There’s an important local election happening on March 3 you probably don’t know about. It’s for the Thurston Conservation District Board.
The Thurston Conservation District is involved in many important conservation projects. As a non-regulatory agency, it provides free technical assistance to landowners to manage natural resources on their property. This year, the district lost a third of its funding, or almost $600,000, when two board members failed to vote at a crucial meeting. They also have accused staff of financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest, all claims that were investigated and proven false. Their mismanagement has severely crippled the work of the district.
The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum on Feb. 13 between candidates Joe Hanna and Paul Pickett. There couldn’t be a clearer choice.
Joe Hanna works for the state as a Support Enforcement Officer and attends Conservation District meetings.
Paul Pickett, in contrast, has extensive administrative experience. He is an environmental engineer for the Department of Ecology and has worked with conservation districts around the state. He served for 12 years as Commissioner for the Thurston Public Utility District (PUD), managing an organization with a $2 million budget. Most importantly, he is a model of professionalism who will bring reason and respect back to a woefully dysfunctional district.
Absentee ballots may be requested from the Auditor’s Office at 360-786-5408 or tinyurl.com/yd8e4wb5. Or cast your ballot in person between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Conservation District offices at 2918 Ferguson St. SW, Tumwater.