LEAVENWORTH — Two of Carl Florea's neighbors have primary residences elsewhere and only live in Leavenworth part time.
That's a problem throughout the city, he said.
"I'm not anti-these people that can do that, but for every home that goes to somebody as a second home, it takes away from those who need a first home," he said. "Without doing something to replace those, without doing something to capture some of those for local people, we're going to end up just being a resort and we'll kind of lose the soul of the community."
Florea, 65, has made housing a priority in his campaign for mayor. The incumbent, Cheri Farivar, is not seeking a third term.
He helped establish Upper Valley MEND and its SHARE Community Land Trust. After leaving in 2007 to direct the Housing Resources Board on Bainbridge Island, where he also helped form a community land trust, he returned to Upper Valley MEND in 2013 to manage the Cornerstone Community home for people with developmental disabilities.
The city's first drafted plan under the state's Growth Management Act did not add multifamily zoning, but Florea joined the Planning Commission and worked to include it. Also, SHARE developed two neighborhoods of 10 homes each.
"We've really got to give more effort to addressing the housing issue," he said. "It's a crisis everywhere, quite frankly, but it's been even more so here. We've known it longer and should be much further advanced than we are in addressing it."
A former pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Florea has also served on the Leavenworth City Council and on the boards for the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the city of Wenatchee, the Cascade School District, Link Transit and Upper Valley Connection. He was also a charter member and founding president of the Bavarian Village Kiwanis Club.
He said he wants to see more diversity in housing to serve a range of ages and incomes, but it'll take political will, time and energy.
"The direction we're going is to be a place where only wealthy people can be, and that's not my vision of the community," he said. "When I moved here back in the mid-80s, I was a young pastor with a young family. We were able to come and be involved in the community and live and raise our family. Somebody in the same income that I was wouldn't have a chance to be here anymore."
Candidate filing is May 13-17. The primary is Aug. 6, and the general election is Nov. 5.