Experience (Max 500 characters)
2 terms, Port Angeles City Council. 15 years as a small business owner.
Town where you live
I was elected to the Port Angeles City Council in 2017 and re-elected in 2021. I've been an engaged and effective member of the Council, as well as all the various boards and committees that I'm placed on through that role.
I've also devoted considerable personal time to serving on various boards, including the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic, the Hamilton Elementary Parent/Teacher Organization, and the Port Angeles School District's Capital Advisory Committee.
Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula makes one a natural environmentalist; it's hard not to value the beauty we're surrounded by. Ideologically, I'm an urbanist, which means I want most of our County's development to happen in and around our various cities and their urban growth areas. This style of development enhances our urban centers and protects our rural character, the needs of local farmers, and our natural environment. It also uses our natural resources more efficiently; it's difficult and expensive for organizations like Clallam County and Clallam PUD to serve remote rural developments, so we should only develop those areas strategically and focus most of our development on our urban centers.
It's important to both prevent homelessness and to create solutions for those that are currently homeless, so the issues of poverty and homelessness are rightly connected. People that are struggling need their governments at all levels to provide useful public services - the most urgent need for the County presently is collaboration with our safety net non-profits, such as working with the Peninsula Housing Authority to create new affordable rental units, working with the North Olympic Regional Veteran's Housing Network or Serenity House to create new permanent supportive housing units, working with the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic to hire intensive case managers to ensure people are successful once they are housed, and so on. Our Commissioners have rightly moved to enact a 1/10 of 1% sales tax to support affordable housing, and also to more fully fund our County Health and Human Services Department, so now is the time for action.
Access to good quality and quantity of drinking water is crucial, and it's one of the most basic services local governments provide. First though, our County needs to prioritize climate change planning, both for adaptation to the impacts climate change will create, and for mitigation of our County government's contribution to carbon emissions. Our County is due for a Comprehensive Plan update, and we need to take planning seriously, involving the public and every department and elected official at the County.
Thankfully, in recent years we've had good fiscal management by the County staff and Commissioners, both in the budget planning and Capital Facilities Plan. Our County, unlike most, is not deeply in debt, and has been investing in updating public infrastructure. The development and high-quality maintenance of the Olympic Discovery Trail is a good example, and highlights a great partnership between local governments and non-profits.
Inside the County government our staff has a high level of professionalism, and I trust our administrative personnel to address internal racial inequities or issues that may arise. As a larger community, it's up to us to address these issues proactively. As Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race." Our community leaders need to be speaking up and creating time and space for productive conversations about racial inequities so that we can collectively find solutions.
I feel that many local governments learned a lot of lessons as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The most crucial thing we can do is also the least flashy thing - prioritizing planning. We should have a robust Comprehensive Plan that captures our community's vision for the future of Clallam County, and provides clear direction to our various departments on how to actualize that vision. Our Commissioners wisely prioritized enhancements to the County's Finance Department, and that paid off during the COVID-19 crisis, as navigating the various state and federal recovery funds was extremely difficult and time-consuming. I'm personally excited to see the City of Port Angeles and Clallam County moving forward productively with the Joint Public Safety Building project, which should greatly enhance our Emergency Operations planning and response.
I moved to Forks after college in 1983. That year I was asked to join the Forks planning commission. During the next 27 years I served as: president of the Clallam County EDC, president of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, and on boards like the United Way, Concerned Citizens, and a member of the Lions Club.
I advocate listening and understanding. I serve as vice chair of the board of natural resources. The BNR has responsibility for setting policy for the Department of Natural Resources. I was elected to this position by a state wide vote of county commissioners.
Clallam County has been very proactive in supporting the homeless. Expansion of Serenity House is one example. People that stay there include minimum wage earners.
Forest fires. Climate change refugees.
Continuing focus on sewer and water systems. Clallam County receives annual funding to support infrastructure. Following the development of infrastructure in Carlsborg, the Clallam Bay sewer improvement is progressing. County funds have been to upgrade the City of Forks sewer.
Thru respect of all communities. Clallam County has four tribes, three in district 3. 51% of students attending the Quileute School district identify themselves as white, native Americans are next group of citizens, followed by Latinos and Guatemalans. I am a very strong advocate of minority representation.
Support our Board of Health’s recommendations for staffing and programs in the County department of health and human services. I am very concerned about Clallam county’s fentanyl epidemic. Our County leads the state in fentanyl deaths. Please support programs like needle exchange and counciling.