2019 Klickitat County Voter’s Pamphlet

CGWAN has asked candidates in contested races in Klickitat County some questions for our online voter’s pamphlet. The candidates who responded have answers below. We’ve noted which candidates have not submitted responses (we will accept responses un until election day).

Voter Resources

Ballots are mailed October 18

Ballots are due on November 5

Guide to 2019 referendums, initiative measures, advisory votes, and Senate Joint Resolutions

League of Women Voters simplified ballot issue summaries

Sample ballot

Progressive voter’s guide by FUSE WA

Voter Portal register to vote online, view online voters guide, print a replacement ballot or see your elected officials

Drop Boxes Available for the Current Election

  • Bickleton – Intersection of E. Market & S. Madison Streets, adjacent to Alderdale Grange
  • Bingen – City Hall, 112 N. Ash St.
  • Dallesport – Community Center parking lot, 136 6th St.
  • Glenwood – 209 E. Main, North of the General Store
  • Goldendale – Corner of S. Columbus Ave. and W. Court St. parking lot
  • Goldendale – Inside the Auditor’s Office, 205 S. Columbus Ave., Room 203
  • Klickitat – State Hwy. 142 at Depot Park
  • Lyle – Lions Club parking lot, Intersection of 5th St. and Hwy. 14
  • Roosevelt – Roosevelt School parking lot, 615 Chinook Ave.
  • Trout Lake – Intersection of Jennings Rd. and Hwy 141, East of Post Office
  • White Salmon – Pioneer Center parking lot, as you exit, 501 N.E. Washington St.
  • Wishram – Park Place (North of Historic Locomotive)

Candidates and questions

We have sent the below questions to the following candidates (and have noted if we received responses):

  • Karleen Swarztrauber, Hospital Commissioner #2 – responses received
  • Ricky Knowles, Hospital Commissioner #2 – responses received
  • Marla Keethler, White Salmon Mayor, responses received
  • Doug Charters, White Salmon Mayor – waiting for responses
  • Brendan Norman, Trout Lake School Board #1 – responses received
  • Dana Robison-Miller, Trout Lake School Board #1 – waiting for responses
  • Ken Apostol, Goldendale School Board #1 – waiting for responses
  • Beth Schroder, Goldendale School Board #1 – waiting for responses
  • William (Bill) Clark, Dallesport Water District – waiting for responses
  • David D. McNeal, Dallesport Water District – waiting for responses

We asked all candidates the following questions:

  • Please provide 1) your contact information, 2) your volunteer activities, 3) you work history, 4) a statement you’d like to share with the voters, 5) a photo
  • Why are you running for this office?
  • What do you see as the role of this office in our community?
  • What do you hope to accomplish during your first term if elected?
  • What are your top three priorities?
  • What are your views on civic engagement in your district? Do you have any plans to increase that?
  • Do you see your responsibility being to the voters or the job at hand?
  • In your potential office, what do you see as the role of the private sector v the public/government sector?
  • Are there any problems in the office you seek/with the previous official that you’d like to change?
  • What are some unknowns you’re prepared to encounter? 
  • What questions do you have about the office/your constituents?

Hospital District #2

Karleen Swarztrauber, swarztra@stanfordalumni.org, County online voter’s pamphlet

Karleen Swarztrauber, MD MPH

503-816-2959 cell phone

swarztra@stanfordalumni.org

I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado.  I attended Stanford University undergraduate and Tulane University for my medical and public health degrees.  My healthcare experience includes the Robert Wood Johnson Health Services Research Clinical Scholarship, Chief of Health Services Research and Development, PADREC, Portland VA Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Neurology at OHSU, and the Klickitat Public Health Officer position for one year.  I also started Tephra Farms, and I have been active at the Gorge Grown Farmers Market this summer. I worked at Skyline Hospital as a neurologist and pain management physician from 2014-2018 and I have insight into the issues specific to Skyline. I volunteered as the Gorge Grown Research Director and helped write the grant for the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize which the local Columbia Gorge community was awarded in 2017.  

  • Why are you running for this office?
  • What do you see as the role of this office in our community?
  • What do you hope to accomplish during your first term if elected?

