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Grays Harbor County City of Ocean Shores Mayor

The mayor shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. He or she shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order is maintained in the city, and shall have general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interests. The mayor essentially serves as both the leader in name of the city, and the day-to-day active city manager.

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  • Candidate picture

    Susan Conniry
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Crystal Dingler
    (NP)

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major management issues facing your city or town?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work successfully with the council?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

Phone (619) 977-7132
Email susan@careforthefuture.org
Town where you live Ocean Shores
Experience (300 characters max) I owned two small businesses and was the CEO for my non profit educational organization. Served on the planning commission and Board of Equalization in California and Washington. Served four years as an elected governing board member of the Lakeside Fire District. Current city council member.
I decided to run for Mayor because we can’t fix tomorrow’s problems using yesterday’s thinking. I'm excited to lead a city that embraces change and is not afraid of the future. A city that will rise above it's current state of bureaucratic complacency, promote technology, and streamline all administrative activities. I will lead by example to stimulate our staff and elected officials to provide professional leadership and service. We will spend the people’s money wisely to satisfy the health and safety needs of an ever changing demographic. We will establish a culture of inclusion which recognizes the knowledge and skills of our citizens, young and old. Promote community policing and neighborhood watch to ensure safe neighborhoods. Create and maintain a festive atmosphere where people and businesses thrive. We will be a city that is not shackled by its past but rather embraces its future. A proud city. A city where people want to visit often or stay forever.

We need to correct the random and haphazard management methods of the current administration. Using the LEAN method principles for government, we will identify and then implement the most efficient way to provide services, thereby ensuring efficient use of the voters' tax money.

We have to fix the Convention Center event venue process and contracts. We need to define and enforce, with an equal hand, policies that will protect BOTH the promoters and the City. The City should embrace the knowledge and skills offered by promoters and encourage our staff to work toward achievable goals. With a dynamic website, combined with continued marketing, we will experience increased quality and quantity of events that will attract increasing numbers of visitors.

It is critical to manage our emergency medical care to provide efficient and cost effective service to our rapidly growing population, especially as calls increase and costs to provide services will become a burden on the taxpayer.
Management of our health care delivery system is the most critical issue facing the city. This year calls to our fire department have increased by 45%. Data does not indicate if a call was to change a battery in a smoke alarm or transport a patient suffering a stroke or a heart attack. Often citizens who lack access to primary care use 911 and emergency services to receive healthcare in non-emergency situations. With no urgent care facility in the city, and a hospital that is half an hour distant, our traditional firefighter/paramedic model requires re-thinking. Community paramedicine is a new healthcare model. It allows paramedics to operate in expanded roles by assisting with public health, primary healthcare and preventive services to address the needs of citizens efficiently and in a proactive way. Combined with Telemedicine that allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology, we can redefine our model.
I believe in honest and transparent government. To govern well, we need to work to build trust, engage in honest feedback, have the difficult conversations and ultimately partner together to stay focused on the future.  As mayor, being open and approachable and handling any differences in a respectful and courteous manner will allow us to address conflict head on and not take issues personally. We should take every opportunity to host town halls with citizens and staff to facilitate an exchange of ideas. Developing mutual respect for each other and the citizens we serve, I know we will make decisions for the common good. As public servants, we represent every citizen, not just whose who share our views or voted for us. We need to listen to them.  We need to cultivate the necessary qualities among ourselves of collaboration, teamwork and civility to foster civic pride and explore the pathway to making our shared vision for the future of Ocean Shores become a reality.

Our unique environment is treasured by those who live here and by our visitors. We are surrounded by shorelines of both fresh and salt water. We have parks and dedicated green belts which provide a habitat for our varied wildlife. As mayor, and because of our unique environment, I have an obligation to work to insure we balance economic growth with the need to preserve and nurture the natural environment. Being good stewards of our planet is all about understanding that a healthy environment helps to insure a healthy population – emotionally as well as physically.

