Port Angeles, in Clallam County, Wash., is holding municipal elections on Nov. 2, 2021. Four city council seats are up for election this year. In total, the Port Angeles City Council is composed of seven members who serve four-year terms.
Candidates submitted statements to the Washington Secretary of State when they filed a declaration of candidacy. Responses, which appear in the Washington Voter’s Pamphlet are republished here. They have not been altered in any way.
Port Angeles City Council Position No. 1
LaTrisha Suggs (incumbent): “I have lived in Port Angeles most of my life. I am from here. My mom, grandmother, great grandmother, and ancestors have lived here since time immemorial. I seek your support to continue serving this great community. I have three fabulous kids and two grandsons.
As a council member I supported expanding key programs like Rediscovery, Paramedicine, reinstated code enforcement, maintained flat utility rates, balanced budget, provided $790,000 in rental, mortgage and utility assistance to customers impacted financially by the pandemic. I supported efforts, saving the city millions by refinancing water and wastewater bonds, supported suspending interest and late fees on utility accounts, and waived parking and business improvement area fees.The next four years will require focus and stability to maintain a healthy City budget, support solutions to vexing issues and engaging leadership that strengthens our community partnerships, and work towards building new relationships. Areas of critical importance include affordable housing, homelessness, code updates, commercial district enhancement, build staffing capacity, building high-performing relationships, and working with partners to advocate for solutions that will help the childcare crisis, which was in crisis mode prior to the pandemic. The vision is to move towards solutions that work for our community.”
To read Suggs’ full statement, click here.
Adam Garcia: “Port Angeles has been my home since 1992, when I started 3rd grade at Jefferson Elementary. I grew up here, played in the parks here, I went to school here, met my wonderful wife here, and have chosen to raise my children here. The truth is that Port Angeles has changed, and not for the better. Crime, poverty, and drug use have grown out of control.
The tasks laid before the City Council and Staff are not easy, but they must be met with a balance of fiscal responsibility and compassion for every member of our city. It is going to take time to make the big changes that are required for our city to prosper, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the problems in the present. We must come together and make common sense decisions that begin to address the issues at hand. We must insure that our community is safe, we need to work on our streets and infrastructure while remaining fiscally sound.
Let’s move Port Angeles in the right direction so that our children can experience the safe and beautiful Port Angeles we all remember.”
To read Garcia’s full statement, click here.
Port Angeles City Council Position No. 2
Mike French (incumbent): “Port Angeles has been my lifelong home, and I intend to work tirelessly to make it the best it can be. My vision is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all, including a robust economy, good roads, affordable housing and utilities, and a thriving business community. I’ve been an elected representative on the City Council for four years, and we’ve made considerable progress on these and other issues. We’ve engaged the Chamber of Commerce in our Capital Facility Plan and contracted with them to develop a collaborative strategic plan for our downtown. We’ve passed citywide zoning reforms and tax incentives to encourage affordable housing development. We’ve partnered with local institutions like Peninsula Housing Authority and the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic to move our unhoused population into secure permanent housing. We’ve reduced the burden on local law enforcement by pairing social workers with police officers, finding productive solutions to difficult situations on the street.
There is still considerable work to do; our City continues to face a variety of challenges. I am committed to facing these challenges and devoting the time and effort required to serve the citizens of Port Angeles, and I ask for your vote. Thank you.”
To read French’s full statement, click here.
John Madden: “People are frustrated with their Government. People are feeling forgotten. It is time to involve the public in their Government at a new level. I hope to invite open conversations with the Citizens of Port Angeles in a variety of settings, including a monthly meet and greet at a local coffee shop. I am passionate about addressing the day-to-day challenges that face Port Angeles small businesses struggling to make sense of the ever changing political landscape.
2020 was a confusing time in our County. Our awareness of the issues that divide us must be met with constructive and restorative energies. Small businesses have more similarities than differences, and there needs to be a constructive thread drawn around them to strengthen the fabric of our City.
As a former President of both a local Kiwanis Club and Lions Club, I have the experience in leadership, with community service as core.
I believe that leadership is found in service to others.
