hat is your full legal name?
Kenneth Earl Goodwin
Where do you work and what is your job title?
Director of Finance, Alderwood Water and Wastewater District 12 years, retired: 2010
Commissioner Woodinville Water District, 15+ years incumbent
Where do you live now and how long have you lived there?
19 year Woodinville resident, 15 years on Hollywood Hill, currently make my home in Woodway Country Estates.
Spouse or domestic partner if any?
AA Shoreline Community College 1971, member Phi Theta Kappa (academic honor society), BA University of Washington 1973, MBA University of Washington 1975, president of Delta Chapter-Beta Alpha Psi- (national accounting honor society)
CPA State of Washington since 1975
U S Navy, honorable discharge 1969, Vietnam veteran
Membership and affiliations with clubs and other organizations:
Commissioner Woodinville Water District 15+ years
Northshore School District Citizens Financial Advisory Committee
King County Investment Pool Advisory Committee
Trustee, HRA VEBA $200 million health savings account trust for 40,000 government employees.
Water and Sewer Risk Management Pool Executive Committee and Board member,
Snohomish River Regional Water Association, VP, developing an independent source of water for Woodinville
Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts, VP and board member
Woodinville Chamber of Commerce past President and board member
Hollywood Hill Association past President and board member
Northshore Public Education Foundation, founding board member
Member of the Cascadia Community College Districts Citizens Advisory Committee
Cochairman of the Northshore School District Levy Committee
Chairman of the Woodinville Family Fun Festival
Have you or a business you owned, or had principal interest in, ever filed for bankruptcy? No
As an adult, have you been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation? No
Web site: www.goodwinreelection.com
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: 206-300-6200
Campaign manager: Myself
Previous elected office:
Commissioner Woodinville Water District, incumbent
Other campaigns for public office:
Two prior campaigns, reelected as Commissioner of the Woodinville Water District
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I am asking you to reelect me so that I can continue meeting the many challenges facing the District. One of the top priorities of the District is keeping the water and sewer service affordable. Our nation, state, county and city are facing economic challenges not experienced in decades. The District must be mindful that our ratepayers are also facing financial hardships. It is no longer business as usual and my proven financial skills and industry experience put me in the right place, at the right time, to successfully overcome these challenges.
What will be your top three priorities if you get elected and why?
1. Continue to deliver reliable and safe water and a dependable sewer system; it is the core mission of the District.
2. Keeping rates affordable
3. We are experiencing financial challenges not seen since the great depression. From a personal perspective and a governmental perspective we are in uncharted waters. As a District we must look at how we deliver our core services. While we will never compromise the reliable delivery of safe water, we must look at all of our programs and their associated costs and find a way to operate with less money. It is clear taxpayers are demanding our governmental agencies do their jobs with no more taxes. As your Commissioner I am prepared to take on this financial challenge and with my proven track record at the Woodinville Water District, as well as in the industry, I am the right person to successfully lead your District through these challenges.
What sets you apart from the other candidates and/or previous office holders?
During the 15 years of service as your WWD Commissioner I am proud to be a member of the WWD team that has provided you safe and reliable water and an efficient sewer system. Our employees are available 24/7/365 keeping your utility operating efficiently. The Commissioners set the tone for high quality customer service by being respectful to each other, management, employees and most of all to you, our customers. There is no room on the Board for rancor, anger and disrespectful behavior such as we have seen on the City Council during my opponents one term as a city councilman. I accomplish things rather than spend time tearing down what others are trying to accomplish, for example:
Sewer Tax Court Case
The State Department of Revenue (DOR) attempted to tax sewer revenue in a manner that, in my opinion, was inappropriate. As Director of Finance at the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District (AWWD) I led a legal team that challenged the DOR authority to impose the tax and we won a unanimous opinion in the State Supreme Court saving AWWD, the Woodinville Water District (WWD) and all sewer districts in the state of Washington millions of dollars.
When I became involved in the sale of millions of dollars of bonds to fund our construction projects I educated myself on the process and became concerned that we may not be using the least cost bond sale method. At a subsequent national training conference I had my suspicions confirmed and proposed a change from the negotiated method to the competitive method. This was opposed by the special interests but I persisted and prevailed. I changed the process saving rate payers at WWD hundreds of thousands of dollars and saving AWWD millions of dollars. We obtained a better interest rate and lower selling costs putting more money in the construction fund and lowering the bond payments which are a part of the water and sewer rates. I also scheduled a nationally known proponent of competitive bond sales, Professor Ellers of the U of Minnesota, to speak at the Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts annual conference. Additional districts have subsequently converted to the competitive method and I continuously encourage other Districts to convert. My financial management of the AWWD increased its S&P credit rating two steps to AA+, one step below AAA and the WWD increased its Moody's rating to AA3.
Snohomish River Regional Water Association (SRRWA)
Over ten years ago I led the District's interest in the development of a water right in Snohomish County. I served as VP of the Snohomish River Regional Water Association that purchased water rights from the closed Weyerhaeuser lumber mill. We won the inevitable legal challenges and met the requirement of the Department of Ecology resulting in a change of place of use and conversion from an industrial to a municipal water use, the largest transfer in the history of the state. This is a long term endeavor with many hurdles to overcome; however, if we are ultimately successful we will own a water right that will meet our average daily demands for decades to come. We would no longer have to buy the majority of our water from Seattle. When we renegotiated our water supply contract with Seattle several years ago, I was able to insert into the contract our right to use SRRWA water and use Seattle water to fill in for peak day use, the best possible position for Woodinville's ratepayers.
