Looking to continue over a decade of service as a staff member in local government, Amy Cruver is seeking an elected position as Pierce County Council Third District council member.
Cruver, a Pierce County resident since 1995, has served 14 years as District 3 Councilman Jim McCune’s assistant, working with him since 2005 during his seven years as a state representative. McCune has endorsed her to succeed him after his final term ends, Dec. 31.
McCune wrote on Cruver’s website, “She will make a great councilwoman and a super representative for the 3rd Council District,” McCune wrote on Cruver's website. “I leave you in good hands.”
Cruver said she and McCune have worked together for people, property and prosperity — ideals she is using as her campaign slogan. Her philosophy is “bigger citizen and smaller government,” she said.
Cruver said she’s focusing on crime, taxes and regulations that hinder small businesses, commercial development and people’s rights.
Tackling crime is a “forever issue,” Cruver said. She believes people need to face consequences for choices, as well as opportunities to redeem themselves. Cruver said she hopes to work with a team that determines funding for programs that help alleviate crime and provide opportunities. The council needs funding for those programs, and resources need to be used effectively for the county jails, Cruver said. Reducing crime is important because when crime increases, so does poverty, she said.
“That’s where cleaning up crime is a good thing,” Cruver said. “When things are nicer, they are less likely to get destroyed. A neighborhood without crime prospers more.”
Addressing poverty, Cruver said she supports public safety nets for people who need and want it, but thinks private organizations should administer those programs rather than government. She criticized the lack of public funding for some organizations that would help because of religious affiliations, despite their high success rates. She hopes to eliminate those barriers and focus on programs that work, she said.
Working through the prosecutor’s office, the sheriffs department and the courts, however, may be difficult since they take nearly 80 percent of the county budget, Cruver said. Resolving the high costs within the system without deterring efforts to fight crime is going to require some brainstorming, but she looks forward to working toward resolving the issues, she added.
Removing liabilities within government is one way to reduce costs, Cruver said. In 1990, the Growth Management Act, which requires cities and counties to develop comprehensive plans to manage population growth, was passed in Washington, which increased government liability, she said.
“It changed our lifestyle and form of government because it became more dictatorial,” Cruver said.
Cruver said she understands why building a home near a rock quarry could become an issue, but people should have the freedom to choose. If an engineer gives approval for a building, the government should not be involved further, she said.
Denying construction based on environmental restrictions can be subjective, Cruver said.
“I’d like to see a lot of that demonstrated (scientifically) that it actually changes things and not just using precautionary principles,” Cruver said.
By permitting engineers to approve building construction, government liability would be reduced as governments would reduce their chances of being sued, which increases tax costs within the judicial and executive branches, Cruver said. Reducing government involvement also protects people’s property rights, she said.
If regulations such as buffer zones, impact fees and environmental restrictions were reduced and refined, housing costs could be reduced further, Cruver said.
“I believe people need to be able to keep and use more of their property in order to pursue prosperity,” Cruver said. “The GMA dictates far more than is allowed by the constitution and has morphed into a big business and a lot of increases in your cost of living.”
Many community members feel ignored, Cruver said, because they spend time drawing plans for their communities that aren’t followed.
“It isn’t because the council doesn’t want to adhere to things,” Cruver said. “It hits that growth management line, and you can’t build things outside of it. I don’t know how much revenue is lost because people can’t use their land the way they intended.”
Cruver said, if elected, she will work toward reducing the GMA's impacts and return people’s rights to use their properties and decrease the time it takes the county and state to get projects done.
“I don’t understand someone being denied the right to use their property, and when it takes five to ten years to get something done that takes another state one year, you want to look and ask why,” Cruver said.
Cruver said she is concerned with how often people are taxed, as well. People are taxed by the federal government, the state, the county and local municipalities, she said. Making more money should not be a reason to be taxed more, she added.
Cruver said that paying people more for showing up to work also is not OK. Wages can be raised by reducing the cost of living, she said. If someone wants to invest and make themselves more valuable, they can make more money, she said. By creating services that people could do themselves, the government has increased the cost of living, she added.
“People need to have that challenge,” Cruver said. “They set back and say, ‘oh, government will take care of that.’ I think we are losing a component of the human psyche. Our role is to improve our lives, to be protected from corruption and share our burdens. I prefer voluntary sharing of our burdens instead of using the force of government.”
Cruver said she looks to appeal to voters who value independence, those who value being left alone over government rules and regulations, those who believe “facts are better than feelings” and those who understand that government isn’t “one size fits all.”
To learn more, go to www.electamycruver.com.