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Kitsap Silverdale Water District No. 16 Commissioner Position 3

6-year term; No Salary A Water District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the potable drinking and other water facilities within their jurisdiction. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional staff. The commission sets the rates for service within the district. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any Water district 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 sewer district employees.
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  • Michelle Hodges (NP)

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing your water district?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent and why?

What unique qualities do you bring to this job?

How do you propose to lessen water usage in your jurisdiction?

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Phone (360) 308-2233
Email mhoffman@johnlscott.com
Town where you live Silverdale
Experience (300 characters max) 18 years serving in as a Commissioner
Water is the most important resource for life; which almost everyone in America takes for granted. Our local community is no different we think we have lots of water because it rains here nine months out of the year, but we are an essentially an island. The only water we have is from rain that we can catch and store either in surface water like the City of Bremerton’s Casad Dam or underground aquifers for everyone else. Every well drawing water taps into that limited storage system. The more urbanized we become the more households are hooked up to a centralized water treatment plant and that purified fresh water when discharged to the Puget Sound is wasted. Wasting that fresh water is not sustainable in the long term. We must build a sustainable water system in our community. That is one of the driving reasons why I serving in this position.
Finances, long term planning and cooperation with others is the focus. As a special district, we have no taxing authority. That means every nickel our ratepayers pay us for the water we deliver is spent on the operation of this utility. It requires us to be prudent in all our expenditures. Having a long-term outlook means, as elect officials we have to think 20, 30 or 50 years into the future. Lastly, cooperation with others has been the hallmark of Silverdale Water District. We have saved our ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by making building successful working relationships with other local governments and cost sharing improvements. Examples are the joint facility we built with Central Kitsap Fire the Rescue, wheeling water from the wet west side of the county to the dry north end with the Kitsap County Public Utility District, and building the recycled water system with Kitsap County. That is just naming three projects; this is an ongoing everyday effort.
Finances: As a growing district our general fund was $1.9 million in 2001, today it is $5.9 million. Our capital investments were $1.8 million in 2001 (our joint administration building) today it is $3.7 million. With all the new projects we are currently working on means we are adding about four miles of new pipe next year. We have successfully bonded our large capital system improvements and half of our debt is at ½% interest rate. That allows us to build the necessary infrastructure and improvements to meet the future demands in our dynamic and growing community. Our excellent bond rating keeps getting better, has of 2015 a Standards and Poor’s rates SWD as A+. The comparative Moody’s rating would be an A1. 90% of the district infrastructure is either newly built or have been replaced since 1980. This is not standard in most places in our state or the nation. That should tell ratepayers and voters that we are doing a superior job in planning and running this district.
I have proven leadership in this industry and have spent years training and been educated to provide the best long-term solutions for a water utility. However, the most important asset is Silverdale Water District’s professional staff, ensuring that they get the necessary support, training and equipment is the Commissioner’s job. Our three person elected board of Commissioners give direction, insure funding, set rates and determine policy, but Silverdale Water District has some of the industry’s best personal and I could not give them enough credit for their superior professionalism and dedication. I am honored to be serving here and would appreciate your vote and confidence in me for another term.
With our encouragement, Silverdale Water District customers have already reduced household water usage from an average of 219 gallons in 2001 to 177 gallons in 2017, saving more than 15,330 gallons per household each year. With our new distribution system, we do not have leaky pipes. But I will be surprised if any new water rights are issued in Kitsap County. SWD is still waiting for over 20 years for WA Dept. of Health and Ecology ours to be processed. The only way to provide new customers with water in our dynamic growing community is to build a sustainable water system using recycled water. As leaders, we must plan for our growth by building a sustainable water system; a system that recycles purified fresh water by irrigation and in percolation basins like our redesigned storm water retention ponds. That system will continually replenish and recharge Kitsap’s underground aquifers. Kitsap County as a policy of “Water as a Resource” and we actively support that effort.

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