We will create certified wildlife habitat gardens and encourage citizens to do the same. We will apply for Tree City USA status. I will form an environmental advisory board of interested citizens to advise the council and staff on environmental issues, including, but not limited to, solid waste disposal, recycling, integrated pest control, dark skies initiative, pollution prevention, energy, air quality and green building.
Ocean Shores' water system is half a century old and we need to discuss replacement strategies for decaying and outdated pipes. Salt water incursion in our wells must be monitored constantly, exploring alternative water sources before a crisis occurs. Our roads and bridges require regular inspection and maintenance, and funding is a priority. Finding an alternative to roadside spraying of glyphosate is the highest priority. Our fresh waterways must be maintained to balance a healthy environment for fish while removing invasive weeds that choke the channels and inhibit navigation. With the recent outbreak of toxic algae we must limit the use of fertilizers near waterways. Under my administration, a newly appointed public works advisory board will advise council and staff. Communications infrastructure, information technology and software development tools are critical. We need to upgrade for the necessary structure and support of our departments and to maintain security and efficiency.
Ocean Shores is a town where we worry about tsunamis, not a tsunami of people from other countries.  There is no evidence to suggest this is a problem now or in the foreseeable future.  We are small enough that for the very few individuals who come to the U.S. seeking either opportunity -- as did nearly all of our ancestors -- or refuge from persecution -- as did many of our ancestors -- those who make it this far can be evaluated on an individual basis without over-stressing our administration or infrastructure.
Homelessness is a sad fact of life throughout the world.  It may surprise everyone to know that of over 700 school-age children living in Ocean Shores, an incredible 100 of them have been identified as homeless or as living substandard lives. This number has grown substantially in the past three years and, as a percentage, is nearly five times the national average!  This is outrageous.  We need to help our homeless population, young and old. We will work with non profits, health care providers and other social service caregivers to improve the health and well being of these people. We will support, as much as we are able, Ocean Shores food bank, the North Beach Senior Resource Center and the North Beach Senior Center. Being mindful of recent judicial decisions and, if the need arises, we will encourage non profit agencies to provide a temporary residential facility and additional services located in a way that benefits the homeless without negatively impacting the surrounding area.
Phone (360) 289-1211
Email cldingler@att.net
Town where you live Ocean Shores, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Mayor of Ocean Shores, 7.5 years; Business law attorney; aerospace company - negotiated and developed business agreements, and taught strategic systemic approaches to continuous improvement; licensed new UW technologies; managed grants and budgets for a 24-person UW environmental research group.
• My experience as Mayor, education and work experience with budgets, managing complex projects, and developing people, have prepared me to lead the City for another four years. As a coastal community subject to all the challenges of our I-5 neighbors with the addition of an ocean at our door, we need strong leadership, experienced management and the ability to make the tough decisions. Your leaders must be prepared as urgent issues and crises arise.
1) Continuing to stabilize and grow Ocean Shores through strategic and economic alliances remains a priority, so that we are less subject to economic fluctuations that devalue private property, hurt our business community, and harm the City’s ability to provide great service. The contacts built over the past nearly 8 years are crucial partners in our future. I will continue to develop and strengthen these relationships for the support necessary to build and maintain our community’s resilience. 2) Rapid population growth and great tourism numbers are providing challenges to maintaining our environment. Increased traffic, litter, emergency calls, and crime require increased efforts by police, public works, and EMS. We must be prepared to increase our staff during times of growth, but also be aware that growth is cyclic. 3) Continued drought and harsh winter storms are causing stress to our environment. We have not reached crisis yet, but we must be aware of fire and ecological dangers.
• Keeping up with rapid population and tourism growth have great immediacy but long-term the urgent item remains fiscal responsibility. If we are fiscally stable, we can better deal with all the issues and remain resilient.
• I will continue to work with the Council through sharing information, developing legislation, meeting with them frequently on their schedules, and sharing my priorities and thoughts freely. A majority of our City Council is focused on the larger issues facing our community. I have an open door with Council, meet with them frequently, keep them informed of new issues as they arise, and provide as much information as possible to help them with their decision making. Cooperation and collaboration are key.
The partnership of city government and citizens is central in dealing with environmental issues. As fire danger increases due to drought, we must work together to protect the environment. As a FireWise™ community, we are continuing to educate our citizens and visitors to be aware of the fire danger, treat the environment gently, and trim back vegetation around homes. Similarly, we need to work within environmental standards set by the Dept. of Ecology to prevent dune wildfires.
• 1) Buried logs and debris decomposing beneath our roadbeds require that we cut the pavement and dig out the offenders, then rebuild the roadbed and repave or patch the area. Every cut in the pavement weakens the street, allowing water to invade the asphalt and undermine the streets. • 2) Erosion on the east side of the sewer plant remains a concern. We are working with the US Army Corps of Engineers for a solution, and have asked for and received funding help from the Legislature. • 3) Sidewalks and storm drains remain an issue as do other areas of our aging storm drain system.
At this point, we simply need to be aware of the issues.
• Our planning commission is working on the issues surrounding homeless shelters and services, and are seeking a plan that is compatible with the surrounding area and where adequate transportation is available. I believe we can provide the needed aid that homeless individuals and families require, while retaining the quality of life and comfort for other families in our community. If the homeless population reaches numbers requiring 24/7 shelters and services in Ocean Shores, I would advocate for adequate year-around housing offering treatment by trained professionals for those in need. Any services we provide will be utilized by the whole North Coast. I would like to work with the County to place real services in the North Beach area.