North Olympic Legislative Alliance aims for one voice on issues; selects officers

PORT ANGELES — A coalition of officials aiming to give Clallam County a unified voice on state and federal issues announced its official formation this month.

The North Olympic Legislative Alliance (NOLA), which has worked behind the scenes throughout the past year, announced its elected officers Aug. 1.

NOLA is a strictly non-partisan group with representatives from local government, business, education, nonprofit and tribal groups, said the group’s chair, Steve Burke, executive director of William Shore Memorial Pool.

“It’s essentially a community representation group to our legislative bodies,” Burke said. “We present forward things that are important to our community to our legislative body, but only things we can find consensus on.”

An example, he said, was when many local governments in Clallam and Jefferson counties sent letters to the state urging the state Department of Transportation to build a new Elwha River Bridge on a new alignment.

The newly elected officers are Burke; Vice Chair Bob Schroeter, executive director of Clallam County Economic Development Corporation executive director; and Treasurer Marc Abshire, executive director of Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The committee chairs are Kaj Ahlburg, member of Port Angeles Business Association, policy and government; Jennifer Burkhardt, general councel for Olympic Medical Center, health and safety; Tyler Crow, chief financial officer at Green Crow, natural resources and environmental; Karen Goschen, executive director of Port of Port Angeles, transportation and infrastructure; Jim Haguewood, owner and senior partner of One Group Consulting, business and economic development; and Luke Robins, president of Peninsula College, workforce development and education.

NOLA partners will not represent the interests of political action committees, special interest groups or organizations that have — or could be perceived as having — a lobbying function, the alliance said in a news release.

Burke said the group ideally meets as a whole two or three times a year and most of the work is done at a committee level.

“The committees will meet as often as they need to,” he said.

He said any group that isn’t familiar with NOLA and would like to be represented in NOLA should email him at steve [email protected] or [email protected].

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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