Haven declares candidacy for Okanogan County Commissioner

Katie Haven is a democratic candidate for Okanogan County Commissioner, District 2. / Courtesy katiehaven.com

METHOW VALLEY – Friday, March 20, was scheduled to be the campaign kick-off day at the Twisp Valley Grange for lower Methow Valley resident Katie Haven who has announced her intentions to run for the office of Okanogan County Commissioner, District 2, currently occupied by Andy Hover. However, COVID-19 emerged as a spoiler that will delay group gatherings but not Haven’s agenda to seek the commissioner seat as a Democrat.  
Haven, a sheep rancher and retired marine engineer said she is running because during her involvement
“While I was a member of Okanogan County Watch (OCW) I saw a number of issues not being met,” said Haven in an interview with The Quad last Friday, March 20. “One of those is affordable housing.”
Haven said that Commissioner Hover does not consider affordable housing as one of the county’s more pressing needs.
The other four main issues Haven identifies on her website katiehaven.com/issues include water, changing climate, health care, and county government.
“Many people cannot attend the commissioners’ meetings during the week,” said Haven who noted that OCW citizen volunteers videotape the meetings as a vehicle of government transparency. “We have asked the commissioners to start recording their own meetings, but they don’t show much interest.”
Haven said the commissioners cited the expense and lack of digital storage space to archive video records. She was able to find two counties that videotape their proceedings with a software program that automatically sends the data to storage in the state archives.”
“They tell me it isn’t difficult at all,” said Haven who acknowledges that there would be some expense for the county to acquire the software but believes the cost is justified in the name of transparency.
While meeting minutes are taken, Haven said they miss much of the detail and verbal exchanges that occur during meetings and that video recording would capture.
Haven said she would also like to see a revival of the neighborhood groups that were formed about 10 years ago to provide local input to the commissioners. Those efforts were abandoned when it was claimed the groups were not representative of the communities but only from special interests.
“I know that in the lower Methow Valley we had input from at least 150 people,” Haven said of her group.  
Part of Haven’s campaign is called 1,000 Voices designed to encourage citizens to contact her with specific issues and concerns to make their opinions heard.
Haven said her 27-year career as a marine engineer responsible for getting a vessel safely to port will serve her well in areas of innovative thinking and crisis management. She once taught a course in confronting crisis and human behavior and came away with two conclusions.
“In time of crisis people want two things,” said Haven. “One is information and the other is a leader to tell them what to do.”
To learn more about Katie Haven and her campaign, visit her website katiehaven.com online.


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