When I took office in 2019, the County had no budget reserve, consistently operated at minimum cash-flow levels, and was shifting money out of the County Road Fund to just pay the bills. Reforming these irresponsible practices was one of the major planks of my 2018 campaign platform.
Over the last three years, I have led the County Commission to implement four major reforms to county fiscal practices that have helped set Thurston County on a healthy financial path. First, we updated and re-adopted a balanced budget policy. Second, we created an expanded reserve fund that would keep the county operating for two months in the event of a major disaster. Third, we began a $250,000/year phase-out of the road levy shift. Fourth --- and perhaps most significantly --- we created Thurston County's first budget stabilization fund, or “rainy day fund.” We seeded it with $2 million and plan to grow the fund to $5 million.
I am proud of these major reforms that delivered results on one of the key promises I made to voters in 2018. As your Commissioner, I pledge to continue to take a measured financial approach, safeguard County tax dollars, and ensure our county finances are healthy and sustainable for years to come.