OLYMPIA – Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe announced today that she will not seek re-election in 2016 and that she plans to retire at the end of her fourth term as a Thurston County Commissioner.-30-
In a message to Thurston County's elected officials and employees, Wolfe stated, "I have enjoyed working with all of you for the past several years, but I want you to know that I have made a decision not to seek re-election in 2016. While I plan to be fully engaged in my position for the next year and a half, I did want you to hear this from me first."
Wolfe continued, "Working with the citizens of Thurston County has been a pleasure and a very rewarding experience for me, and I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past 22 years. But this is simply a time in my life when I want to travel, relax, and enjoy my grandchildren and my wonderful family."
"I look forward to working with all of your from now until the end of 2016. Thank you for all that you do for the county," Wolfe said.
Cathy Wolfe was first elected to the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners in 2000 after serving eight years as a state legislator. During her 14 years on the board, Wolfe led the charge on reforming and improving a number of programs related to criminal justice, mental health, housing, and environmental protection.
Wolfe served as Chair of the Thurston County HOME Consortium for five years and was instrumental in working with community leaders to create Quixote Village. She led the efforts to create Thurston County's Veterans Court, Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and the county's other "treatment court" programs. Wolfe also voted to approve the creation of the county's Treatment Sales Tax in 2009 to help deal with mental health and addiction issues. She also helped create the county's Conservation Futures program, which has been used to purchase and permanently protect and preserve hundreds of acres of land since 2009.
While Wolfe plans to retire at the end of her term in December 2016, she was quick to point out that she plans to achieve even more in the next year and a half.
"I may be planning to retire, but I certainly don't plan on slacking off between now and the end of my term," said Wolfe. "We've made a lot of progress this year on criminal justice reform and researching new and innovative programs to help keep people out of jail and reduce our criminal justice costs. And we have a number of ideas and programs and techniques that I want to see brought online in the next 12 to 18 months. I think we'll see some real movement in this area when we begin working on the county's 2016 budget."
"I am looking forward to the next 18 months," said Wolfe, "I plan to finish stronger than ever."