Port Angeles Realtor Alan Barnard has declared his candidacy for director of the county Department of Community Development.
He said he believes a higher level of service, outreach and accountability are necessary and achievable better to fulfill the core functions of the DCD.
Clallam County has the nation's only elected director of development.
If elected, Barnard said he plans to turn in his real estate broker's license and set aside his real estate career - he runs the Re/Max Performance Team brokerage at 1007 E. Front St., Port Angeles - eliminating any perception of conflict of interest and enabling him to serve the citizens of Clallam County 100 percent.
Barnard said DCD customers have told him that the department's services need more consistency and responsiveness.
"The DCD has good, competent people who, through their knowledge and experience, accomplish a great deal for our citizens," he said in a prepared statement to the Sequim Gazette.
Expand service culture
"I believe, however, that an expansion of the service culture of this department is necessary beyond the current limited scope, to more effectively assist our citizens in several areas of concern."
Barnard said the department's three divisions - building, code enforcement and planning - are equally important but lack equal emphasis. The department's mission statement is "to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Clallam County by promoting a community with a healthy and sustainable environment and economy."
He said the DCD is an integral player affecting the local economy.
Because the department is charged with helping property owners do what the law and regulations allow with their property, he said, community services can be utilized and jobs supported or created whenever someone embarks on a property improvement project.
He said clear, accurate, consistent and timely processing of requests is critical and effective code enforcement is vital for environmental quality and safety to protect people, natural resources and critical areas.
Barnard said when any new county regulations are proposed, the need must be clearly defined, justified and weighed against shrinking budgets, declining revenues and the critical need for family wage jobs.
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