I am running for the office of the Hospital Board to help the hospital find its vision and thrive.  My opponent is a wonderful person and would also be an excellent candidate, however, it is my opinion that it will take someone with more experience to institute the changes that will be required to transform Skyline into a hospital that is thriving.   A vote for me will be a vote for transformative change at the hospital. I want to be very clear that if I am voted into the hospital board position, I will challenge the leadership and consider replacement of the CEO. I will also be open to a creative solution that would retain the CEO in his role with the Skyline Foundation, which has been very successful.  However, the actual management of the hospital’s day to day activities and the structure and function of the hospital must change and requires new leadership. Before I wrote this essay, I checked to see what was the most current news at Skyline Hospital and discovered that the ENT physician is no longer at Skyline. In the time that I have been involved with Skyline and living in this community, the hospital has started and lost an Orthopedic clinic, a Neurology and Pain Management clinic, and now an Allergy and ENT clinic.  At Skyline hospital, the turnover of employees was so high that not one of the employees I interacted with when I left was the same one when I started. I literally looked around and recognized no one. High turnover of employees and providers is a sign of poor management and is not good for the community. The hospital has also struggled with poor relations with Northshore Medical Clinic and other local primary care providers. These issues must be resolved or Skyline Hospital will continue to languish.  

It is not all bad news.  The Skyline Foundation has done very well.  It has raised funds from a small community and has continued to do so.  This is not an easy task in a small community and needs to be applauded.  If elected, I will continue to support these efforts. As I have done in the past with Gorge Grown, I will also provide a path to other resources that Skyline might access to expand their fundraising.

A Columbia Gorge Community Needs Assessment done in 2015 found that our community has unmet dental and housing needs as well as a high incidence of food insecurity.  This survey provided much needed information to several healthcare organizations to help guide their vision. I would support a similar survey to obtain updated information about what services the community would like from their local hospital.   

  • What are your top three priorities?

I really have four goals.  My top priorities will be to 1) provide access to additional resources to the Foundation and fundraising efforts that they may not have access to now and continue to support their excellent efforts, 2) challenge the leadership on its hospital management and consider re-organization or possible replacement of the CEO, 3) restore good relations between the hospital and the local healthcare providers, 4) launch a survey of the community to determine what they want most from their hospital. 

  • What are your views on civic engagement in your district? Do you have any plans to increase that?

My view on civic engagement is that we all have a responsibility to share our skills with the community.  If we see a place where our skills can help the community, it is our responsibility to offer them.  

  • Do you see your responsibility being to the voters or the job at hand?

My responsibility is both to the voters and to the job at hand.  As such, I have made it very clear to the voters what I will do if I am voted into the position.  Now the voters are in a position to choose, which is more important than anything else.  

  • In your potential office, what do you see as the role of the private sector v the public/government sector?

Skyline Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital and, as such, is subsidized by our tax payer dollars to ensure that rural communities, like ours, receive good healthcare.  For this reason, Skyline’s goal, first and foremost, should be to serve our community’s healthcare needs as a publically supported entity.  I have strong feelings that no one should make a profit off of a public healthcare entity. I will be a strong advocate to prevent any private entity from profiting off of our hospital. Any profit should be re-distributed back into the community, and not into the pockets of private organizations. This does not mean we cannot have collaborations or partnerships with private entities.  We can. But these relationships need to be strictly observed and monitored.   

  • Are there any problems in the office you seek/with the previous official that you’d like to change?

I have outlined these problems above.  

  • What are some unknowns you’re prepared to encounter? 

The greatest unknowns will be established relationships that create barriers to change.  People are generally adverse to change. It’s difficult and disruptive. I am absolutely certain I will encounter barriers.  It’s important to be a good communicator and help folks understand that change will be in their best interest too. This is all part of negotiating people and organizations.  Sometimes the ability to do a job comes down to one’s people skills.   

  • What questions do you have about the office/your constituents?

The most important question I have is: is what I have outlined what the constituents want? I would welcome everyone’s and anyone’s input.  I am particularly interested in what constituents would like from their hospital. Do they want Specialty clinics or dental clinics? Do they want more preventative services?  An enormous opportunity awaits the community. I think the best place to start would be to send out a survey to the community to ask them: what they would like their hospital to do?     

Ricky Knowles, ricky.knowles21@gmail.com, County online voter’s pamphlet

  • ricky.knowles21@gmail.com 
  • For the last four years I’ve served as President of the Skyline Foundation. I’ve also been a member of the hospital Capital Campaign Steering Committee over the last two years. 
  • I am currently a Program Manager for Insitu where I’ve worked the last six years. Prior to Insitu I was an officer in the US Navy and spent 10 years as a pilot and mission commander in various roles in the U.S. and around the world.  
  • I’m passionate about making Skyline hospital the backbone of healthcare in our community and I’m committed to ensuring exceptional care to all it serves.  
  • Why are you running for this office?

