Changing of the Guard at KP Community Council

Outgoing Pres. Don Swensen passed the virtual gavel to Chuck West, who will lead the grassroots organization through 2021.

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Chuck West of Lakebay, who served three previous terms as president, was again elected president of the Key Peninsula Community Council by a vote of its seated 2021 directors during its regular meeting Dec. 9 via Zoom.

Director RoxAnne Simon, who has previously served on the council, was elected vice president; newcomer Angela Mattison-Lindbom was elected secretary; and beginning her second year on the council, Director Joan Cyr was voted in to become the organization’s treasurer.

KPC elected its 2021 directors virtually Nov. 11. The group consists of some newcomers: Edale Clark was elected to serve Area 1, Angela Mattison-Lindbom in Area 2, Kathy Lyons in Area 3; and Max Michelson and RoxAnne Simon were each elected to serve in Area 4.

In one of his final acts as president, Don Swensen proposed filling two vacant director positions in Areas 1 and 3 with the appointments of Kristen Augusztiny and David Michelson to serve as directors at large. Both have served as directors in years past.

Established in 2004 to encourage civic involvement, KPC seeks “to address, respond to and meet the needs of the community residents by developing partnerships, sponsorships and programs in order to maintain and improve the quality of life on the Key Peninsula.”

KPC has grown considerably from its early days and today maintains a staffed office in Key Center where it provides a home base for meeting with specialists from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the KP Partnership for a Healthy Community, School Bus Connects, KP Farm Council, the Suicide Prevention Coalition and others. Prior to the pandemic, Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young and his staff met with KP constituents at the KPC office as well.

In October, KPC managed and facilitated a successful virtual 2020 KP forum for candidates in local and national elections, a semiannual event that received considerable praise and was considered by many to be preferable to the traditional in-person forum.  “Honestly, I thought it was the best candidate forum yet,” said retiring KPC Director Marcia Harris. “Hosting it on Zoom was very effective.”

Danna Webster, a tireless community booster, recently retired from the post of Swensen’s executive liaison and was succeeded by Irene Torres, who Swensen appointed to the position in late 2020. Torres has served on the council as a director on and off for eight years.

“The council has been a huge part of my life on the KP,” Torres told KP News. “Even when I wasn’t an elected director, I volunteered. I have always wanted to see them succeed.”

Swensen, who retired himself from the council following six years of service, acknowledged outgoing 2020 KPC directors Bob Anderson, Marcia Harris, Robert McCrossin and Irene Torres.

Swensen spoke to the ongoing efforts of Director Mark Cockerill in particular for “busting his hump on this broadband thing. He’s done amazing work, as I knew he would.” (See “Internet From Above,” KP News, Dec. 2020.)

He offered special thanks to Webster and praised KPC employee Lisa Larson who he said went above and beyond the call of duty “to make things happen in 2020.”


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