Time to pay attention to the County Commissioner election

The race for Thurston County Commissioner this November will have lasting impacts on our quality of life.

Thurston County has begun updating key plans and policies that direct how our natural resources and environment will be protected in the face of rapid population growth projected for our county. Major updates are underway for our Comprehensive Plan, and the Shoreline Master Program, which governs how local waters are protected. Will urban/suburban development be allowed to expand into our rural areas? Will there be enough clean water to support new residential growth, local farms and fish habitat? The newly elected commissioner will be making critical decisions on these and other issues in 2019 and beyond.

Thurston County has been a leader in managing growth and protecting our environment. The county has historically used a robust citizen involvement process in planning for our future. However, under the current Board, we have seen an erosion of public outreach, involvement and information sharing. The board placed on hold community and stakeholder groups they created to help guide the Shoreline Program update. Bud Blake and fellow commissioners have instead pushed forward an accelerated review schedule of a proposal that would roll back some current shoreline protections.

Who do you want as a decision-maker for our county’s future? I believe Democrat Tye Menser has the values, background and experience to best serve the citizens as County Commissioner.