PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Public Utility District commissioner Kenneth Collins has announced his intention to run for reelection in the November election.
Collins, 73, district 2 commissioner, has served on the Public Utility District (PUD) board of commissioners since 2014.
He describes himself as the now “senior” commissioner of the board.
Fellow commissioners Jeff Randall and Dan Toepper were elected in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Terms are for six years.
Filing week for the Nov. 3 general election will be May 11-15.
Collins lives on Marrowstone Island with his wife Judith. Prior to moving to Marrowstone in 2006, he was a behavioral health care consultant to Fortune 100 companies, a manager at Chevron Corporation and a psychotherapist in private practice, Collins said.
When Collins was first elected, his platform included working for greater transparency of board actions. He introduced the motion that the board provide audio recordings of the meetings and the board adopted the policy in 2015.
He feels one of his best accomplishments is his hand in passing the radio-frequency electrical meter opt-out policy, which passed in December of 2019.
If his reelection campaign is successful, he wants to continue expanding staff and infrastructure at the PUD.
“I think we should continue to invest in infrastructure in both the electrical and the water system to be sure we have a responsive resilient PUD to prepare for the future,” Collins said.
Collins also wants to see broadband internet expanded in the county.
The hardest part of his tenure so far has been the hiring and firing process for the general manager (GM) position, having to handle the retirement of one GM, firing the following GM and then hiring the current GM Kevin Streett.
“I lost sleep over that. It was something I personally found upsetting,” Collins said about the process. “That being said, our current manager Kevin Streett is doing what I think is an outstanding job.
“I think he’s grown into the position and I’m very pleased with the job he’s doing.”
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].