PRESS RELEASE 25 JUNE 2012
Female Vet Vies for Against 3 Men for Commission Job
Mary Repar, a 15-year US Air Force Reserve veteran, faces three men in the August primary, in the Skamania County District #2 Commissioner race. In a county dominated by Republicans in elected offices, Repar is going against the odds as an independent Democrat. Repar states, “Our county faces some rough times, now and in the future. How we got here should be a lesson learned and this lesson should provide impetus for changing the way business is conducted. Our future should be based on accountability and transparency in our government. We should look at these challenges as opportunities to make our county a better place to live and work, for all of us.”
Considered too radical by some for advocating more vocational educational opportunities for adults and more science training for community children, Repar believes that Skamania’s future lies in becoming a county with the best educated people who will be able to work on the NEON project and other projects that deal with global climate change. NEON—the National Ecological Observation Network, which has been approved, but still does not have adequate funding, for the USFS portion of the Wind River Nursery, can be an incubator for high paying local jobs. Repar says, “I see this program as a way to keep and bring our children home to Skamania County. This project will provide family wage jobs for our community. I want to make sure that it is our citizens who get these jobs.”
Ms. Repar also wants the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to be used to earn money for the county, but not by cutting down more trees than necessary for forest health. “Carbon sequestration is an important tool in the fight against global climate change, which is already happening. Carbon sequestration can help us earn money through cap and trade. Instead of fighting over the Gifford Pinchot, we can make it work for us and help our environment at the same time. Why spend our time and energy re-fighting the same old battles? We can pool our resources to fight for a better future for us and our children.”
Ms. Repar has a scientific and analytical background, having worked as a geophysicist for major oil companies, both in the U.S. and overseas, and having worked as a Intelligence Officer in the USAF Reserves. She also advocates for county energy independence and conservation. Her goal is to make homes and businesses energy independent by working to get grants and loans for upgrades and renovations to existing buildings and homes. “Solar energy and innovative rooftop wind turbines are just a start. Fuel cells for homes and businesses are now a reality and should be investigated. The Sixth Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan states, ‘…substantial amounts of conservation to be cheaper and more sustainable than most other types of generation… The plan finds enough conservation to be available and cost-effective to meet 85 percent of the region’s load growth for the next 20 years,’” Repar says. “We can do this. It’s not impossible. But we have to think and plan ahead.”
Perhaps Repar’s most innovative goal is to garner Federal dollars for Skamania County through changing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act into a retooled “Secure Resources Act.” Ms. Repar states, “Skamania County produces fresh, clean water and lots of nice, clean oxygen for our fellow humans, and I believe we should be rewarded for keeping our county in forests and waterways instead of developing it. To that end, the Federal government should pay us for our resources. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act needs to be re-tooled into the Secure Resources Act.”
Repar has other goals for Skamania. If elected she wants to work on the following issues:
- Utilities--Undergrounding our utility poles so that we don’t have to worry as much about storm outages, and to provide a safer working environment for our utility workers. The aesthetics of our locales are being impacted and this impacts our quality of life, and it impacts tourism, one of our main economies. We can work with other government entities to achieve this benefit for our community.
- Small Business Incubators: Work on getting our small businesses to be the incubators of our work force. It is small businesses that will make our community stronger and keep it thriving. If we depend on one or two big employers, then we will be subject to their ups and downs—and in a small community those ups and downs can be devastating to both our citizens’ and our county’s welfare.
- Affordable High Speed Internet: If we want to have businesses in rural areas that don’t have the populace to support these businesses, then we will have to help our small business people with affordable high speed Internet services that will open up their economic horizons and bring their products and services to the attention of a wider audience.
- Education: Work with our school district to provide sites and opportunities for ongoing adult education, night school classes, and other opportunities for adult learning and re-training.
As District #2 commissioner, Ms. Repar will make sure that constituents are kept in the loop on decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. “There is no worse feeling than to be blindsided by events about which one knew nothing or was not forewarned. We have to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. I want to work for the people of District #2 and Skamania County. Together, we can achieve our common goals by pooling our resources and working toward a better future,” Repar says.
Currently, Ms. Repar is the Secretary for the Skamania Lions Club, serves on the Stevenson Board of Adjustment, and is president of the Stevenson Grange. She has also served on the following: County Fair Board, Skamania County Public Health Advisory Board, and Stevenson’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. Ms. Repar was president of the Friends of the Stevenson Library for 12 years. Her hobbies are mushrooming, reading, and artistic endeavoring.
She worked as a geophysicist in the oil industry, and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as an Intelligence Officer, retiring as Major. Her education includes a B.S. in Applied Physics from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan.
]Mary Repar has a blog, skamanianewsportal.blogspot.com and can be followed on Facebook, Repar for Skamania County Commissioner. Reach Mary at telephone number 509.427.7153.]