It has been a busy couple of months. As a city council candidate I’ve set several goals for myself. Connect with the folks I would like to represent, find the hidden gems and educate myself about what works within our city, and glean knowledge from those who devote their work or volunteer time to making our community a better place to live.
Today I will be attending my fourth neighborhood gathering. These gatherings have provided an excellent opportunity to think beyond policy and tap into what compels my neighbors on a daily basis, from the joys they find in our little town to those issues that concern them most.
I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with a number of the city managers including City Attorney Bill Bloor, Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Director Corey Delikat, Community and Economic Development Director Nathan West, Port Angeles Chief of Police Brian Smith; other government officials, such as Clallam County Health Officer Chris Frank, Steve Burke from William Shore Pool, and people like the folks at Craft3 who are doing the good work of helping local entrepreneurs build financial resilience. I have more meetings planned and I look forward to garnering all the professional knowledge I can from these folks.
Finally, I’ve had the chance to connect with those who are giving their time to tackle pressing community issues. From Angie Gooding of PA Can to the volunteers at TAFY, it is clear that community members can and do have a vital role to play in shaping community outcomes.
I have come away from each of these interactions feeling more optimistic and so excited about the future of Port Angeles. I am impressed by how passionate individuals are, from our city leadership to our everyday community members, about meeting the needs of our community. In talking to the department heads, I am more committed than ever to ensuring that the city council is working effectively with city leadership.
If elected I intend to continue to research the issues, seek community input, and regularly draw on the expertise of city staff so that I can be most effective in my role as a policy maker. This level of due diligence will help us connect the dots to see new potential collaborations that allow us to stretch our capacity for meeting community needs. Programs like the “Housing Beat” Foot Patrol Program pairing Serenity House, law enforcement, Fire Dept, EMS personnel and mental health outreach to increase access to housing resources, can only happen if we are willing to actively research and seek out cross sector collaboration. If we choose not to be silos we can build partnerships like the recent inter-local agreement between the Port of Port Angeles and the City. This agreement and commitment from the city confirms the importance of maintaining the 5,000 foot runway needed for Airlift NW to land their fixed wing planes at William Fairchild International Airport when necessary to transport patients to Seattle.
I will continue to attend City Council meetings, and other important events so that I am informed about the work of the city and ready to hit the ground running on the future work of the City Council. I look forward to keeping you informed and I welcome any questions you may have.
Yesterday, I attended the Utility Advisory Committee – a committee favorite and a topic that tends to be on the mind of many community members! I look forward to sharing a few insights about this in my next blog.