Phil Johnson won’t run, Kate Dean steps up

News in the Port Townsend Leader that long time County Councilman Phil Johnson has decided not to run for office. Phil has held the post for three terms. In his wake, District 1 sees the first candidate to emerge for his position, Kate Dean. Kate has lived in the District for 17 years, she is a well respected business person as well as an active parent in the community . She also currently runs the North Olympic Peninsula Conservation and Development Council. For a more in-depth overview of her background and credentials, see the story in the Port Townsend Leader at

I have known Kate and her work for a couple of years, and have the highest respect for her. I believe she would be an excellent County Commissioner, both balancing the needs of businesspeople with those of the rural parts of the county. Additionally, her work on Climate Change recently was exceptional, and her environmental credentials are first rate. I have not heard who else is going to run, but Kate would be an outstanding replacement for Phil.

Phil will be sorely missed. He has been a long time champion of environmental concerns and I’ve worked with him on the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee (MRC). He has been key in fighting net pens in Jefferson County and his background as a fisherman brought great credence to his point of view. Best of luck to Phil and to Kate!

Jefferson County – Michelle McConnell leaves for Ecology

Michelle McConnell, who has been a stalwart at the Jefferson County Dept. of Community Development for many years, has chosen to leave and work for the Department of Ecology. Michelle has had the extremely hard job of shepherding the Shoreline Master Program through over the last 8 years. She has always been a steady hand and been a sea of calm in the midst of turbulent public meetings over the SMP. We will miss her guidance on these issues. No word on a replacement yet. Best of luck to Michelle in future endeavors.

I’m pleased to announce I have accepted a new job and will be leaving DCD the week of April 7; my new position will be as a Shoreline Planner with WA Department of Ecology.

I have learned a lot during my eight years with the County and it has been both challenging and rewarding to have served as Project Manager for major, multi-year projects including the Shoreline Master Program Update and Watershed Stewardship Resource Center/SquareONE.  I’m proud of the many positive contributions I’ve made to the never-ending, fast-paced and varied work of DCD.

Thanks to all the good folks I’ve met and worked with along the way!

Best wishes,


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