Key Peninsula Community Council represents KP citizens


Sara Thompson

The Key Peninsula Community Council’s role is to provide a voice for the Key Peninsula’s nearly 19,000 citizens.

The 14 council members are elected from four census tracts, with four members from areas 1 and 2, and three members each from areas 3 and 4 (based on population density). The areas are north to south, with area 1 the most northerly.

In September, eight members were elected to two-year terms:

  • Area 1: Ruth Bramhall and Phyllis Henry (both incumbents)
  • Area 2: Danna Burnett and Irene Torres (both incumbents)
  • Area 3: Tim Kezele and Don Swensen (both new to the council)
  • Area 4: Marcia Harris (incumbent) and Carol Opalinski (new)

They join six members whose terms end next year: Tim Boardman and Cindy Worden from area 1,  Audra Garcia and  Danna Webster from area 2, Chuck West from area 3 and Ron Tisino from area 4.

According to early organizers Jeff Harris and Dennis Taylor, the KPC was established in 2004, following a two-year planning process, in response to frustration with lack of attention from Pierce County and a desire to encourage civic involvement. The primary roles of the council are to:

  • Facilitate interactions between agencies, residents, businesses and nonprofit groups in an effort to develop solutions to resident concerns;
  • Act as a resource for Key Peninsula residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations;
  • Serve as a liaison to county, state and federal government;
  • Assist in fundraising and volunteer recruitment efforts on behalf of other community agencies and groups.

“To accomplish its work, the KPC has four standing committees and in addition establishes action committees at its annual retreat each year,” said KPC President Danna Webster. “The standing committees are KP School Bus Connects, KPC Farm Council, KPC Youth Council and the executive board. The Safe SR-302 Action Committee worked with WSDOT for two years, resulting in the recent SR-302 safety improvements.”

KPC helps organize civic events such as candidates forums and youth council meetings with legislators in Olympia, as well as scheduling informational presentations at its monthly board meetings. Presenters have included the Pierce County executive, the county sheriff, state legislators and representatives from Peninsula School District board, county council and department of transportation.

Board members are elected each September to two-year terms, with half of the board up for election each year. There are no term limits. All Key Peninsula residents age 18 and older are eligible to vote, with ballots available in the KP News or at the voting booth in the Key Center Food Market. The KPC is an entirely volunteer organization, but there are some operating expenses, and the annual budget of about $2,500 is funded by donations and grants.

The Angel Guild has been a significant donor. Standing committees have separate budgets.

“In this first decade, the KPC has worked to be recognized off the Key and worked to earn the respect of our community on the Key. Our population is without a township or any recognized governmental authenticity. As long as residents request our assistance, attend our forums and presentations, and provide representatives to serve on the KPC Board of Directors, we know we are meeting our obligation to maintain and improve the quality of life on the Key Peninsula,” Webster said.

Open meetings of the board are at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Key Center Fire Station.

On Nov. 12 the KPC will host a meeting focused on McNeil Island’s current status and planning for the future.