Candidate Profile: Terry Carter for Bonney Lake City Council

BONNEY LAKE, WA – The November general election will call on Pierce County’s 555,000 registered voters to vote in dozen of high profile elections, including mayoral elections in Tacoma, Eatonville, Buckley and Bonney Lake. Nearly a dozen cities from Puyallup to Lakewood are holding city council elections, and six school districts will also have candidates on the ballot.

To help readers make informed decisions, Patch has asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will post candidate profiles as Election Day approaches.

Terry Carter is running for re-election from Bonney Lake City Position of the Council 6

Position on Bonney Lake City Council 6

Party affiliation



I have been married to my wife Elizabeth, who sits on the board of Bonney Lake Food Bank (The Market) for 25 years. We have two children, Julia and Jack. Julia attends college at the University of Idaho and has been competitive cheerleading for most of her life. Jack is a senior at White River High School and is currently working on his Eagle project in Scouts

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?



I graduated from Hazen High School in Renton, WA. I studied at Bellevue College for a year.


I am an Army Veteran (1992-2000). I served as a police officer for 20 years (2000-present). I’ve worked on the SWAT team as a crisis and hostage negotiator, I’ve been an instructor in less lethal tools and techniques, a field training officer, and an emergency driver and PIT instructor. I have served as a detective on the King County Major Crimes Task Force and the FBI Child Abduction Response Team for the past 5 years.

Previous or current elected or appointed office

I’m just ending my first term as a councilor. I was elected in 2017. I was asked to run by officers and staff at Bonney Lake. I was elected chairman of the public security committee by my fellow councilors. I got a seat on the finance committee and serve as the deputy mayor’s deputy on Pierce County’s regional council.

Campaign website

Why are you looking for an election office?

The town of Bonney Lake is close to my heart. I believe we all owe our communities. I have a vision for the city that it will develop from a city of shopping centers on SR 410 into a city with a clear identity. One of my passions is moving to Allen Yorke Park. The city has long outgrown the usefulness of the current design, as roads through the park between the Snack Shack and the beach (only a matter of time before a child is hit) and the location of the boat launch cause traffic delays. The park needs to be reconfigured for ease of use. The fields were to be built in Mid-Town Park behind the Regal Cinema. This would eliminate cross traffic from those using the beach and boat dock, as well as those using the fields for sports in an already crowded park. I want the city to make smart decisions with taxpayers’ money. Water and wastewater maintenance and capitol projects must be completed with ARPA grant funds to bring the system up to date and relieve fee payers of the high water / wastewater bills. The city is making progress in switching from one meter reading every two months to once a month, which will be an easier bill for a family to budget for and not see high water bills after two months of operation.

The most pressing issue we (board of directors, district, etc.) face is _______ and this is what I intend to address.

Water and wastewater charges are currently the most pressing issue. When I was elected, I had a tremendous learning curve figuring out any issues with our water and sewer system. Several mistakes by previous councils (previous council resolutions) and the city’s attempt to be cheap led to several of the problems. When I got on the council, the Ministry of Health threatened to take over the water system and raise tariffs to pay for the neglected maintenance over the past decade. I’d like to prioritize the ARPA grant funds the city receives to work on Capitol projects that would save tariff payers (citizens) the cost of running their own. This would help the water / sanitation system and fee payers not only now but in the future too.

What are the key differences between you and the other candidates seeking this position?

The other candidate told me that he was only running against me because he didn’t think anyone should run without resistance. I have a concrete vision for the city and have built trust with fellow councilors and city officials to actually work towards these goals.

How do you think local officials have reacted to the coronavirus? What if you did something differently?

I think it was handled as well as was to be expected with the existing mandates. I didn’t like that we weren’t allowed to meet in person and that we were 100% online. I wanted more citizen interaction. I urged that we meet again in person as soon as possible. I’ve also been looking into possible plans to meet in Allen Yorke Park (outside) if we can’t meet again in person inside. I think it’s important and people should be able to see and understand what is going on in their government. Citizens need the opportunity to speak face to face with councilors.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

Managing growth in the city is key. The city will continue to grow. How we manage growth is our job. There has been so much growth outside of the city that affects traffic, shopping, time, etc. We need a greater say in what is going on around us.

What past accomplishments would you cite as evidence that you can handle this job?

I have already earned my municipal leadership certificate. I have some key takeaways from having worked for multiple cities (including Bonney Lake) before. I know the personalities involved. I understand the position and the fact that I only have one vote in seven. I can’t do anything alone. I’ve built relationships with the other council members and staff. This relationship building takes time and creates trust.

The best advice I’ve ever given was:

The city attorney does not work for the council, but for the mayor. Get your legal advice from the MRSC (Municipal Research & Services Center).

What else would you like to tell the voters about yourself and your positions?

I worked as a cop in Bonney Lake. I know the city and its business life very well. Some of it is not positive, some is. I want the city to treat everyone fairly. I am happy with some changes in the city staff. It’s important to have a process of hiring the best people for the job, not the “good old boy” system of promotion. While I’m a fan of promoting from within when possible, we should try to find the best person for the job. I am a conservative and I want the city to be tax conservative. I want the city to work efficiently without a lot of waste.

I was working on stopping a roundabout on SR 410 and 214th Ave E. The city wanted to push through this project, although no other roundabout of this size was built for the current traffic volume at this intersection. I even traveled to Spokane and other cities to see other roundabouts that were supposed to be similar. What I found out was that they weren’t alike and caused some of the exact safety concerns I had raised. I’m not against roundabouts, but I’m against being the first city to create one with that much traffic on a state route, with the amount of cross-traffic it would have if it were the biggest in the state. I’d rather have someone else build it and show it works before we spend the money and find out it doesn’t work.

Thank you for your time and I would be honored to have earned your vote.

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