I lead the effort to revamp the WWD budget format and process saving staff many hours and providing a more understandable budget. My opponent has made references to my budget voting record suggesting that Commissioners rubber stamp staff budgets. Nothing could be further from the truth. We direct staff to conduct a zero based budget process that looks at all of our programs and the associated costs to ensure they are necessary to providing high quality customer service, while also meeting the goals of our mission statement. Only after the commissioner's changes have been incorporated into the budget is a vote taken. This year I proposed that the Board should consider eliminating programs that are "nice to have" but not critical to our core mission, as well as reducing operating expenses including employee benefits. I hold a strong opinion that the District must reflect what all levels of government; federal, state, county and city are experiencing, providing services at reduced costs and even eliminating services as voters have made it clear they are not willing to pay more taxes. We impose rates, not taxes, but the concept is the same to the ratepayers. It was my opinion, and the opinion of one other commissioner now is the time to make significant cuts in programs and expenses to reflect the mood of the ratepayers and we voted no on the final budget. This is the first time I have had to do so, as I am convinced it is no longer "Business as Usual". For a variety of reasons all of the commissioners and management now agree we need to look at the budget in ways that we have never done before, stay tuned for further developments on next year’s budget.
King County Wastewater Rate and Finance Committee
As the Director of Finance of the AWWD I was nominated by AWWD, and appointed by the King County Council, to represent all of the sewer ratepayers in Snohomish County, over 30,000, on a Brightwater financial policy committee. The committee represented all users of sewer services and we debated, argued and cajoled the KC staff to take actions that reduced or delayed the increasing cost of sewer treatment. Many of our suggestions were taken, and some not, we were only an advisory committee. By working cooperatively with KC we made some headway in slowing the increases in sewer treatment costs.
Connecting to Sewer
Let's talk a little about sewer hookups and sewers in the District. We do not have a policy that requires anyone to connect to sewer. In my 16 years as your commissioner I have never seen a customer forced to connect to the District's sewer system, nor can we find an instance in the history of the District that forced a residential customer to connect to our system. My opponent asserts that as a commissioner he can stop development in the urban and rural areas of the District. State law and King County policies prevent the District from connecting residential customers to sewer in the rural areas. The District's current policies reflect these laws while my opponent wants to prevent something that cannot happen, an interesting sound bite but not a reflection of the truth.
He also asserts that as a commissioner he can keep sewers out of the urban areas. The City of Woodinville recently won a state Supreme Court decision that upheld current law that gives the City the sole power to zone a neighborhood for development that would require sewer service. The state Supreme Court has also ruled that districts cannot engage in tactics that deny sewer service to properly zoned developments in an attempt to influence land use decisions. This is referred to as a District's "Duty to Serve". As the senior member of the Water and Sewer Risk Management Pool, an association of water and sewer districts that provides all risk insurance to about 70 districts in the state, I have seen rogue commissioners engage in land use policy by denying connections to their system by properly zoned developments. In all of these cases the developers won, costing the ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. As I stated above, even if a developer installs sewer in your neighborhood neither I, nor the District, has ever forced a residential customer to connect to the system, it is completely voluntary.
Water and Sewer Risk Management Pool
Another one of my significant accomplishments has been as a member of the Water and Sewer Risk Management Pool. About 15 years ago I was elected to the Executive Committee only to discover the pool was on the brink of insolvency. I used my business experience and financial skills and went to work assembling a competent management team, learning about best practices and engaging industry professionals. Within a short time we turned the pool around and it is now considered one of the most financially sound and professionally managed pools in the state. The member districts have rewarded my efforts by unanimously reelecting me to the Executive Committee and I now proudly serve as the senior member of the pool.
I value the unique characteristics of the Woodinville area and have engaged in activities to enhance our quality of life. I did so as cochairman of the citizens committee promoting yes votes on school levies. I was also a founding member of the Northshore Public Education Foundation. I was a strong advocate for the location and funding of the Cascadia Community College (CCC) and I was proud to be invited by the CCC President David Habura to attend the ground breaking ceremony with Gov. Gary Locke and other local dignitaries. I have also served as president of the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce. I served as chairman of the Woodinville Family Fun Festival, one of the largest two day festivals in the history of the city. Does anyone remember the great duck race in the slew; the winner won a new car? I have also represented my neighborhood as president of the Hollywood Hill Association, promoting the rural interests of the community.
Passion for Public Service
I have developed a passion for serving the community, someone once said "find something to do that you have a passion for and you will never work again." I enjoy public service and spend many hours doing so. My opponent states I put in about 26 hours a year earning tens of thousands of dollars, again an interesting sound bite, but not truthful. Last year I logged about 320 hours in board meetings and committee assignments, this year I am on track for a similar commitment of time. The state legislature sets the commissioners meeting stipend, and expenses of the commissioners conducting the business of the district meet the standards set by the state legislature and are audited annually. I make no excuses for attending national training conferences as they have resulted in knowledge of best practices that has translated into hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, in savings to the District's ratepayers. The Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts recently published a press release stating I will be honored at their September annual conference for my outstanding public service. It is truly an honor to be recognized by your peers.
How much money do you expect your campaign to spend on this election?
Karen Steeb, Commissioner Woodinville Water District
Ed Cebron, Commissioner Woodinville Water District
Tim Matson, Commissioner Woodinville Water District
Sandra Smith, Commissioner Woodinville Water District t
Joyce McNeil, VP Finance Elcon Corp.
Les Rubstello, Candidate for Woodinville City Council
Maureen Jewitt, former Commissioner Woodinville Water District
Gwen Maxfield, Manager Covington Water District, former Commissioner Woodinville Water District