Charles Tyson: Facilities will mark four years | ELECTION 2015

Charles Tyson says the Tukwila City Council needs someone with professional expertise, who will ask questions and make sure all solutions to the city’s problems are considered.

Charles Richard (Dick) Tyson

Charles Tyson says the Tukwila City Council needs someone with professional expertise, who will ask questions and make sure all solutions to the city’s problems are considered.

Today’s council, he said, is “largely ceremonial,” appearing in the community and considering recommendations from city departments – and voting with “virtually no questions asked.”

He wants to change that.

“I think the fact that I am not endorsed by any member of the council speaks for the need for me to run,” he said. His opponent, incumbent Kate Kruller, is endorsed by her fellow six council members.

In an interview with the Tukwila Reporter, Tyson talked about the issues facing the city.

He expects the four years “will be noteworthy” because the city is planning its facility needs for the future. Because of his training in geography and urban planning, he said he thinks he can provide “hands-on input.”

For years he has worked on his “Tyson Plan,” a proposal to build a City Hall campus along Interstate 5, making presentations to city officials and the City Council. The city is headed in a different direction on its facility planning, but Tyson thinks the city will eventually consider his proposal, which he says will cost less than what the city is proposing.


He calls residential crime an “epidemic.” The police chief has indicated the Police Department has sufficient resources, but Tyson asks, why does the city still have a problem?

“I think we should give police the resources and hold them accountable,” he said.

Property crimes

According to the Police Department’s 2014 annual report, in the last five years reported property crimes have ranged from a low of 2,976 in 2010 to a high of 3,402 in 2014. Those numbers include shoplifting cases at Westfield-Southcenter.

Tyson deferred comment on a proposal for Tukwila to join the Kent Regional Fire Authority until he sees the final recommendation. But he said he doesn’t feel the Tukwila Fire Department is adequately funded now. “They are true professionals doing a wonderful job,” he said.

Tyson said the new multi-use development called Tukwila Village in the long run will help revitalize Tukwila International Boulevard.

“But I don’t know if we’ve eradicated the problems we have up there or if we’ve just kicked them down the street,” he said, pointing to the ongoing crime issues at the Link light-rail station.

“Priority-wise, when we are dealing with unmet needs in the fire department, when we have the people needs that we have, I just begin wonder about investing in things as opposed to people,” he said. He noted he doesn’t want to “come on strong” as opposed to Tukwila Village.

TIB revitalization

Tyson questioned why local tax dollars were used to buy crime-ridden motels on Tukwila International Boulevard after they were seized by federal authorities. He understands that the properties are part of a larger vision the city has for improving the Boulevard.

“The feds had a blighted piece of property in Tukwila. Whose responsibility was it to unblight it?” he said. The answer is the federal government, he said, and then sell the land as surplus property.

Eventually, the city will sell the land, but it won’t recover all its costs, he said.

Tyson said he’s hopeful about Tukwila’s future, but “we have a long ways to go to meet this slogan: City of Opportunity, Community of Choice. For whom? We have not met that.”

The city’s problems are complex, he said, and “I think that we need a hands-on approach by leadership, as opposed to leaving all decisions to the staff.”

He said that’s what the City Council did in the past. “I think the council position is more than ceremonial,” he said


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