Public service has always been important to me and likely a result of growing up in such a strong community as White Salmon. I benefited a great deal from the service of others and I’ve always felt a need to pay it back as much as I can. Over the last four years I have served on the Skyline Foundation and seen firsthand the benefit our hospital has on local healthcare and I’m committed to seeing it thrive, expand, and fully address the healthcare related needs of our community. 

  • What do you see as the role of this office in our community?

The primary roles are to monitor financial and quality performance, set overall direction and vision, and maintain accountability. Ultimately this position should focus the organization and ensure it is aligned with the needs of the local population. 

  • What do you hope to accomplish during your first term if elected?

If elected, my first term on the Hospital Board will be to oversee the renovation of the Emergency Department, a much-needed improvement in efficiency, patient flow, privacy, and overall care. I’ve been involved with this project over the last two years and look forward to seeing it completed during my first term. 

  • What are your top three priorities?
    1. Maintain long-term financial stability of the hospital
    2. Expand outreach physician specialty services 
    3. Enhance quality care to better serve the community
  • What are your views on civic engagement in your district? Do you have any plans to increase that?

I would like to maximize public participation during board meetings. I’ve been a regular attendee at board meetings even before I was a member and I’ve found public participation has a positive effect on the meetings.  Open forums should be used by community members to give feedback and ensure their voice is being heard. I encourage everyone to participate in board meetings as much as possible.  

  • Do you see your responsibility being to the voters or the job at hand?

If elected I will be focused on the job at hand. Support for me on the ballet means that you trust me to make difficult decisions and provide sound judgement on the strategic direction of the hospital. My responsibility back to the voters will be to listen and make those decisions in the best interests of our community and its healthcare needs.   

  • In your potential office, what do you see as the role of the private sector v the public/government sector?

Skyline is a critical access public hospital due to it receiving public funds through the local tax levy. Without government support it would not be able to provide these services. While it is a public hospital it should seek collaboration with the private sector in order to maintain alignment and leverage each other’s strengths and ultimately serve the public better.  

  • Are there any problems in the office you seek/with the previous official that you’d like to change?

I currently serve on the Board of Commissioners and was appointed following the retirement of Don Schaack who served on the board for 17 years. I have a deep respect for his service to the hospital and hope I can maintain the standard of professionalism and dedication he set.   

  • What are some unknowns you’re prepared to encounter? 

As a current board member and someone who’s been affiliated with the hospital for over four years, I feel I’m prepared to start on day one. There will always be unknowns with healthcare, but my experience and current role on the board has prepared me to be ready and capable to address unknown risks and potential issues as they arise.   

  • What questions do you have about the office/your constituents? 

As a current board member, I am familiar with the office and its responsibilities. I’m looking forward to continuing my service to the community on the Skyline Hospital Board of Commissioners. 

White Salmon Mayor

Marla Keethler, marla.keethler@gmail.com

  • Marla Keethler
  • marlaforwsmayor@gmail.com
  • 917-428-3983
  • Volunteering: White Salmon Valley Education Foundation: Grape Escape support, Girls in Engineering Day: organizing committee 2017 & 2018
  • Work history: 2017-present: Communications Director, Farmers Conservation Alliance, 2012-2016: Director, Graphics & Creative Services, CBS Sports/CBS Sports Network, 2008-2012: Producer (freelance), CBS Sports Network, NBC Olympics, 2002-2008: Various Positions, ABC Sports/ESPN
  • I believe I can bring focus to city priorities and projects that require sustained oversight. My efforts as a councilor on issues such as housing, community resources and outreach, economic development and the creative arts would continue should I have the honor of serving as Mayor.

Why are you running for this office?

I decided to run for Mayor of White Salmon as a result of serving on city council. Seeing the role and function up close, and the opportunity therein to create change that benefits our residents, motivated me to move from setting policy to implementing policy. I take pride in public service and have found the work to not only be fulfilling but also a good fit for my strengths and capabilities.

What do you see as the role of this office in our community?

While the council sets policy, the Mayor serves as the city’s chief administrative officer. I see that office working for White Salmon by advocating for our community, collaborating with individuals and organizations, leading our city staff and resources, and aligning our vision for the future with the projects that need to happen today.

What do you hope to accomplish during your first term if elected?

