Earlier this month, we briefly profiled the candidates for County Commissioner in District #3. Today we hear from the incumbent candidate, Karen Valenzuela, regarding three important points in her campaign.
Sound management of Thurston County’s financial resources.
In a few short months as Thurston County’s newest Commissioner, Karen has proven her ability to make tough choices. She helped pass a lean county budget that streamlined county government while preserving critical county services. Her 20 years in public health and nine years on the Tumwater City Council have prepared her well to manage county government.
She will use our financial resources wisely by insisting on performance audits and freezing salaries, including her own. She’ll work for regulations that require growth to pay for itself and ensure that future spending cuts don’t limit the county’s ability to leverage state and federal monies.
Preserve Thurston County’s precious natural resources for our children and grandchildren.
The health of our community and natural resources is central to Karen’s core values. She’ll take a three-pronged approach to protect these resources: Acting to preserve farmlands and our county’s rural character, strengthen land use regulations, and support smart growth.
Karen sees that the very qualities that make Thurston County special are threatened. She will work to support the clean-up of Puget Sound and encourage thoughtful development that prevents environmental degradation.
Lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity for decades to come.
Karen rejects the false choice between jobs and preserving and protecting our precious natural resources. We need both, and she believes we can have both by harnessing the green economy. She’ll work to attract green industry that will bring family-wage jobs and long-term prosperity while helping to ensure we and future generations have clean air, clean water, and healthy farm and recreational lands.
We can’t afford NOT to invest in a strong educational system and green jobs. Karen will see that Thurston County leverages federal green energy dollars and work with other jurisdictions to develop business incubator projects that nurture green businesses and ensure there’s a trained workforce to support them.