Sounding Boards which vastly increased service on SR-520, prepared routes for Sound Transit bus service, and improved local service around the eastside. Managed Diamond Award winning Microsoft Commute Trip program, first member appointed to Metro Transit Advisory Committee, served as chair. Member, Executive Board of the Together Center, the Eastside’s largest human services campus. Member, Bellevue Schools middle school curriculum development and gifted education committees.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
We must create the structure for a sustainable and growing economy. First, we need to restore our education system through increased funding and innovative, effective classrooms. Under the Democrats, the portion of our general budget that goes to education has dropped from 65% to 52%. Second, we need to create a tax and regulatory structure that encourages job growth and innovation. We need to include our taxpayers’ voice in any new taxes, so I support Initiative 1185. Third, we need to create an effective and efficient health care delivery system at affordable costs.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
We can’t address the Supreme Court requirement for K-12 funding in the first six months, but we can fund higher education to bring down the costs of tuition. This would include community and technical colleges as well as the four year schools. We need to increase the portion of K-12 funding that actually reaches the classroom, and allow innovative teaching methods. In other states charter schools have been used effectively to educate special needs students and not just the most capable.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: *SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON*? BRIEFLY, WHY?
Referendum 74 includes specific legal protections for religious beliefs while providing equality in secular matters for all. I support that balance.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY?
While not a benign drug, marijuana’s health effects appear to be less than alcohol, and are easily measured under our existing DUI statutes. Initiative 502 provides specific standards for legal prosecution.