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.