Hoefling to leave Tumwater council for health

ckrotzer@theolympian.comDecember 7, 2012 

After serving nearly 10 years, Tumwater City Councilwoman Judi Hoefling will retire from her position a year before her term ends.

The announcement was made during Tuesday night’s regular City Council meeting.

“I gave the community my two weeks’ notice,” Hoefling said Thursday. “It was a good time to be leaving the council; there is great stuff going on.”

Hoefling said health issues over the past several years led to her decision to leave the council and focus on what will ultimately become her last year as the community relations director for Behavioral Health Resources in Olympia.

The plan is to retire from the position in 2013 and focus on her grandchildren, art projects, writing and traveling with her fiancé.

A public reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Tumwater City Hall off Israel Road before the regular council meeting to celebrate Hoefling’s service to the city.

Her leaving will be noticed by her fellow council members.

“Aside from both professional and council work in human services, which always has been huge in the local community, she has also provided leadership in public safety and really bringing the visitor and convention center back to being a viable entity,” said Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet.

Hoefling joined the council after being appointed to fill an open position where she served for eight months before being elected by voters.

Hoefling said she always ran unopposed.

Leaving her station early was part of her plan to give the community time to know her possible replacement.

“It was a nice way to have the public find out who you are,” Hoefling said. “I wanted to do that for the next person coming in and give the public a chance to get to know that person and see if they want to elect them.”

Hoefling served on the city’s Budget and Finance, Public Works and Public Safety committees, serving as chairwoman since 2010.

She also served on various inter-agency committees, including the Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Family Investment Initiative, the Thurston Regional Law and Justice Council and the Thurston County LEOFF Disability Board.

Looking back at her years of service, Hoefling said some of her biggest accomplishments include her work on the public safety committee, helping get a levy passed to pay for a new fire engine, and expansion project at the police station.

“I did ask for one thing,” Hoefling said. “I asked that I will be allowed to be the first person to go for a ride in the new firetruck, and it should arrive in the next two weeks.”

While she will no longer be actively serving on any boards or committees, Hoefling said she would likely volunteer for the city in the future.

As for advice for the next council member to fill her shoes, Hoefling said that focusing on the Capitol Way road project and the brewery redevelopment plan will be key.

“Be open to new and innovative things that can be done,” Hoefling said. “I think that we have a great community; they have been supportive when we have gone to them and said this is something we have to do.

“Keep in touch with that community.”

Kmet said the council will discuss the selection process for Hoefling’s replacement after the first of the year.

Chelsea Krotzer: 360-754-5476 ckrotzer@theolympian.com theolympian.com/thisjustin @chelseakrotzer

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