I hope you will come to my Coffee Corral, if not City Council meetings, and help me shape our Community one issue at a time.”
To read Madden’s full statement, click here.
Port Angeles City Council Position No. 3
Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin (incumbent): “I was born and raised in Port Angeles. I love this place that we all call home.
I’m honored to serve the people of Port Angeles on City Council, where my skills and experience support the the Council’s core work: policy and planning to keep Port Angeles affordable for young people, working families, and elders, and improve everyone’s quality of life.
Over the last four years on City Council, we’ve revived the code enforcement program that previous Councils cut; supported our Police and Fire Departments’ proactive and cost saving intervention programs; removed regulatory barriers to affordable housing and childcare development; kept utility rates stable; and supported small businesses and distressed residents during the pandemic.
As a representative of the people of Port Angeles, I work toward creating a City that values government transparency, community dialogue, and collaboration; spends our tax dollars efficiently; fosters a local economy that works for everyone; and solves tough problems like substance abuse, affordable housing, and homelessness. This work requires all of us working together to make Port Angeles a safe place for everyone to live, work, and play.
I’d be honored to receive your vote to continue this work on your City Council. Thank you.”
To read Schromen-Wawrin’s full statement, click here.
Jena Stamper: “I am a native of Port Angeles and, having attended K- 12 schools here, I know what Port Angeles used to be and I know the untapped potential that is has. I have the vision and passion to help it return to its previous glory and beyond. A local business owner and active member of our community, I am acutely aware of the struggles and concerns that our community members are facing.
A thriving business community is essential to the long-term health of our city. Not only does the business community provide the economic foundation for our city, it supports local teams, youth programs, and many worthwhile community projects of great impact.
I want to be an advocate for our youth and invest in our parks and community events that help give our community members and youth purpose.
I want to a champion for safe streets for our citizens, support our law enforcement and help them find sustainable ways to deal with the ever-increasing homeless population, while also encouraging code and local ordinance enforcement.
I whole heartedly care about this city and want to be a true representative of the people of Port Angeles. Your vote matters.”
To read Stamper’s full statement, click here.
Port Angeles City Council Position No. 4
Kate Dexter (incumbent): “Serving on city council for these past four years has been a tremendous honor. We have accomplished a great deal as a city. There’s much yet to be achieved. I look forward to continuing this work thanks to your vote.
Under my leadership as mayor, I have worked tirelessly with my fellow council members and city staff to set appropriate and meaningful agendas, lead discussions effectively and professionally, and ensure that everyone has a chance to be heard, even during the Covid-19 pandemic and all the challenges it presented.
Notably, at the end of 2020, city council and staff succeeded in creating a balanced budget, with no increase in utility rates, and provided over $800,000 to residents and local businesses in mortgage, rent, and utility relief.
We listened to local developers and made changes to our city code to encourage market rate and affordable housing development. Thanks to strong community partnerships, we implemented and expanded the Rediscovery and Community Paramedicine programs, which are actively improving people’s lives while saving taxpayer dollars.
I’m ready to continue the progress we have made toward a more vibrant community. Thank you in advance for your vote and continued support.”
To read Dexter’s full statement, click here.
John W. Procter: “In the past eleven years that I have lived in Port Angeles, I have witnessed a decrease in police presence, deterioration of our park and recreation services, and an influx of individuals living on our streets.
Many of theses individuals are openly drunk or using drugs. They throw their heroin syringes and garbage everywhere. They use our town as their public restroom. They graffiti our buildings and destroy business fronts. This affects our community standard and tourism.
Along with this we have also noticed the sudden appearance of old motorhomes, travel trailers, and automobiles. Many are randomly abandoned. Most are not currently licensed, and many are in disrepair but are parked on our streets for long periods of time. They are often outlets for drug dealing and harbor stolen goods from our community.
Our current City Council appears to use those individuals as political pawns assisting them to continue to desecrate our community. My intention is to restore our community to a healthier standard. I would like to represent the families and businesses who prefer a cleaner and safer Port Angeles.”
To read Procter’s full statement, click here.
Clallam County is holding municipal elections in its three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks— in 2021. Twenty-six offices are up for election in those cities. Click here to read more about those elections.