DeGard will challenge for CK County Commissioner

The race for Central Kitsap County commissioner just got a little more crowded as consultant Dr. Paulette DeGard announced Thursday she will challenge incumbent Tim Botkin.

First, DeGard will have to defeat fellow declared GOP candidate Patty Lent, a Bremerton woman who works in the travel industry.

DeGard’s official campaign kick-off was Friday, June 28. It’s her first run for public office.

“I am running for this position because it is obvious to me that there is a leadership void in Kitsap County,” said DeGard. “If you look at the record, you will see the current District 3 commissioner (Botkin) pays lip service to economic development and to the environment.”

DeGard has lived in the Northwest for 20 years and Kitsap County three years.

She describes herself as a consultant to businesses — what used to be called an “efficiency expert.” She helps businesses improve inter-departmental communications and helps streamline their operations. She works for the consulting firm of Garrison Solutions, based in Traverse City, Mich.

She telecommutes. One of the firm’s chief goals, in fact, is furthering telecommuting.

“It’d be nice if we could keep more of our good people here, in Kitsap, telecommuting, rather than have them make the long commute to Seattle,” she said, suggesting such individuals would be more involved in the community here.

Her resume is extensive: She started a management training school in northern Poland to teach post-Soviet businesses how to be better capitalists. She managed a start-up manufacturing company; and has worked with Boeing and the U.S. Navy.

DeGard added one highly visible civic project to her local resume recently.

She was coordinator for the massive KitsapKids Playground at the Fairgrounds, which utilized thousands of volunteers to build the nearly $250,000 facility.

She is a member of the Silverdale Rotary, Bremerton and Silverdale chambers of commerce, and the Admiral Theatre Foundation board . She is a graduate of Leadership Kitsap. She holds her doctorate in “entrepreneurial leadership in international business,” earned from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

DeGard was born in Wisconsin and raised in Florida. She moved to Kitsap County 20 years ago with her husband when he began work for Boeing. The couple have two teenage children who just graduated from high school and are in the Running Start program at OC.

By her campaign announcement, it appears DeGard will make the campaign bruising for the incumbent Botkin.

“What has he actually accomplished in the last four years?” she asked. “We hear a lot of talk about ‘Smart Growth,’ but it is yet to be defined, and that lack of definition has continued to polarize the citizens of Kitsap County.

“The time for talk is over. It's time for action,” she said.

— Staff writer Kelly Everett contributed to this article.

DeGard’s Kitsap platform

• Economic Development — “I believe that people want to live and work here in Kitsap County, but don't want the negative impacts that growth can have on such a naturally beautiful location. Balancing work and quality of life is something I feel must happen if Kitsap County is going to continue to be a great place to live. Increasing the number of family-wage jobs that provide above average salaries is a way to increase quality of life, stem the tide of people working in other locations and increase the tax base for the county.”

• Telecommunications — “As in other communities, telecommunications can offer new jobs that infuse new money into the community without large-scale, physical development. True "Smart Growth" requires communities to develop and utilize their infrastructure for all types of businesses. Telecommunications must be Kitsap's “Fourth Utility.”

• Leadership — “Common sense leadership, without personal agendas, is needed to bring people together and help them be a part of the solution. My experience as a mediator and arbitrator provides a skill that is much needed.”

• Environment — “I moved to the Pacific Northwest because of its natural beauty and I am passionate about preserving our rural lifestyle. I want clean air and water just like other citizens in Kitsap County.

We are the landscape for our neighboring communities.” She wants to restore Sinclair Inlet. “This is the kind of win-win situation we need to continue to bring to Kitsap County.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates