06/18/2010: "Severson A Candidate For CC"
Laura Jo Severson is a candidate for San Juan County Council District Two. She is seeking this position because she wants to see the council take a more proactive role in dealing with county problems.
She and her husband Bill live on Kiya Way on the west side of Mt. Dallas, and both are involved with the Mt. Dallas Association. She is concerned about the issues that many of the residents of her district face like maintaining water and septic systems, water conservation, public and private roads maintenance, fire protection, solid waste management, and public safety.
Laura Jo is a retired educator who spent 32 years as a high school guidance counselor and teacher. She is employed part-time by a non-profit agency which helps individuals with disabling conditions to find employment or meaningful volunteer service. She became interested in transportation issues in the county when she found that the greatest barrier to employment disabled people face is the lack of public transportation. She serves on the Critical Needs Task Force Transportation Committee and has written recommendations that the county establish a Local Transportation Planning Organization to apply for grants and state funding for transit projects.
Laura Jo has concerns about local production of food and maintaining a sustainable agricultural base here in the county. She is a life-long gardener and sees herself as a steward of the land and supporter of those whose work provides food and farm products for all of us.
Laura Jo and her husband are volunteers for the Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross because they are concerned about caring for their neighbors in an emergency. As former residents of the Gulf Coast, they have experienced natural disasters in the form of hurricanes and now work to help their community prepare to deal with the emergencies that could happen here. Much of the Second District is particularly vulnerable to wildfire during the summer and fall, and she supports the work of the various neighborhoods that participate in the Firewise Program. She thinks that the county needs to provide education to visitors about their role in preventing fires and to residents to help them develop the skills to protect their families and property.
Laura Jo plans to focus her campaign on personal contact with the voters in her district. She has begun to call or visit her neighbors to survey what they see as critical issues facing the county.