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King County Water District No. 19 Commissioner Position No. 1

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.
  • Stephen D. Urban (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Seth Zuckerman (NP) Executive Director

Change Candidates

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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Town where you live Vashon
Experience (300 characters max) I have experience in conservation, communication, & creative problem-solving, built over 20-plus years of work as a nonprofit leader and journalist. Although I’ve lived on Vashon for only 5 years, I’ve lived in rural areas for a quarter-century & am familiar with the unique issues of country living.
I want to be of service to the Vashon community by helping to steward an essential resource: water that comes to us as a precious gift of Nature, and which arrives only with the help of well-maintained infrastructure and skilled human operators.

The decisions we make about water in the next few years will shape the options that are available to future generations – the demand on our streams and aquifer, as well as the diversity of the human community that we foster through sensible development of affordable housing. It takes clear thinking and a passion for creative solutions to navigate those issues, and I want to be one of the people shaping those solutions.
* New staff leadership. A new general manager is being hired, and the commission needs to establish a good working relationship with him or her. In June, the commission brought in a mediator to discuss personnel issues. The commission ought to craft a relationship with the new manager that’s harmonious enough to not require mediation.

* Climate change. We must prepare for it by aligning our service commitments with projected water supply under the anticipated impacts of an altered climate.

* Sensibly accommodating affordable housing. Addressing this need is key to the social health of the Vashon community, and District 19 is involved because much of the island’s proposed new affordable housing would be located within District boundaries. The District’s first commitment is to serve our existing customers within the constraints of our limited water supplies, while protecting our streams and aquifer – but water should not be used as a cudgel to stop all development.
In the short term, the tough trade-offs between housing affordability and water stewardship may seem to be the most important issue. But as global warming turns from forecast to reality, the challenge of adapting to a changed climate will ultimately take on the greatest significance.

We have constructed our plans and infrastructure around climate patterns that have been fairly dependable, but now they are becoming more variable. Planning for a change in those patterns has potentially sweeping implications for the District’s reliable water supply, while also foreshadowing higher peak demand during the irrigation season.
Above, I talked about my experience and what is motivating me to run. I'd like to let those comments suffice as responses to this question, irrespective of whether those qualities are "unique" or not.
I believe that increased water efficiency is a key to reducing water use and keeping our usage within the natural limits of our streams and aquifer. The District's rebate program for efficient toilets is a good idea, but consumption at peak demand times is dominated by irrigation. That's also the time when the creatures that inhabit our streams benefit the most from reductions in water withdrawals. Therefore, I would encourage district customers to employ more efficient irrigation methods.

I also anticipate that as a result of climate change, the availability of water will become more variable from year to year. The district must develop plans that can be implemented during critically dry years to incentivize reductions in customer demand. logo


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