Home > Elections, Guest Writer > #TCVote Candidate Survey: Response from Jim Carruthers

#TCVote Candidate Survey: Response from Jim Carruthers

Name: Jim Carruthers
Address: 218 W 11th Street
Walk Score: 71
Age: 48
Seat Seeking: City Commissioner
Email Address: jccarruthers@gmail.com

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1. What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to walk, hike, bike, sail, ski and beach while spending as much time in the outdoors as I can. Outside of my work on City Commission, I spend time with family, friends and my dogs. Researching various issues (and attending meetings) relating to the city does occupy a good deal of my free time and helps me keep current and aware on issues relating to my work on City Commission._                 

2. What was the last activity you participated in at a Traverse City park?

The most recent activity I attended in a Traverse City Park was the 9/11 memorial. Outside of that, I regularly bike and walk my dogs on the TART trail, along the Bay and through various parks around town including Hull Park, Hanna Park and the State Hospital grounds. I also am a regular disk golfer at Hickory Hills.

3. Name and describe the most memorable public park, anywhere in the world, that you’ve ever visited?

I would have to say my most memorable park experiences have been hiking (3-week camping trip) in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, walking along the Great Wall in China (amazing!), trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (outstanding) in Peru and touring the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador (incredible!).

4. What is your primary mode of transportation within the City limits?

I balance my transportation within the city on foot, on my bike, motor scooter and economy car. Depending on the weather and my schedule. In winter. I admit, I drive a jeep for safety.

5. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most likely, how would you rate your likelihood to increase your use of the following personal transportation methods?

(Answers in Bold & Black)

 Unlikely  Likely
Walking 1 2 3 4 5
Riding a bicycle 1 2 3 4 5
Transit 1 2 3 4 5
Calling a Cab 1 2 3 4 5
Driving 1 2 3 4 5

6. In response to question 5, what is your biggest obstacle to more transportation options?

Convient times and routing for BATA. The ability to use BATA and get from point “a” to point “b” quickly and reliably.

7. Please rate your level of participation in the following Traverse City activities:

Low High
National Cherry Festival 1 2 3 4 5
Traverse City Film Festival 1 2 3 4 5
Michigan Schooner Fest 1 2 3 4 5
Opera House Events 1 2 3 4 5
TC Microbrew & Music Festival 1 2 3 4 5

8. What are your thoughts about large events, like those in question 7, in Traverse City?

When I was on the Parks & Recreation Commission (8yrs) we developed a park usage plan the limited the number of large, multi day events to two while allowing smaller single day events. Since that time a number of smaller events have taken place. I have little problem with the smaller single or two day events as long as they do not limit the general public from using the parks and do not close of access. Managing large week long events is important and the number of these events should be limited in our premier parks.

9. Define, or give an example of, effective leadership that you have seen in Traverse City?

Increase discretionary spending on streets and sidewalks from $100K to $1M, Elmwood Ave, Barlow and Kelly Streets are a direct result of this policy. Single Hauler trash system for the city reducing truck traffic on streets and alleys and reducing waste hauling expenses to the citizens. Unanimously passed a non-discrimination ordinance. Division Street Steering Committee formation and Complete Streets policy. Build the Pedestrian Bridge over the Boardman River along the TART trail and working to expand the trail on the east side of Boardman lake and eventually around to the east side. Eliminate the 1% administrative fee and cut the tax rate by .5 mills.

10. What are you for?

Keeping our city government open and transparent. Supporting essential public services such as our police, fire and public works departments. Expand park use by moving the Bay Front Plan forward and supporting expansion at Hickory Hills. Protecting our unique neighborhoods and the small town atmosphere that makes Traverse City such a desirable place to live. Manage our growth based on development that makes sense.

11. What do you fear for Traverse City’s future?

Loosing our city’s unique character is my biggest fear for our future. This includes the scale of our downtown, removing our historic features and buildings and the over development of just two blocks of our downtown, without expanding development to other blocks and streets in the urban core and to other business districts through out the City. By expanding other business areas, we can create more walkable features for all our neighborhoods such as along West Front Street, 8th Street, 14th Street and Garfield Ave. Also protecting our natural resources, fresh water and open space so as not to spoil either for future generations. We are the stewards of our land and water and we must protect them.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This November 8th there are 3 commission seats and a mayoral seat on the ballot in Traverse City. To help us prepare, throughout this week we are running responses from the 9 candidates (7 commissioner, 2 mayoral) to the MyWHaT survey. These will run in the order that responses were received, one per day during the week and two each on Saturday and Sunday in the order of Michael Estes, Jim Carruthers, Barbara Budros, Robert Donick, David Ford, Patrick McGuire, Timothy Werner, Ralph Soffredine and Jeanine Easterday (names with embedded link have already been published).  

Please note, the answers are published unedited without annotation. The questions were generated by the MyWHaT advisory council and this contributor. We chose a different path than asking straight-up positions on specific policy or issues. We wanted to get a sense of the person, their individual approaches to life, the public sphere and how they might make decisions.

Comments and endorsements are encouraged on any of these posts. You may even ask questions directly of the candidate, but I can not guarantee that they will respond or even see it. I just ask that we keep it friendly, brief and in-line with our comments policy

Happy voting!

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