Washington Public Works Board starts the new year with a new Chair

Scott Hutsell steps down, Kathryn Gardow steps in

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A changing of the guard occurred Jan. 4, 2021 at the Washington State Public Works Board when Lincoln County Commissioner Scott Hutsell stepped down as Board Chair. Commissioner Hutsell joined the board as an Elected County Representative in 2012 and was appointed Chair by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2017, a time when shifting state priorities had moved dedicated funding away from the Public Works Board, making its future uncertain.

Through Hutsell’s leadership, determination and grit, the board is in a much better place than it was eight years ago. The Governor has proposed a $160 million dollar biennial budget for Public Works Board Traditional Programs and an additional $45 million dollars for the Public Works Board Broadband Program.

Hutsell said: “This is a bittersweet day for me and, while the struggle to regain Public Works Board dedicated revenues remains, I believe that public infrastructure is being recognized once again as the backbone of sustained economic recovery and growth. The Governor’s proposed budget is what I hope to be the first of many wins for the board and the state in coming years.”

The Governor has appointed Kathryn Gardow, PE, Board Chair, marking a return for Gardow who served on the board from 2005 to 2014, including five years as Vice Chair. Gardow brings nearly 40 years of experience in land use and civil engineering to the job. She also currently serves as a board member of the Recreation Conservation Funding Board, the policy setting board for the Recreation Conservation Office.

Gardow stated: “I am excited to be back serving on the Public Works Board, as I know how much good the board’s work does for the people of the State of Washington. I am motivated to continue the positive steps taken to restore the board’s role as a consistent funding and technical assistance source for our local communities. Maintaining and modernizing infrastructure systems with the Public Works Board’s active and consistent participation is critical to helping the state achieve its public health, environmental, equity and economic goals.”

“On behalf of all the Commerce team members who have worked with Scott during his tenure on the board, we commend his tireless commitment to promote vital public infrastructure investments that strengthen communities throughout the state,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with incoming Board Chair Gardow as we work together on important initiatives including broadband expansion that is connecting more people with new opportunities for telemedicine, remote learning and economic development through greater access to affordable, high-speed internet.”

Visit the Public Works Board webpage for more information on the board and its programs.


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