Now more than ever, we need less partisan politics and more common sense to address the complex issues facing our community, businesses and families. We need to continue progress towards
My goal is ensure this is the best place to live and work for generations to come.
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Currently the Thurston County Commissioner in Position 2 and served as the elected Thurston County Sheriff for 20 years. Gary worked 37 years in law enforcement after serving in the US Army from 1965-68 and remains a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a proud graduate of Yelm High School and continued education by attending Blackhawk Technical College, University of Wisconsin and University of Virginia. Gary also was selected to attend the National FBI Academy and graduated in 1988. During his time as sheriff, Gary served terms as president for Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and the Washington Association of Sheriffs.
Gary was a founding member of the Boys and Girls Club of Olympia, ROOF and TOGETHER! He remains an active member of Lions and Kiwanis clubs. He is a lifetime member of the Washington State Police Chiefs and Sheriffs. He continues to actively fundraise for Special Olympics and Yelm and Rainier Dollars for Scholars.
Gary was the only current commissioner to oppose building a $400 million courthouse in downtown Olympia when all of the other elected officials in Olympia were promoting the proposal. Gary’s solution to the courthouse issues is to explore remodeling the existing facility and utilize adjoining property that had been purchased for expansion by prior Thurston County Commissioners.
Citizens have the ability to utilize their property without damaging the environment or hurting others.
The county needs to work collaboratively with all the other jurisdictions to make sure that we address adequate treatment for mental health and drug addiction while holding these people accountable for their lifestyle choices while we do our part in creating job opportunities that build self-esteem and independence.
The county receives most of its general fund from property and sales tax revenue. To date, the county has generated more revenue than this time last year. Although they are reviewing possible adjustments to the county’s operations, if our economy continues to do well, we make adjustments to regulatory restrictions and utilize the financial assistance from the federal government, we can continue with current services but may not be able to expand services.
Considering no one could have predicted the devastating effects of this pandemic and most of the initial direction came from the CDC and Governor’s Office, I think the county Health Department staff have done very well under these adverse conditions. I would always like to be guilty of sharing too much information rather than not enough because that builds community trust.