Shannon Williamson

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Williamson

1: What inspired you to run for elected office?

I was originally inspired to run for local office in 2013 by my children. I chose to raise my kids in Sandpoint and I was then, and I remain, committed to making Sandpoint a great place for families. The connections between city decisions and family impacts are not always obvious, but every decision does have an impact.

2: What unique qualifications would you bring to office that no one else could match?

I have a Ph.D. in science. This qualification makes me methodical in my research of city issues, drives me to brainstorm creative solutions to problems, helps me un- derstand our cityís grants process in de- tail, makes me humble in the face of struggling (still paying off my student loans), and inspires me to do better every day.

3. What are the most important issues facing the community? Why?

In my opinion, the most important issue right now is improvement to our wastewater treatment facility. The city was recently issued a new permit for the WWTF, which requires forward thinking and strategic planning. We need to balance our need for clean water, protection of property values along the Pend Oreille River and reasonable sewer rates for our taxpayers.

4. How do you plan to address these issues?

We can achieve the goal of a highly functioning WWTF by working with an engineering firm that has prior experience balancing these priorities, committing ourselves to a thorough research and education process around all aspects of the project, including funding mechanisms, and using appropriate city savings to offset potential rate increases to our taxpayers.

5. If elected, what legacy would you hope to create? Why?

A legacy of listening and responsive government. As a council member, itís a disservice to our citizens to set our decisions in stone before hearing all sides of the story. Our decisions must be made based on the information we gather from our own research, our interactions with staff and input from our constituents. This is the ultimate balancing act.

6. How do you foresee your typical workday as an elected official?

I must balance my professional and civic roles every day. Itís my responsibility to listen and be responsive to citizen inquiries and concerns in a timely manner. As a council member, my day to day experience in Sandpoint is full of different perspectives and my attention to the detail is on high alert. This is a challenge and a privilege.

7. What do you most look forward to after you are elected?

To serve the residents and visitors of Sandpoint. Iíve invested my time and energy over the past†four years into the city and its various initiatives and projects and I can say with 100-percent†confidence that it was worth it. Is it easy? No. Is it necessary and fulfilling? Yes.

8. Whatís the harshest criticism you expect to face on the campaign trail and how would you respond to such criticism?

I am the only incumbent in the City Council race. I understand and appreciate the skepticism for government that comes along with this. Questioning is healthy. I have tried my best to do right by the citizens of Sandpoint as a council member and council president. I am proud of the work we have accomplished over the last†four years.

9. If you could only get one thing across to voters during your campaign, what would it be?

To participate in the civic process. Itís easy to criticize, but itís equally easy to not participate. I deeply admire our regular participants at our council meetings because they are educated, engaged and not intimidated by the public process. That can be everyone. We need to hear from you, we need to be questioned, we need your voice.

10. What question should every candidate be asked? What is your answer?

Whatís your favorite ice cream? Answer: Mint chocolate chip. The questions canít all be super serious. We are just regular people that care deeply for our city. Otherwise, we wouldnít be doing this. The job isnít glamorous and itís hard work. Council needs to get along and what better way to get along than with ice cream?

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