Monday, December 29, 2008

Karen Valenzula gets back to me

Second of four applicants for the open commissioner position writes me back:

In mid-December, Jim Cooper sent all us candidates a list of 10 questions, the responses to which I believe he'll post in a few days, as soon as he's heard from all of us. Here's question #10 and my response to it --it tells you how I feel about your first question below:

1. 10. Other than attending necessary Board and committee meetings, what would you do during your first 30 days on the job?

I’d work hard to balance external work –mostly meeting with constituents and listening to their concerns and issues, and meeting with other local government electeds —with internal work –mostly meeting with department heads, fellow County electeds, reviewing the recently adopted budget, etc. I’d like to think that mixed in with all of this, I’d be developing ideas in the back of my mind about where improvements might be implemented and starting conversations with my fellow County Commissioners about these. The most important conversation that I believe needs to be started early in 2009 is the question of home rule: restructuring County government into the more flexible County Council model instead of the current County Commission model. We’re no longer the rural county we once were, and we need a more modern form of self-governance. It’s a community conversation I look forward to with great enthusiasm.

With respect to the County's web site, I agree it could and should be improved, which shouldn't be a big deal, but would definitely be a priority for me. Thanks for the compliment on our City of Tumwater web site, though I think it, too, suffers from lack of interactivity capability. I think you have it absolutely right: the County's site is ANTIQUATED! It also seems that its updating is pretty sporadic, almost like it's completely forgotten about for months.

I've certainly begun to appreciate the value of blogging since becoming involved in this Commissioner appointment process. You and Ken have both done a great service to us all with your sites --THANK you! I recently read that one of the federal agency directors has been blogging about agency issues and controversies for two years or so now, which I thought was intriguing. The great thing about blogging is precisely its interactivity and accessibility, so I like the idea a lot. It would really open things up!

I especially like the part when she doesn't call me stupid for not remembering one of her answers in the application material I already read.

Its also nice to be complimented for blogging. Thanks Karen.

Other than that, her answers speak for themselves. Unless she comes out as a closet Yankees fan, she'll end up on my list.

1 comment:

Ken Camp said...

As a Dodger fan who watched those damn Yankees beat my beloved team in the 1980's, I don't care if Karen is a Yankees fan, she's on my short list, if not at the top of it.

And thanks to Karen for your compliment of the work Emmett and I have done. I really wish more PCOs would engage and have conversations with the candidates publicly, if not on the blogs.