Experience (Max 500 characters)
I have 10 years in big business and 13 years in nonprofit leadership. I will combine my excellence in business and nonprofit leadership to bring actional solutions to the challenges that face our community. I don't just talk about change, I lead it. We don't need more politicians, we need community leaders who have common sense. I have served on the county budget committee for 3 years and am ready to bring my experience to help Kitsap thrive.
Town where you live
I have served my community in a variety of roles, though none of them as an elected politician.
The following is a list:
CKSD Levy Committee (2022); Kitsap County Budget Committee (2019-2021); Gateway Schools Foundation, Founding Boardmember; KBF Homelessness Task Force; Washington Association for Children and Families (2012-2014), Founding Boardmember; Kitsap 40 under 40 (2011); Leadership Kitsap Graduate (2010) – Project: 9/11 Memorial brought to Evergreen Park; Kitsap Community Resources (KCR), Past Boardmember; Former Rotarian; Covenant High School, Past Boardmember; Former SK & Silverdale Peewee Coach (baseball and football)
Many of us live in Kitsap because it is so beautiful. We want to protect our environment, while understanding that because of its beauty … people are moving here! We want responsible, intentional growth that understands the people of Kitsap like the rural feel and truly love our natural resources. We have to balance a need for housing alongside a need to protect the environment.
The county needs to offer services to those in need. These services need to be offered quickly, efficiently, and easily. The people in need also have a responsibility - to engage in the services being offered. Currently, the practitioners in Kitsap say approximately 60% of those homeless are struggling with mental health or addiction, 30% are choosing to be homeless, and 10% are actively seeking help. All three of these segments of the population need services and strategies that specifically address their unique situation. The providers offering services (and receiving government money) need to track involvement and outcomes to show the community the return on investment of their program. Utilizing nationally recognized evidence-based programs such as Housing First will help us take the right next steps in working with those without homes.
With the rise in global temperature, floods, access to water, and pollution will continue to provide challenges to our community. Kitsap County has a duty to protect the critical aquifer recharge areas within Kitsap from contamination. Alternative energy sources are always a wise investment into the future of our community.
Kitsap does not have space to expand our roads significantly, however, there are more options when it comes to public transportation. Currently, buses do not run on convenient schedules. They need to run every 15 minutes, be accessible in the rural areas, and be accessible every day of the week. As commissioner, I would advocate for more public transit solutions. In addition, our roads need to be maintained more effectively. Kitsap, over the last several years, has experienced significant challenges is keeping the roads maintained. We must start with good maintenance of what we have. Lastly, a review of speed limits and the installation of traffic calming devices near homes and school bus stops need to be installed to keep our children safe.
I think our county has not yet sufficiently addressed issues surrounding racial inequities. Some leaders have tried, but many are scared to talk about the issue. These last few years have highlighted the need for more honest dialogue and more frequent intentional conversations in our community. We cannot simply have conversations when racial inequality is highlighted in the news. Consistent and honest conversations, sharing meals, asking questions, and listening to each other have to be our approach.
Every community should have an active emergency preparedness plan, for communicable diseases and natural disasters as well. From what I understand, Kitsap’s emergency preparedness plan has improved from previous years but still needs more improvement! We will continue to ensure Kitsap makes progress every year on developing crisis preparedness plans.
Experience (Max 500 characters)
I have over 30 years experience in nonprofits and education. I am currently the Executive Director of Leadership Kitsap. I taught many years at Olympic College and serve on the Organizational Leadership & Resource Management Advisory Committee. I helped open Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and served as Communications & Community Outreach Director. I have extensive community service and served on many boards including as President of the Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees.
Town where you live
I have a lifetime of service to the community. From a young age I volunteered at our local hospital and nursing home. I served as a Montana State Senate Page and held student council offices in high school and college.
I served many organizations in which my children were involved including President of the Central Kitsap Montessori Parents Association, Kitsap Soap Box Derby Association, Boy Scouts of America (proud mom of 3 Eagle Scouts), CKSD and Klahowya Secondary School Advisory Committees.
