Apart we’re smart, together we’re brilliant

Last week I went to a National Association of Counties’ “Health & Justice” forum. There were other county council members and commissioners from throughout the country sharing their efforts to work on the intersection of health and justice. So often, in government we work within our own specialty. Our justice system works on keeping our streets safe, arrest, prosecute, try, and if guilty, lock them up. Our health system focuses on educating the public on good health practices, preventing disease and injuries, as well as working with the community to improve conditions that can lead to unhealthy lifestyles and environments that often result in negative impacts on the community at large. I have a favorite quote that I try to live by, “Apart we’re smart, together we’re brilliant!” My big…
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Remembering Our Fallen

A number of years ago my husband John, and I attended the Law Enforcement Memorial’s annual fundraiser. For a period of time John and I would put on our finest, drive up to one of the big hotels next to Sea-Tac, enter a large ballroom room, visit with others, look and bid on auction items, and eventually sit down with friends for a nice banquet dinner. Pretty typical for a fundraiser dinner/auction. But this one was different. As dinner was winding down, the lights dimmed, large screens around the room lit up, and then it started…. This event was to honor and remember fallen officers in Washington State. Not just in the last year, but since before the turn of the century. The room was full of men and women…
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A Growing Community

District 4 is bustling with fantastic revitalization projects that help to make the community an outstanding place to live and work. Learn more about the projects that make the cities you love so great from Pierce County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg. (more…)
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Planning for the future of our Port

I have a unique district in Pierce County, as everything in my district is incorporated. In other words, I have cities or parts of cities – Tacoma, Fircrest, and University Place. I also have the west side of the Port of Tacoma, which is a crucial economic engine for Pierce County and Washington State.  The Port supports over 29,000 jobs and has an economic impact of generating over $3 billion for the South Puget Sound region. The Port sits within the City of Tacoma which is in Pierce County. [caption id="attachment_12170" align="alignright" width="300"] Port of Tacoma[/caption] The City of Tacoma is about to embark on developing its subarea plan for the Port of Tacoma (Tideflats), a process that is facilitated within the counties and cities.  A subarea plan is a…
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Being Thankful

Today, the first work week after Thanksgiving, I am trying to get in the groove of being back at work. I actually started this blog before the holiday but then finalizing the 2018 Pierce County budget and holiday preparations interfered. Here are my pre-holiday comments… I can’t help but ponder on what I am thankful for. My husband just came in to tell me that he is off to the store to get last minute items for the BIG meal. (I love that guy!) That kick started my Things that I am thankful for list. I start this list by remembering a quote from John F. Kennedy, “We must find the time to stop and thank the people in our lives.” Now is that time… I am thankful for: My…
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Another chance to voice your opinion on housing at Chambers Bay

A number of weeks ago we had a proposal to accept the Master Plan for Chambers Creek properties. There was language within the plan that would allow extended stay housing as part of the golf resort – leased housing for 30 days or more with no limit on the length of stay. I do not support this because I believe that this is a public park and people should not be able to live on a public park. I wrote a blog, a newspaper column and many Facebook posts. Plus there were flyers delivered to 13,000 households to make sure that citizens were aware of the changes that were planned. We had public testimony the afternoon of our meeting. Pierce County Council meetings start at 3 p.m. but because there…
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To those that get it done

For many weeks, the County Council has been focusing on the Pierce County 2018 Budget. I will write about the budget when all is said and done at the end of this month. Today, I want to speak about those that get it done and thank them for doing it – our Council staff! Our budget staff spends nights and weekends reviewing the budget submitted to us by the Executive, checks numbers and sources, follows up with our questions to them, and provides us information needed for us to make appropriate amendments to the budget. They are remarkable in their knowledge and incredible in their dedication. Our research staff is equally amazing. They are our policy wonks. Not only do they have institutional knowledge, but can do the research necessary…
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A County Agency Provides Hope for Our Youth

Everyone knows that one of the primary roles of County government is to provide justice services. This includes, law enforcement, the jail, prosecutors, assigned council (public defenders) and the courts. What most people don’t think of in this system is juvenile courts. The County is responsible for providing justice services for our youth throughout all of Pierce County including the cities. The people in Pierce County should be especially proud of our Juvenile Court. They are considered a leader in juvenile justice and have been on the forefront of programs that make a difference to youth and their families. Like the adult courts, Juvenile Court, known locally as Remann Hall, has both a criminal unit and civil unit. A number of years ago, the local leaders in juvenile justice determined…
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Disappointment for Chambers Bay

I have to admit that I am very disappointed with most of the County Council. I have written before on the development at Chambers Bay. For those that may be first time readers or may have missed previous blogs here is a little background. It has been proposed to build a resort with a hotel/lodge, restaurant, clubhouse and space for events and conferences tucked into the hillside under the current restaurant. In order to get financing the developers want to be able to build extended-stay leased housing units. Extended stay is anything longer than 30 days. The developers have not told us how long these leases will be for - a month, a year, or year after year. Although it is not agreed upon, the developers have suggested to us…
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All Politics Are Local…?

As a County Councilmember I have the wonderful opportunity to write a column in the University Place Press. I often address local issues facing Pierce County and in this particular column I take a look at how the national political agenda impacts us locally. I also discuss how we as local elected officials position ourselves on the national stage. Click image to enlarge.
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