April 7, 2020 | Cle Elum | Press Release: Submitted by Campaign for Laura Osiadacz, Kittitas County Commissioner, Dist 2~~
Now more than ever it is important to have someone in office that has a track record of making decisions that are in the best interest for Kittitas County. Our actions today will define how future generations view our response to the global pandemic COVID-19. This is a difficult time for our community both socially and economically. Laura is currently working with community members to ensure we are doing our part to “flatten the curve” and be socially responsible while working with our economic partners to support small businesses. Kittitas County is developing plans that will lessen the financial impact in our community. As a leader Laura is not only thinking about the actions of today, but also into the future in efforts to provide for a successful recovery from the effects of this global pandemic.
In addition to managing our current public health emergency there are also many pressing issues that takes a leader who is both ethical and pragmatic. Kittitas County was recently identified as the eighth fastest growing micro area by percentage in the United States. Our community is at a crossroads. It is important to have someone in office that has the experience, relationships, thoughtfulness, and determination to manage this growth that gives the citizens of Kittitas County a voice. Laura is that someone.
Working for the citizens of Kittitas County over the past four years has been a great honor and responsibility that Laura value’s greatly. Over the past four years, she has made great strides working with community members to develop strategies and opportunities to increase business and economic activity, protect property rights while retaining the rural character, and providing opportunities for projects which revitalize, renovate, and restore our communities.
Being an advocate and leader for Kittitas County is a calling that has been cultivated through Laura’s upbringing, education, and love for rural America. She is a seventh generation Washingtonian with a heritage stemming from the farmlands of Eastern Washington to the evergreen forests of the Snoqualmie Valley. Laura has lived in Kittitas County for the past twenty-eight years moving to Hyak at Snoqualmie Pass at age eleven. During her college years she lived in Ellensburg where she was immediately drawn to the beauty of the open fields, green valleys, and big skies. While attending college, Laura met her husband, a fifth generation to the Roslyn area. After graduation she moved to Roslyn and has lived there ever since.
In April 2016, Laura was first appointed, and then later that November elected to serve a four-year term as Kittitas County Commissioner. Kittitas County has made considerable gains during this time, but Laura believes there is still plenty of work ahead. Over the past four years Laura has supported efforts that resulted in:
- Securing all water needed to fulfill back mitigation requirements from the Department of Ecology.
- Providing a resource for water to junior water right holders during drought years.
- Revising Kittitas County Code to provide clear direction for the sighting of commercial solar facilities while maintaining prime farmland.
- Addressing equity concerns for small businesses and non-profits through the establishment of Microgrants for Lodging Tax funds.
- Addressing the Wildland Urban Interface Code through a stakeholder group made up of members from the fire and building communities. This resulted in code which provides for safer communities that takes into account common sense so homeowners aren’t burdened and comply with the code.
- Providing a voice for Kittitas County at the state level. Laura continues to serve on the Legislative Steering Committee working out of Olympia representing Kittitas County to address major issues such as forest health, Secure Rural Schools funding, advocating against unfunded mandates, and testifying against legislation that restricts our ability to thrive in rural communities.
- Investing in a Long Range Planner to work with the County and community to help predict and guide development over the next 20- 50 years.
- Bringing on a Director of Airport Operations for Bowers field to manage the operations and build a plan to better utilize the county’s commercial and industrial space for business development.
- Increasing government transparency by livestreaming and archiving Commissioner meetings, as well as communicating in multiple forums by initiating the Kittitas County Board of Commissions Facebook page.
There are also many long-term projects that impact Kittitas County that Laura vow’s to continue to commit her dedication and energy too. One of the projects she is working on is the expansion of Interstate 90 to reduce congestion throughout the region. Laura has been meeting with stakeholders including Washington State Department of Transportation, Central Washington University, and state and federal legislators to develop a mechanism to expand the six lane project from just east of Snoqualmie Summit to Exit 85 east of Cle Elum and beyond. This effort will not only alleviate state congestion, but traffic that is negatively impacting county infrastructure and rural living.
Another long term project is the development of a mill and the creation of forestry jobs. This will work hand in hand with forest health efforts and also allow for a more diversified economy. Laura has been bringing attention to Central Washington through meetings with private landowners, the USDA Forest Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, federal and state legislators, and private businesses.
In addition to being the incumbent with four years of experience as Kittitas County Commissioner- Position 2, Laura brings a wealth of other public service experiences including 5 years as a Roslyn City Council Member, and 12 years as a Volunteer Firefighter for the Roslyn Fire Department holding a red card for wildland firefighting.
Over the past four years, one of the biggest skills Laura has acquired is how to navigate through local, state, and federal bureaucracies. Laura is a leader that will push the boundaries to do what is best for Kittitas County.
As Kittitas County Commissioner, Laura Osiadacz will continue to be a strong voice serving the citizens of Kittitas County while listening and representing our communities. Laura will stand hand-in-hand with our community to build a better future while respecting and preserving our rich past.