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Franklin County Commissioner District 1

The board of county commissioners is the legislative authority for the county in the 33 noncharter counties. The commissioners serve as the chief administrators for most county operations.

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    Kim Lehrman
    (Demo)

  • Brad Peck
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What strategies should the County use to improve its financial condition?

What do you see as the role of commissioners on the Board of the Benton-Franklin Health District?

Do you think the budget of the Benton/Franklin Health District is adequate considering the impact of Covid-19 in our area? Why or why not?

Are there specific areas where you would like to see better cooperation between the two counties? Please explain.

What are your ideas about programs for the homeless?

Do you agree that county and city officials should go through a mandatory racial equity training?

If so, why do you think so and what would you do to make it happen? If not, why not?

Party Preference Democratic Party
Experience (Max 500 characters) Professional Experience: Agriculture Educator and FFA Advisor, 2000-2013. Taught Agriculture Science, Horticulture, Floriculture and Welding. Award recipient as Ag. Educator at building, district and state levels. Started Chiawana High School's FFA Chapter and Floral Shop 2009. Custom swathing, baling, and hay stacking 1984-2002. Community Engagement: School Site Science Fair Chair 2014-2015; Tri-Cities Youth Soccer league coach, 2013-2018; Pasco Park N' Rec Basketball coach, 2013-2020.
Campaign Address PO BOX 5781
PASCO, WA 99302
Campaign Email electkimlehrman@gmail.com
Town where you live Pasco
I believe that Franklin County needs to create a special budget task force to examine the current budget and suggest long term policies that will help the county address the issues it is having with the budget today. Franklin County should also boost revenues to the county by working more closely with the Port of Pasco and our city governments to promote economic investment in the county through businesses that will generate more sales tax revenue. Finally, Franklin County should employ a full time grant writer to take advantage of existing state and federal grants that would lower costs and increase the range of services the county can offer its citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many hard working Washingtonians to stay at home and not earn an income. We all want to reopen the economy as quickly and safely as possible but this must be done according to the health data, how well we flatten the curve, and reduce the risk of COVID-19. Given the current crisis, I view the role of the county commissioners in relation to the Ben-Franklin Health District as one of supporting the organization in its mission. They should do this by affirming the science behind the current safety measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic, and empowering the district’s health experts to lead policy development and implementation as this crisis unfolds.
The Ben-Franklin Health District is a vital resource in dealing with the COVID-19 Epidemic. The problems our area has had in relation to the virus are the result of a lack of support for the district from some of our elected leaders. In April, the Franklin County Commission voted unanimously to defy Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order, the Franklin County Sheriff is also refusing to enforce the Governor’s order. Due to these events, the Ben-Franklin Health District has not had the needed support to implement public safety measures and state directives. BFHD should not be fighting to have access to COVID CARES Act dollars in order to increase staffing and buy personal protective equipment during a pandemic. When evaluating the district’s performance it is important to do so in the context of the support it has received from our county level elected leaders and hold the right people accountable.
As stated in my previous answers, the biggest obstacle to combating the COVID-19 Epidemic has been the actions of our elected leaders at the county level. The best thing our two counties can do is affirm the science behind the public safety measures put forward by Governor Inslee, and coordinate a stronger public relations campaign to urge compliance. While some progress has been made, with elected leaders from both counties appearing in a “Mask Up to Open Up” video, the reality is that this must be a sustained effort. We need multiple videos and a better outreach campaign to marginalized communities in both counties so that they are included in the recovery effort.
Homelessness is a complex issue that requires cooperation between state, county, and city government as well as the private sector. I believe that our county government can play a powerful role in dealing with this crisis by serving as a buffer between local governments, helping to fund affordable housing measures, and by working to bring more economic investment in the county. An example of a program that I would support is a jointer Franklin County- City of Pasco policy requiring a maximum size limit of 800 ft2 for ADUs. Another program I would support is a joint policy between Franklin County and Pasco creating two zones: Residential Neighborhood (RN) and Residential Multifamily (RM).
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree
I think that mandatory racial equity training is necessary because Franklin County has a long history filled with difficult moments in relation to race. A prominent example of this is the West Pasco- East Pasco divide. Historically, communities of color have been forced to live in the East Pasco area and treated to intense disparities in both school standards and access to city services. While progress has been made, the legacy of these challenges remain with us today and we as a community have an obligation to acknowledge them.

I would like to create an Inclusivity and Diversity Commission to bring in new voices and perspectives to our county level government that traditionally have not had a seat at the table. Racial equity training will also allow us to acknowledge our history and take the steps necessary to correct it. It’s time for our county government to reflect the community’s values.
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