A big focus in the next four years will be the adoption and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan to guide our community towards 2040 and guiding that process forward. Increasing community engagement, strengthening our downtown core, and supporting a myriad of efforts around affordable housing are also near-term priorities.

What are your top three priorities?

  1. Comprehensive Plan process and ordinance updates
  2. Progress on infrastructure and housing
  3. Community development

What are your views on civic engagement in your district? Do you have any plans to increase that?

I think White Salmon has seen a noticeable increase in civic engagement, which I see as strengthening our residents’ ties to our community. Exploring ways to make public meetings of the council, planning commission, and various committees more accessible to all residents is important, and could include exploration of virtual connectivity/streaming, onsite provided childcare, and increased bilingual availability of citywide communications.

Do you see your responsibility being to the voters or the job at hand?

The responsibility is to the voters. The job doesn’t exist without their participation, so I see the two going hand in hand.

In your potential office, what do you see as the role of the private sector v the public/government sector?

The city government is there to protect the interests of the community by implementing policies that lay out a clear framework to guide residential and commercial development, residents’ quality of life, and direct tax dollars via the municipal budget to ensure reliable infrastructure and funding for community priorities. When those areas function well, there is a symbiotic relationship with our private sector of locally-owned small businesses that benefits the community at large.

Are there any problems in the office you seek/with the previous official that you’d like to change?

This year the office of Mayor will be a fresh start. With no incumbent seeking re- election, there will naturally be the opportunity for a reset of focus and priorities. I believe White Salmon is at a point where there is a desire for a government that is more involved in community engagement and outreach and open to new approaches for supporting existing businesses, encouraging economic development, and addressing housing solutions.

What are some unknowns you’re prepared to encounter?

It’s impossible to predict what unknowns could occur, however my approach as Mayor would be to create an administration that is proactive in anticipating some of the possible events, and working in coordination with county and state agencies to prepare action plans for scenarios such as:

  • Wildfires, earthquakes, threatened water resources, and other unknown impacts that will continue to increase as a result of ongoing climate change.
  • Unforeseen situations that could threaten the safety and wellbeing of our residents; this means active coordination with the county and state on crisis scenario planning, as well as preparing city staff and departments with awareness and training for various situations.

What questions do you have about the office/your constituents?

I want to hear about what matters to them. So much of making a government work well is about having a continuing conversation and receiving feedback. That’s why I intend to hold monthly “Ask the Mayor” sessions if elected, to hear regularly from residents and provide them an outlet for getting questions answered or sharing ideas, gratitudes, and/or frustrations.

Doug Charters, 509-261-0111

Waiting for responses

Trout Lake School Board Position 1

Brendan Norman, brendanmnorman@gmail.com

(no photo submitted)

Brendanmnorman@gmail.com

Volunteer: Trout Lake School Board Member since 2011; Trout Lake Youth Soccer Coach

Executive Director, Mt. Adams Institute

Healthy communities are created by active and engaged community members 

  • Why are you running for this office?

Trout Lake School is an integral part of the Trout Lake Community. By supporting a top notch education experience for our students, we’re investing in both the present and the future well being of our kids and our community.

  • What do you see as the role of this office in our community?

 Ensuring that the school operates in the most effective and efficient manner possible. To me, that means that the students and staff have the resources that they need for a high quality experience.

  • What do you hope to accomplish during your first term if elected?

I’m going to support the school to the best of my ability. 

  • What are your top three priorities?
  • What are your views on civic engagement in your district? Do you have any plans to increase that?

Communities with high levels of civic engagement are generally great places to live. Trout Lake is no exception; our community is strong and dedicated to creating opportunities for our kids. 

  • Do you see your responsibility being to the voters or the job at hand?

The role of the school board is to ensure that the district is operating in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Everyone has their own opinion in regards to how the school is doing, but in general,  it is the pride of the community and is so due to the involvement of many community members. 

  • In your potential office, what do you see as the role of the private sector v the public/government sector?

In Trout Lake, community support comes from all sides/sectors. It’s one of the great things about living in a small community.

Dana Robison-Miller, danarobisonmiller@gmail.com

Waiting for responses

Goldendale School Board Position 1

Kent Apostol, kentgsd@gmail.com

Waiting for responses

Beth Schroder, rimrockaccounting@gorge.net

Waiting for responses

Dallesport Water District

William (Bill) Clark, clarkliz@outlook.com, County voter’s pamphlet

Waiting for responses

David D. McNeal, davidd.m@outlook.com, County voter’s pamphlet

Waiting for responses