How has your experience prepared you for this position?
Leadership requires dedication, honesty, accountability and transparency; over the last 5 years I have reflected that in my work and in my volunteer efforts. My experience in management coupled with my public service in Whatcom County ensures that I will continue to work towards solutions that support a healthy, thriving community for all. My family is settled in Whatcom County; we have no ties to outside interest groups or foreign relations. Unlike several of my opponents, when I make an agreement to serve the people in a particular position, I dedicate myself completely to that task. I take my commitment seriously and expect to be held accountable to it. When elected officials run in a second position during their current term, they compromise their integrity by leaving their current position open to appointment. The people of Whatcom County deserve solid leadership voted in by the people. It is impossible to have honest representation by appointment of elected officials, or by elected officials that have loyalties to foreign relations and outside interest groups. I am fully dedicated to the people of Whatcom County.
What are your top three priorities for the county?
My first goal is to support fiscal responsibility through accountability of funding. I will accomplish that by evaluating our current budget, identifying wasteful spending and working with Council to reallocate funds to support sustainable infrastructure and evidence-based programs.
My second goal is to get County processes more streamlined for employees and the public. For example, basic transactions like paying property taxes should be easy for the taxpayer. The Auditor’s website should be user-friendly for receiving payments. Permitting should be streamlined so that those applying understand the process, have clear guidelines for getting approved, and are able to communicate with staff to bring projects to fruition without the current frustrations many people are experiencing in the permitting process.
My third goal is to create solutions for homelessness and recovery that don’t require people to engage in the criminal justice system. There is justifiable frustration by the public regarding solutions to homelessness and recovery that are tied to a new jail. Not all criminals are homeless or have addiction issues. And many homeless people are law-abiding. It is because of this inaccurate association between the needs in our community that have people disagreeing about the solutions. It is time to focus on each issue independently and create action plans that begin immediately.
What is your record of public service?
I have organized and operated a grassroots group for the last 3 years to support minorities and those discriminated against for medical, mental health and religious reasons. I have facilitated engagement between the public and elected officials regarding public concerns, because I believe in the power of our voice and the opportunity to find solutions when we all work together.
How would you approach balancing the needs of different communities within the county?
My first priority is to respect all perspectives and provide leadership that honors differences while encouraging compromise. When people feel heard, they are more likely to collaborate and find solutions that work for everyone. Balancing the financial needs of different communities will take work. Many of our rural communities feel neglected by our current Executive; they have been paying taxes but are not seeing funding to support their needs. This needs to change. From Point Roberts to Sumas to Acme, every community in our County needs to be considered and included in the Whatcom County budget. Our County Council needs to be working as one body to support our whole county in a nonpartisan manner. I expect to be able to support more collaboration among council members with my unique experience bringing the “left” and “right” together for a common goal: Restoring Whatcom County. I plan to bring forward common-sense budget changes that clearly define solutions our Council can support. And I plan to work for the people of Whatcom County, because you are ready for Integrity in Government. I am honored to receive your support.
Do you have additional questions or concerns you would like Misty Flowers to address? Please use the Contact page to send her a message.