Alvarado seeks Kitsap County Treasurer seat

POULSBO — Her experience with accounting pre-dates the advent of the home computer, but Paulette Alvarado has definitely changed with the times. After 25 years with the City of Poulsbo, though, Alvarado decided earlier this month that there would not be a twenty-sixth. Instead, the accounting manager has decided to take the advice of Washington State Treasurer Michael Murphy and seek Sharon Shrader’s soon-to-be-vacated position as Kitsap County Treasurer.

“The county has a very good treasurer’s office right now, and a great staff, I want to continue this,” explained Alvarado, a long-time Democrat.

She said she also wants to provide good customer service, keep up her high standards of working with integrity, honesty and intelligence. Her platform is based on experience — not politics, Alvarado added, noting that she has never before sought public office.

“That part is going to be new for me,” she said. “But as far as the job goes, I’m definitely qualified.”

She isn’t the only one who thinks so, either.

So far, Alvarado has the endorsements of the State Treasurer, Port Orchard Treasurer Kristine Tompkins, Poulsbo City Treasurer Donna Bjorkman, Bremerton City Treasurer Rich Hanna, Grays Harbor County Treasurer Ron Strabbing, Spokane County Treasurer Linda Wolverton, Port of Seattle Treasurer and Manager Craig Kerr and Port Angeles Treasurer Yvonne Ziomkowski.

As a Certified Municipal Finance Administrator she worked with the city staff in 2000 to earn a national award for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Alvarado is also finishing her term as president of the Washington Municipal Treasurers’ Association.

It’s quite a long way from where she was at the beginning of her career.

“When I started with the City of Poulsbo we were hand writing checks,” Alvarado remarked with a laugh. “It has changed a lot.”

And she has changed with it.

Technology has become one of the cornerstones of the accounting field and Alvarado said she has learned to use it to assist her staff, the public and herself with improved, smarter service.

“I want t#reat everyone fairly and in a timely manner,” said of her platform to improve customer service. “I also want to provide honest, fair and consistent tax collection that’s done by the books and use technology to reduce government costs.”

“I’m resigning in good standing in July to officially start my campaign,” Alvarado said. “It’s a natural transition from the city to county level.”

Presently, she manages a staff of six employees at the city but would be managing twice as many people as Kitsap County treasurer. She said she isn’t worried though.

“I just know I’m a qualified candidate,” she remarked.

“I have the support of my staff — that’s important to me,” Alvarado said, noting that her decision to end 25 years of employment at the city to pursue the county position did not come easy. “It’ll be strange not going to city hall. It’s been such a big part of my life for so long.”

Community service has been another big part of her life—she is a past member of the Poulsbo Noon Lions and still volunteers at Harrison Memorial Hospital.

Alvarado said she originally turned down Shrader last year when she was asked to seek the position, but said she reconsidered the idea when State Treasurer Murphy made the same suggestion.

“I just feel I’m at a really good time in my life,” she remarked, adding that her husband, Michael, two sons and five grandchildren were part of the reason she is so happy.

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