Commission candidates share their views
October 20, 2022
By Diana Zimmerman
Blair Brady, who is challenging incumbent Gene Strong as a write in candidate for Wahkiakum County Commissioner, District 3, provided answers to a list of questions asked by the League of Women Voters of Washington, and The Eagle asked Strong to respond to the same questions.
Here are their answers.
What is your record of public service?
Strong: I have over 40 plus years, having served 20 years as aheriff of Wahkiakum County. In that 40 years I was in law enforcement, a volunteer fire fighter, and the past four years as county commissioner. I am also involved the civic groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Brady: County Commissioner, supporter of family centers, food banks, senior programs, youth programs, blood donor, etc.
How do you view balancing development with protecting our natural resources?
Strong: This can be a challenge. I feel that we need to protect our natural resources and ensure that they are here for future generations to be able to enjoy and use so as we see development occurring in the county we need to manage that growth with maintaining our forest lands and other natural resources.
Brady: A difficult position to be in, but one must preserve our environment with our past and future in mind along with the people's needs for quality of life.
How should your county assist the homeless and economically disadvantaged?
Strong: I feel that we should do what we can to assist them with getting back on their feet. We should assist and support the various non-profits and other groups that provide various assistance to the homeless and economically disadvantaged.
Brady: By providing the tools needed to achieve being self sufficient as economics allows.
What do you think are the most important environmental issues your county will face due to the changing climate?
Strong: We need to focus on living and thriving with the changing climate, and there are two issues I feel that we are facing with the changing climate. The first is the winter flooding issues that we face in and around Grays River and Deep River and the second is the longer and warmer days that increase the fire danger in the county.
Brady: Fire and floods.
How would you address the issues surrounding your county’s infrastructure?
Strong: This takes working together with the town, port districts, the Chamber, and businesses to begin work on ways to attract businesses to Wahkiakum County.
Brady: By continuing to search out partners that can help thinking out of the box to maintain and improve our situations.
How do you assess your county’s ability to address any issues surround racial inequalities?
Strong: I feel that as a leader in the county, we have to be aware of our policies and the issues that affect all citizens. We have to be constantly evaluating and assessing them to ensure that we are being fair and doing the right thing and reaching out to stakeholders for their input.
Brady: I believe Wahkiakum County and our community provides equal opportunities.
What should your county be doing to prepare for any crisis such as covid-19?
Strong: We need to work with our county emergency manager to keep our local plans updated and to be exercising those plans. All department heads need to be aware of the plans and familiar with their role in any crisis and be prepared to respond appropriately.
Brady: By continuing to support our county, state, federal and other professionals.