Why I'm running for County Commissioner
Jefferson County is a wonderful place to live, but for many people it's becoming harder every year to thrive here. Affordable housing is scarce and jobs are hard to come by, while property taxes rise constantly. There's a running joke in our neighborhood that most people in town work three jobs just to pay the bills!
My name is Tim Thomas, and I am not a career politician, but as a business owner and longstanding member of the community, I have seen how state and local policies affect the lives and livelihoods of my friends, neighbors, and small businesses. I am running for office as County Commissioner from District 1 to make the voices of our community members heard, and to help our County make smarter policy decisions that will allow us to grow and thrive.
If you are reading this, you may be a high school or college grad just starting your career, wondering where the jobs and affordable apartments are; you may be a business owner, hoping for the day when you are allowed to grow; or you may be a homeowner who loves your community, but is frustrated by constantly increasing property taxes. I want to hear from you, and I want to represent you.
More about Tim
I was raised in Jefferson County, and I’ve lived in Jefferson County for 42 years, from Quilcene, to Port Ludlow, to Chimacum and the past several years in Port Townsend. My wife Dawn and I raised two wonderful children, and we think often of their future here in the community. I own and operate Bernt Ericsen Excavating and I have worked on many public works projects in the county. For the last 10 years my wife and I started investing our resources back into our community. We have partnered with various organizations like Habitat for Humanity, The Homeless shelter, The Jefferson County Fair and Expo, all three of the little league groups, The Rhody Festival, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis and the Elks, but I feel the need to go further, and represent the needs of our residents and business community, by utilizing my background to shape our land policies.
We need land use policies shaped by locals who actually know the land. An excavator’s work is not glamorous – fixing drainage fields to prevent harmful runoff, shaping our coastline to keep storm surge from damaging the ecology of the bay, and helping to configure the local utilities landscape – but these are the exact things we need to understand to strike a balance between smart economic development and environmental stewardship.
Is there a topic more contentious than taxes? There is a constant struggle between property owners who are being financially squeezed by every new program, and government officials who feel they have no other source of funding. There is another source – it’s called economic development. If we can grow the tax base by boosting our business environment, we will be able to spread the burden more evenly and keep the cost of living down.
If you want to put your finger on the pulse of a community, talk to a few dozen of its business owners. They’ll tell you that opportunities abound, but are artificially restricted by out-of-touch policies that don’t reflect the needs of the local community. Creating jobs, growing our local economy, and making affordable housing available are all very achievable goals. The demand is here and the workforce is willing - we just need smarter policies that serve the people, not the other way around.