To the Editor:

We all say we want to elect political leaders who will bring people and organizations together to find common ground and solve problems. Now at the local level, we have an opportunity to elect a moderate consensus-builder with a record of getting things done. I am referring to Nancy Lillquist, who is running for Kittitas County Commissioner.

Nancy has served on the Ellensburg City Council for the past 17 years. She understands how to make local government effective, she understands budgets, she listens to citizens, and she knows how to build a consensus to get things done. As a volunteer on two city committees chaired by Nancy, I saw firsthand how she helped committee members build on areas of agreement and propose solutions that would satisfy all parties. She worked hard to get us there and spent a great deal of her own time preparing resources for the group, consolidating the group’s ideas, organizing events to get input from citizens, and helping each committee craft solutions to recommend to City Council.

Nancy also demonstrates vision for complex issues which require creative solutions. The Reecer Creek Floodplain Restoration Project is an example. As mayor, Nancy provided leadership to ensure city efforts fit together in partnership with the efforts of 12 other partners (non-profit organizations as well as local, state, tribal and federal agencies). The resulting project reduces flooding in West Ellensburg, conserves irrigation water, dedicates lands for commercial development and recreation, restores habitat along the stream, and brings spawning salmon back to the city for the first time in over 40 years.

Nancy clearly possesses the qualities we all want in a county commissioner — dedicated, knowledgeable, open-minded, mindful of costs, willing to listen, and driven by a desire to bring people and organizations together to solve problems and find solutions that serve the common good.

We can bring Nancy’s skills at collaborative problem-solving to the entire county. If you are in District 1, vote for Nancy in the primary election! Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off at a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. August 6. The top 2 candidates will advance to the general election in November, when the entire county will have the opportunity to vote.

Karen Raymond



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