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Pierce Peninsula Metropolitan Park District Commissioner Pos. 5

Only voters who reside on the Gig Harbor side of the Peninsula School District, are in this parks district, and will have this race on their ballot. The Key Peninsula side is a separate Parks district.4-year term; No salary A Parks & Recreation District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the public parks and recreation facilities within their jurisdiction, as well as the acquisition of other parks space as funds provide and is appropriate. The commission sets the general policies and workplan of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional parks and recreation staff. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any parks levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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  • Amanda Babich (NP)

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    Kirsten Gregory (NP) Attorney

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing your park district?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What type of facilities do your county parks need at this time?

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Phone (253) 303-7860
Email kirstengregoryforpenmetparks@gmail.com
Town where you live Gig Harbor - Artondale
Experience (300 characters max) I have over 20 years’ legal experience in land use, real estate, landlord/tenant law, employment law, contract law, risk management, and ethics/compliance. I have served for the last 12 years as senior legal counsel with a Fortune 500 company.
I have been an active parks and recreation community-service volunteer and leader in Gig Harbor for years. I currently serve on the Ancich Park Committee, as Director/Secretary of the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team, as Event Chair for the Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup event, and on the Stand Up for Peninsula Schools - SUP in the Harbor Organizing Committee. My three children have benefited tremendously from PenMet Parks programs, including soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis, archery, kayaking, art, robotics, and babysitting, to name a few. My youngest child is now a proud member of PenMet Parks' Teen Leadership Program. I view our community's parks, open spaces, and recreational programming as essential components of what makes the greater Gig Harbor area a wonderful, vibrant place to live. Serving as a PenMet Parks Commissioner is a natural extension of my community service work, and draws directly on my professional experience. It would be an honor to serve as Commissioner.
The three most complex and costliest issues facing the district over the next several years will be development of Harbor Family Park in the Artondale area, development of the underutilized and deteriorating Peninsula Gardens property on Wollochet Drive, and development of a permanent indoor recreation center. There are numerous ideas about how these projects should go forward, but it is clear that important short-term and long-term planning decisions cannot be delayed any longer.

How these projects proceed and are funded will involve balancing competing community priorities. Broad consultation and clear communication with community members during this process is critical, as is an unwavering commitment to transparent decision making. PenMet commissioners will need to carefully research and understand community priorities, and the costs and benefits of the options for approaching each of these projects. I look forward to tackling these challenges.
The most urgent issue is the development of a permanent indoor recreation center. PenMet Parks currently leases its indoor recreation facility, and the owner has indicated it intends to develop the property for other purposes. This facility has proven to be a tremendous asset to our community, allowing PenMet Parks to provide a wide variety of year-round recreational programming for youth and adults, regardless of inclement weather. It is critical that the PenMet Parks Board of Commissioners develop a plan to fund and build a permanent indoor recreation center to serve our community. Currently, the Board of Commissioners relies heavily on legal advice from an outside attorney, and was 30% over budget on legal fees going into the fourth quarter. My legal background, particularly my expertise in real estate and land use, will greatly benefit the Board of Commissioners and the taxpayers as PenMet Parks moves forward with this and other park projects.
In addition to a permanent indoor recreation center, the PenMet Park District needs increased public access to water and shore areas. Several PenMet parks, including Sunrise Beach Park and Wollochet Bay Estuary Park, could easily be improved to significantly increase access and usability for general recreation and human-powered watercraft users (kayakers, stand up paddle boarders, etc.). Additionally, the opportunity to provide water access for human-powered watercraft and/or a boat launch with adjacent parking in the Rosedale Park area should be fully explored by the Board of Commissioners in 2018.

The greater Gig Harbor area is also in need of additional all-weather (or indoor) sports fields. I strongly believe PenMet Parks, KeyPen Parks, the Peninsula School District, and City of Gig Harbor Parks should partner together to develop a comprehensive plan that leverages their respective resources to most efficiently address this need.

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