Pierce County Councilman Rick Talbert (D-5th) is running for Pierce County executive. Courtesy Rick Talbert

“I’d always been interested in government classes, civics,” said Rick Talbert, candidate for Pierce County executive. “I volunteered and worked in community politics to find ways to accomplish things.” He said his knowledge of Pierce County and strong relationships makes serving in this office a “perfect opportunity.”

Talbert said he has been working for the citizens of Pierce County for over 20 years and now serves on the county council, where he chaired the shoreline master plan. “District 7 [which includes the Key Peninsula] has almost all of the marine shorelines,” he said. “There were many constituency groups who wanted to protect their interests. I wanted to ensure their voices were heard. The master plan was adopted by a 6-1 vote.

“The part of Tacoma I grew up in and still live in is often overlooked and neglected. I can relate to similar concerns from the KP, being isolated,” he said.

Talbert’s priorities for the Key Peninsula include expanding access to information and services, and technological improvements. “I want to bring resources out to an area, like permits and land services, and video-Skyping inspections,” he said. “It’s a style issue. I would rather be out meeting with people in their communities, to bring government into the communities, to create neighborhood councils like the Key Peninsula Council, to give local communities authority and access to resources and build off it, to provide resources through funding.” He cited examples like Safe Streets, safe routes for pedestrians, sheriff’s detachment offices and franchise agreements for telephone and internet services.

“The county needs to play a larger role to expand broadband services to meet residential needs and as a marketing advantage to attract new business,” he said.

“I am committed to the citizens of Pierce County. I am a lifelong resident of Pierce County. I love what I do, and I am good at it. This position would be a culmination of my life’s work.”

Talbert favors the Democratic party, but he said, “What we do should be focused on is citizens and not on the party.”