Submitted by Elizabeth Grasher.
My family roots in the South Sound began when my Great Grandfather, Raymond Morrissey, served on Camp Lewis during World War One and later settled in Dupont. My Grandparents purchased land on Anderson Island in the 1970’s and I spent many summers, holidays and birthdays on Anderson Island and in Steilacoom. Some of my fondest memories are of the scenic ferry rides, visits to Bair Drug and Hardware, and at the town’s various holiday events.
My own rich history in the South Sound and in Steilacoom is why I am passionate about our town and why I am running for Steilacoom Town Council Seat 2.
I work full time on Joint Base Lewis McChord as a mental health therapist (Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist). Additionally I am an adjunct psychology professor at Saint Martins University in Lacey.
I began volunteering in town and started as a board member or the Steilacoom Friends of the Library and volunteering at various Steilacoom Historical Museum Association Events. In 2016 I erected a Little Free Library at Perkins Park, in honor of my Mother and had a Sundial placed at Anderson Island Elementary School, in honor of my Grandfather. I am also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Steilacoom and I have played the role of “Frosty the Snowman” in several Steilacoom Winter Holiday events.
In 2020 I was appointed to the Steilacoom Planning Commission where I work collaboratively and thoughtfully on issues impacting our town. Last month I was appointed to the Pierce County Behavioral Health Advisory Board where we are meeting to create a comprehensive behavioral health plan for the county. I am honored to serve our town and community and invite you to attend our public meetings.
Steilacoom continues to grow and many residents have expressed concerns regarding this growth. Additionally the 211 page, 2015 Town of Steilacoom Comprehensive Plan (which you can view online) includes a “land use element” which includes details regarding zoning, proposed growth (commercial and residential) and open space areas. I believe in responsible growth and when this document is reviewed in 2 years we must work together as a community to maintain our quality of life and green spaces. This includes Farrell’s Marsh, which is one of 12 public parks in Steilacoom. Conservation of our marsh and wildlife is vital to our town to promote biodiversity, safeguard our natural environment and continue our relationship with the wetland for generations to come. This is also why I support Council Member Nancy Henderson’s proposal for a Parks and Recreation Board/Commission. The Council recently held a study session on this and 2 other proposed boards, Public Safety and Public Works, and I am in full support. Community members who are vested in these issues can communicate their concerns, provide innovative ideas, and assist in public decision making.
I also advocate for greater transparency. I have heard many times that residents want to access materials for town council and commission meetings, but frequently are only provided the agenda and minutes from the last meeting. I believe packets council and commission members receive should be made available to the public (with protection of privacy when necessary). Talking to other local town and city council members, many have their meetings broadcast via various means, to include TVW or via their town website, both live and available via recording. I believe Steilacoom should also be utilizing these technological advances.
I look forward to continuing to work for you. I have enjoyed the many conversations I have had with town members and look forward to continuing them. I am committed to Steilacoom and would be honored to have your vote. Vote Elizabeth Grasher, a leader you can trust.
Please feel free to reach out to me via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone (253) 316-3709. My website address is www.elizabethgrasher.com
Rod Adams says
I feel that Elizabeth is what Steilacoom needs. It’s nice that she has generational roots, which I feel is an advantage to promote continuity and to address the needs and progress of our city. A real renaissance person as she is involved in many leadership positions throughout the community!
Elizabeth Grasher says
Thank you for your comments and support, I greatly appreciate it. I love Steilacoom and am honored to serve our historic town and community. I look forward to continuing to discuss our town, the balance of old and new, responsible growth, and policies.
Always feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-316-3709.
Liz, it was a joy reading this article. Steilacoom would be fortunate to have a woman of such passion, historical connections and skills to be on your town council. And, kudos to you for bringing up the importance of easy public access to public documents and videotaping meetings. PCTV does a wonderful job taping, broadcasting and archiving.
Elizabeth Grasher says
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the article and share your thoughts. I look forward to continuing to serve our community. I do believe PCTV and council/commission packets would be a great asset for Steilacoom so we can be informed voters and stewards of our town. I look forward to discussing with you further.
Please feel free to reach out to me at any time to share ideas, concerns or comments: email@example.com or 253-316-3709.
Cynthia Endicott says
Thanks for sharing your background and interests. One question that I have about current Town practices is about our new Utility Payment System, which I appreciate having, but do not like having to pay a service fee to make online utility payments. Each month I am able to pay Puget Sound Energy and LeMay (Waste Connections) without a convenience charge. I pay other bills without additional charges. I think adding extra costs to rising utility bills is punitive to those who can least afford to pay. I still take my payments in to the Town Office and I would think the costs of staff processing those checks and the bookkeeping associated with it might be offset by an autopay system that records payments into accounts electronically. I would like to see the Town move away from paying for the service and towards setting up an inhouse system that is still cost effective.
Elizabeth Grasher says
Thank you for taking the time to read the article and share some of your thoughts about utility payments.
Steilacoom does utilize an outside company and the fees associated with online utility payment go directly to them, not the town. Due to town cost recovery and this being considered a discretionary service that is why the fee trickles down to the user rather then the town as a whole. My understanding is that other companies embed the cost in their overall payment/fee structure. But evaluating a town payment system rather then an outside service is definitely worth further study and reviewing a fee structure for set up, etc. As you mention over time it would offset bookkeeping costs.
I too pay my bill in person on Roe and pay other bills online, Lemay, phone, etc. This is an issue I can continue to evaluate and reach out to neighboring towns/cities to research further.
Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss further or to share other ideas, concerns or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-316-3709.