I was appointed to the Kitsap County Arts Board, and served a six-year term on the Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees.
I am a Bremerton Rotarian. I continue to serve on the Olympic College Organizational Leadership and Resource Management Advisory Committee and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s Education Committee. I am the Executive Director of Leadership Kitsap Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating and preparing our community’s leaders to serve.
We are caretakers of the natural environment. I want my grandchildren to enjoy kayaking in the Puget Sound, digging for clams, whale watching, and spotting eagles. Protecting our natural resources is essential to our Pacific Northwest lifestyle, recreational opportunities, and livelihood.
I support community-based solutions for sustainable growth and development that balances the environment and our quality of life. Under the Growth Management Act we are obligated to promote density in urban growth areas such as Silverdale and Bremerton and protect Kitsap’s rural spaces. I will look to up-zoning near transportation and non-productive urban land for creative solutions to increase our housing inventory and opportunities for small business.
I support the Strawberry Creek Village project as a catalyst to encourage the development of Old Town Silverdale into a thriving historic town square, community gathering place, and waterfront tourist destination.
It is the county’s obligation to provide essential services that compassionately address the needs of Kitsap’s homeless and economically disadvantaged population. I support the county’s recently enacted action plan to leverage community partnerships and coordination with mental health, substance abuse, and employment services with the goal to support a system that makes homelessness rare, brief, and one-time.
Many of the services for Kitsap’s economically disadvantaged are located and spread throughout Bremerton. As Commissioner, I would champion the creation of a centralized comprehensive service provider hub near transit and childcare, outside downtown Bremerton. Similar to Fishline in North Kitsap, a hub near housing with convenient access to resources that offer stability, improve health and well-being, and help people onto a path of self-sustainability makes a lot of sense.
Climate change is expected to have increasingly dramatic impacts on our society, ecosystems, and landscapes we depend on. Impact to public health and infrastructure are the most important environmental issues I think Kitsap will face due to the changing climate.
Long-term climate impact will stress our regional health and social safety nets. There will be more injuries and deaths associated with extreme weather events such as heat waves, flooding, winter storms, and landslides. There will be an increase in respiratory illness from prolonged fire and pollen seasons.
Climate impacts to Kitsap’s transportation infrastructure will affect local and regional connectivity. Heavy rains and flooding could affect ferry operations, Bremerton Airport, and roadways. Residents and businesses will be affected by the disruption of power loss during more frequent extreme weather events.
Kitsap County is poised to see exponential growth in the coming years along with that comes housing demands and infrastructure needs. Public private partnerships as well as local, state, and federal grants will be needed to address infrastructure needs and ecological mitigation. Growth should pay for growth.
I believe Central Kitsap needs a dedicated urban planner to manage the coming development and strains on our environment. Advance planning for traffic, storm water, sewage, solid waste, electricity, and broadband access is critical.
It will be my obligation as your County Commissioner to bring our community (property owners, ports, tribes, small business owners) into the conversation of what we want this growth to look like. Together, we have the opportunity to create something really special in Central Kitsap.
As my friend Karan Vargas, Kitsap Equity Race and Community Engagement (ERACE) Coalition leader has stated, “The first step is that we must acknowledge that we have to do better, so we can be better.” Kitsap County’s ability to address issues surrounding racial inequities is tied to our relationship building, openness to listen, learn, and be better. Our strength is in our diversity. The county has a responsibility to our citizens to make sure its workforce and leadership are representative of the entire community and that services provided are fair and equitable for all. The newly established County Anti-racism and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee of community members is a good first step.
First, would be to do a needs assessment by reviewing how the county responded to the crisis in 2020, document the lessons learned, and create an action plan to fill the gaps. The county should maintain a reserve fund to provide a source of emergency funding, be it for a pandemic, earthquake, or next crisis.
As Commissioner I would establish a centralized communication department to coordinate messages to the public and media. Currently, each department, if they can afford it, has their own communications person. Having a centralized communication manager to keep the county website current, review messages for consistency, and to put out information across multiple channels in case of an emergency would better inform the public, build trust, and be more efficient.