by Jack Russillo
Just as the end of winter brings about fresh life each year, in King County, each spring also brings an election to help the region manage its natural resources.
With less than a week before the King Conservation District (KCD) election closes on March 23, the race is down to eight candidates, after candidate Daryl Delaurenti withdrew from the election.
Since 1949, KCD’s mission has been to help people engage in stewardship and conservation of natural resources, serving over two million people in 34 cities and unincorporated King County. KCD assists people with forestry management, streamside and shoreline restoration, farm conservation planning, and other environmental efforts. A five-member, all-volunteer Board of Supervisors manages KCD programs. Supervisors serve three-year terms.
This year’s race features eight candidates seeking to be elected to the KCD Board’s third supervisor position, where they will contribute local perspectives on important natural resource management and conservation issues, seek feedback about conservation programs from District residents, set KCD policy, and direct KCD’s work plan and budget.
In alphabetical order by last name, here are brief quotes from each of their candidate statements. You can read each candidate’s full statement at the KCD candidate site or click on the name below to learn more.
Brittney Bush Bollay said in their candidate statement, “Our conservation work must also be undertaken with a focus on equity, centering the voices and experiences of communities most directly affected by climate change and environmental racism.”
Kali Clark, in her candidate statement, said, “During my tenure at DNR, I managed Forest Practices and natural resources specialists, which created the opportunity to work with a broad range of landowners, municipalities, tribes, agencies, and communities toward a common goal.”
John Comerford says he “especially want to promote conservation and environmental protection at the Port of Seattle to protect our harbors against water pollution and our neighborhoods against noise and air pollution.”
Wayne Gullstad said in his candidate statement, “I am committed to policies and practices that provide ecological improvements without sacrificing the livelihood of family farms.”
Doug Hennick says, “I would like to serve as a KCD Supervisor to help continue its well-established accomplishments of restoring good functions to our local watersheds.”
Natalie Reber said in her statement, “As a community gardener for nearly twenty years, my connection to the environment is rooted in transforming small lots in urban environments into garden spaces that feed insecure communities.”
Melissa Tatro said in her candidate statement, “My five-year tenure at KCD provided opportunities to interact with all the District’s programs and services offered that promote local food, healthy forests, and clean water.”
David Toledo says, “We need to ensure that our parks, beaches, fields, farms, and drinking water are being protected for the next generation.”
Registered King County Voters (excluding those residing in the cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific, and Skykomish) may cast their ballot for KCD board position electronically through the online ballot access system or print and mail ballots to King County Elections at 919 SW Grady Way, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057. Ballots must be postmarked by March 23, 2021 and received by March 26, 2021 to be counted. Ballots can also be dropped off at King County Elections.
This article has been revised to remove material that was not correctly attributed and to correct the spelling of John Comerford’s name.
Jack Russillo has been reporting in Western Washington since 2013. He covers the environment, social justice, and other topics that affect a sustainable and equitable future. He currently lives in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Featured image: Forestlands of eastern King County from the top of Mount Teneriffe. (Photo: Jack Russillo)
Before you move on to the next story … Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!