Meet Howard Lee, Candidate For University Place City Council

He is running for Position 7 against Caroline Belleci.

Howard Frank Lee


Where do you work and what is your job title?



When and Where Were You Born?

1940, Michigan


Where do you live now and how long have you lived there?

University Place; 33 years


Spouse or domestic partner if any:

Barbara Lee married 46 years



Adult children Skip and Caroline


Education (include graduation date(s), if any):

Bachelor of Business Science, accounting and economics, Western Michigan University 1964

Attended numerous professional schools while in the Navy.


Military Service (include year(s) of discharge, if any):

Retired from US Navy with an Honorable Discharge after 23 years of service, 1988

Commanding Officer of four naval ships, the largest a guided missile frigate.

As a Master in the Merchant Marine I commanded numerous ships before retiring after 15 years.

Memberships and affiliations with clubs and other organizations: Tacoma Rifle and Revolver Club, Board of Directors, Chairman of the Finance Committee;

Friends of Homestead Park;

University Place Historical Society


Have you or a business you owned (or had principal interest in) ever filed bankruptcy?



As an adult, have you been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation?




Web site: www.ElectHowardLee.org

Email Address: Support@ElectHowardLee.org

Phone number: 253-229-5787

Campaign manager: Myself

Campaign manager contact information: Same as above



Elected: Never held public office

Other campaigns for public office: None



What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

To effect a change in both the philosophy and direction in the management of University Place, as well as introduce accountability to all levels of our city government.


What will be your top three priorities if you get elected and why? 

Debt reduction is my top priority. University Place is mired in long-term debt, which is directly the result of the unsuccessful Town Center project. This debt has dramatically reduced the city’s fiscal flexibility, especially during the protracted recession we are now enduring. This has resulted in a lost opportunity for maintaining normal levels of city services, parks and recreation, street maintenance and repair, neighborhood sidewalks, streetlights and sewers, during a period when construction costs are at historic lows.

My second priority is to create a business friendly environment in UP so businesses will want to locate here, thrive, and stay. Businesses are the life blood of our city as they generate revenue, create jobs, and provide services. Debt reduction requires the generation of revenue and city officials making fiscally sound management decisions. For UP to survive, our businesses have to thrive!

My third priority is representing our citizens by listening carefully, rather than assuming I know what is best.


What sets you apart from the other candidates and/or previous office holders?

Unencumbered by having been personally involved in past governmental decisions, I will be open minded when problem solving and provide a fresh outlook on unresolved issues. Even as our economic condition turned into a recession, city officials consistently failed to show the flexibility required to change direction and turn disaster into a success. I am accustomed to being personally being held both to a high level of accountability and using a common sense approach to problem solving. I will bring this management style to city hall.


How much money do you expect your campaign to spend on this election?

I owe it those generous supporters who have contributed to my campaign to spend wisely, whatever it takes to win and advocate change.


Official endorsements:

Javier Figueroa, University Place Council Member

Master Builders Association of Pierce County 

Other endorsements can be found on my web site: www.ElectHowardLee.org

Dr. Curt Oland August 06, 2011 at 06:02 PM
I find it interesting you call Figueroa unprofessional. Now grant it I don't attend as many council meetings as you do. I think Javier is a little blunt, but I think the council needs a little jolt. The rest of the council, especially Eric, reminds of of the love fest they probably had at Jonestown right before they drank the Kool aid. I feel it is more unprofessional to sigh heavily and roll your eyes while someone else is speaking. Nobody likes it when someone points out flaws, but things will never change if we all loving and blindly go along with the status quo.
Stephen August 07, 2011 at 06:46 AM
I finally met Howard (and his wonderful wife Barbara) face to face today at UP Fest, and as best I could tell, he wasn't a sock puppet. I had a nice long talk with him on several different topics and it just solidified my decision to vote for him. I think he is an excellent choice for the council. The city faces some real tough decisions in the next few years and those on the council that are clinging to the Town Center with white knuckles and bloody fingernails are not helping the citizens of University Place. Government at every level is going to have some real tough choices in the coming years and I'd feel safe knowing I helped to put Howard Lee on the UP City Council to be a voice of reason, a voice of fiscal conservatism that hopefully can help steer us through the difficult waters ahead.
Christie Anderson August 07, 2011 at 01:06 PM
"However I do really admire the way she doesn't tolerate abuse dished out by council member Figueroa." Not being tolerant of alleged abuse doesn't condone her own abuse of another councilmember, or anyone else for that matter.
Christie Anderson August 08, 2011 at 03:51 AM
Well said Stephen! Sorry I missed you and Rachel at UP Fest. I didn't get off work until 4:30pm and only made it over at about 5:30ish so I'd be available to help Howard, Ken, Kent and the Historical Society break down their booths. Perhaps I'll see you at the next council meeting.....I'll bring the popcorn! :-))
Stephen August 08, 2011 at 07:00 AM
Maybe we'll start going again once school starts.


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