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Painting a picture of the future
POULSBO Poulsbo City Councilwoman Connie Lord loves to paint. And though the former art teacher and Northwest College of Art graduate no longer runs her own gallery, she still likes to pick up a brush now and then. But Lords hands will soon be busy with campaign pamphlets, not paint, as her second four-year term on city council comes to an end and elections approach this fall.
First elected to the council in 1998, Lord said it was her hands-on experience as a land use clerk and deputy city clerk in Winslow that prepared her to take on the challenge.
I was observing how the city was governed, and there were some issues I was interested in, she said. There was some stuff I wasnt happy with. I understood the process and it didnt seem like the process was going right. I thought I could help out.
Now rounding out her second term, Lord said shes learned trust and respect are the keys to successfully getting the work done.
What weve been elected to do is a job, she said. Its difficult enough when there are issues that divide people, but if members of a council arent respecting one another, its like putting gasoline on a fire.
Lord said she looks forward to tackling some of the citys major projects, such as Urban Growth Areas and Project Poulsbo, a comprehensive strategy to coordinate council projects and citizen opinions. Allowing for meaningful expansion while protecting the environment as much as possible is a balancing act and issue close to her heart, she said.
Im a Washington girl, she said. Ive grown up with a love of our state, and Im saddened by whats happened in places like Mercer Island.
Aside from environmental issues, Lord said she also hopes to expand her efforts in public art, and is currently working on both a city art committee for local artists and One Percent for the Arts, a plan that sets aside 1 percent of funds from major developments to be used for city art displays. She also would like to pair the Poulsbo City Council with North Kitsap High School in a program that would allow students to become more knowledgeable about city government.
Despite the difficult issues facing the city, Lord said she wants to stick around to see them through.
Im honored to be a part of this transition between the future and the way things used to be, she said. These are growing pains...but its good to know you dont have to carry the load yourself. On the council, Im one of seven, and were seven of 7,500. I worry about things and can get spun up on issues, but I always come back to that.