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Thurston County Commissioner ~ District #3

Application for Erik John Landaas
2310 Cooper Crest PL NW
Olympia, WA 98502


1. Why I want to serve as county commissioner:

I want to serve as county commissioner because I have a clear vision of how
Thurston County can be a better place to live. I want my children and
grandchildren to raise their families, build dreams and enjoy life. I believe that
Thurston County has the potential to have the highest quality of life in the state
and in the US. With the right leadership, committed staff, and a community that
trusts their elected officials, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

Barack Obama has renewed confidence in elected officials and government,
therefore it is time for change in Thurston County. There is a unique opportunity
for Thurston County to build on a new paradigm of public servants/leaders. It is
time to give Thurston County a sense of trust, dignity, integrity, openness and
honesty. Despite the gloomy fiscal realities of the county, there is much we can
accomplish. There is an opportunity to ignite enthusiasm in volunteerism,
activism, belief in positive change and commitment among the community to
make a real difference.

There is also a unique opportunity to inspire, enlist and motivate county
employees, departments, local business’ and community based organizations
into a collaborative effort to build a more positive community. America,
Washington State and Thurston County have an opportunity to rebuild its trust
with citizens. I will generate and build enthusiasm among county employees,
large and small business’ and the community to get moving and get working on
issues that make a lasting and significant difference in everyone’s daily lives.

2. What I believe makes me uniquely qualified to fill this vacancy:

I am an expert on Thurston County Government because I have served Thurston
County for 17 years. During my tenure at Thurston County I have had the
opportunity to know how county departments, systems, employees, and budgets
work. My experience includes working on county policies with commissioners
and the community to accomplish goals that have built stronger governments and
community support systems. The success I have attained in Thurston County
demonstrates my leadership, communications and collaboration skills.
I will bring tangible and concrete leadership, understanding, and experience to
the commissioner’s office. Because this appointment is very short (two years),
the county needs to appoint someone that can hit the ground running. I will be
able to get directly involved in critical decisions as well as build a solid campaign
for 2010. Because the county is under very challenging times of budget and fiscal
difficulties, there is no time to educate and instruct a new county commissioner
on how county government works.

I have also achieved significant academic accomplishments. My bachelor’s
degree is in political science from The Evergreen State College (1991). I
completed my Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of
Washington in 2006.

I will bring the next generation of leadership to Thurston County. Thurston
County’s median age is 37 and I am 39 years old. My children are 15 and a 11
years old. I will represent a new majority of citizens in Thurston County. Families
raising children need to be heard and advocated for in county government. I will
advocate for the growing needs of families and children. The decisions made by
commissioners today will impact my personal life for the next forty to fifty years.

3. How I am prepared to stand for election in 2009 and then again in

I will run for county commissioner in 2010 regardless of who is appointed. I was
prepared to stand up and run for Dist. #3 county commissioner in 2006. I had
donation commitments of over $20,000, an experienced steering committee; a
web site, sign designs, brochure and a strategic plan. The day I was meeting with
the Olympian to announce my intent to run for commissioner, my job at Thurston
County was threatened. It was threatened to prevent me from running for county
commissioner. After consulting with my family and steering committee members,
it was decided that I would take the high road and wait four years to run again.

I am well poised to run for county commissioner when this term is completed. I
have been a community organizer for seventeen years in Thurston County and I
will build a strong coalition of voters that will be unbeatable in 2010. Because of
my ability to articulate a clear vision of Thurston County and my relationships
with community leaders, elected officials, community agencies, and government
departments, I will have a broad and diverse base of supporters.

4. What I intend to accomplish during my term as county

I will accomplish the following goals as county commissioner:
• Get the county fiscally healthy
• Start an initiative that creates jobs
• Improve affordable housing and homelessness
• Develop and implement an effective growth management plan
• Restructure the criminal justice system to reduce recidivism
• Strengthen Thurston County’s health care safety net