County Commissioner (District 3) and Commissioner candidate Karen Valenzuela was greeted by an eclectic crowd at the Blue Bottle Cafe last night in Yelm. In attendance were:
– Newly-appointed Timberland Regional Library Yelm Librarian Mike Wessels
– Elected Democratic PCO precinct 130 & 1st Vice-Chair of Legislative District 2 Jackie Reid
– Yelm City Council member Mike McGowan
– Survival Center owner Richard Mankamyer
and other area residents.
Commissioner Valenzuela & Campaign Manager Christi McGinley spoke and took questions from audience members.
VALENZUELA’S ACTION PLAN
I have a five-point action plan that I am already at work on:
1. Bring sanity to the budget
2. Return to the letter and spirit of the growth management act
3. Confront climate change
4. Re-engage in Human Services partnerships
5. Work on inter-jurisdictional cooperation
The Commissioner answered the following questions:
1. How do you put your action plan in place?
She is in talks with the Thurston County Economic Development Council on a whole host of issues.
She supports doing more to work with local farms. People care about eating locally and organically. We can do alot more with food production grown and distributed here.
Push to increase farming in our local economy, which was based on farming forests and fishing. We need to get back to the basics and look to these areas again for the future.
2. Where does most of the County Budget go?
77% to law and justice, which is 7% higher than the norm.
Karen shared the whole issue the County has been engaged with the Sheriff and the budget.
3. What percent is mandated?
However law and justice is one example – we must provide jails, deputies on roads and the Courts.
4. Regarding the issue of County Parks cutbacks, can we use volunteers to staff the parks?
This is a complicated issue as the union contracts specify we cannot place volunteers in union jobs that have eliminated.
5. What is your stand on H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine?
100,000 doses of vaccine are to be shipped here for those in high-risk groups. Karen is a former 20 year health veteran and said the County works closely with the CDC. She reminded everyone of all of the precautionary things to do to keep from getting the flu.
This scenario making news was discussed,
“The Washington State Hospital Association wants the state to make flu shots mandatory for health-care workers, the Seattle Times reports today [Oct. 1],” quoting the Wall Street Journal.
Commissioner Valenzuela remained and chatted with several audience members after the session ended, including City Council member McGowan. Coffee & a nice cheese and veggies/dips display were offered by the co-hosts.
Conspicuously absent were Mayor Harding, other Council members and our local newspaper.
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