I haven't mentioned this before,but I'm running for political office; I filed for this position on May 12th, and I've been campaigning since.
It's been an interesting process; this is the first elected position I've run for, and I've been doing all of the things that campaigns need to do; public appearances and signs and advertising and fundraising and it's been a good education in the process. I've probably talked to 5,000 people since the start of the campaign. That's a lot of talking!
I'm running for the position of Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioner; I am running to become a member of a 3 person commission that oversees the PUD; the commission approves contracts over $25,000, accepts or rejects rate changes, and can hire and fire the professional manager of the PUD.
To explain what a public utility district is, the closest analogy I've come across is the difference between a credit union and a commercial bank. A credit union is a not-for-profit institution run for the benefit of its depositor/owners. A commercial bank is run for the benefit of its shareholders.
The mission of the PUDS was to give the ratepayers in the service area a better deal than they might get from a commercial entity, and for most of the PUDs in Washington State (there are over 20 of them) they do.
But the Snohomish county PUD seems to have drifted a bit. They have the highest rates of any PUD in the state, and they've had recent troubles that point to a management problem. These troubles have led to the loss of millions of PUD dollars, and millions of federal dollars, too. And they are studying a much larger project, at 180 million dollars, that I'm that I'm skeptical that they can manage.
In addition, the basic job of the utility is to keep the lights on. The number of days of power outages that the average customer experiences has climbed over the past 12 years
The job of commissioner is to make sure that your neighbors money is spent wisely, and that's what I'd like to do. I think it's time for a change in the leadership, and for fresh eyes and ideas to take the PUD to the next decade.
You'll find my campaign website here, and here's a some recent letters to the editor that put it better than I can:
PUD needs King
Change Definitely needed at PUD
PUD commission needs a shakeup!
4 weeks ago