Thurston County Logo Commissioner Romero's
  County Newsletter
Winter, 2015: What's Happening in Thurston County?
Commissioner Sandra Romero

Commissioner Sandra Romero was first elected in 2009 and reelected in 2012. She represents district 2 which includes Lacey, Yelm, and Rainier. She is currently Chair of the Board of Health.

Join me for


There is a lot happening in Thurston County, and we want to hear from you. Our upcoming community coffee hours give you the opportunity to talk about issues of concern, ask Commissioner Romero questions about the county, and share ideas.


This year's guest speakers included:


Jim Bachmeier, Manager

Water Resources Program


Mike Strub, Director

LOTT Clean Water Alliance 


David Troutt, Director

 Nisqually Tribe Natural Resources 


Andrew Deffobis, Associate Planner

Long Range Planning


Mark Emrich, President 

Washington Beekeepers Association


Joshua Cummings, Fair Coodinator

Thurston County Fair


Cori Carlton, Manager

Master Gardener Program


 Mary Hall

Thurston County Auditor  


Ramiro Chavez, Director

Public Works


Join me for my next meetings Monday, February 23




Rainier City Hall

102 Rochester St. W




Tacos Gaby

307 Yelm Ave E




Forza Coffee

130 Marvin Rd. SE, Ste 130

Contact Us
Board of County Commissioners
 Building #1, Rm. 269
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW
Olympia, WA 98502
Commissioner's Assistant:
Becca Pilcher
(360) 786-5747
(360) 786-5441
 Romero represents the Board of County Commissioners on:



LOTT Clean Water Alliance  


Vice Chair
Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) 
Elected Officials Council
Advisory Committee
Community Involvement

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Progress on the Accountability and Restitution Center (ARC)
Since coming into office in 2009, moving into the Accountability and Restitution Center (ARC) has been a top priority for me and my seatmates. Built with the citizens' best interest in mind, we ended up unable to move into the new jail due to the significant impact of the Great Recession on all county government services. Since then, we have worked steadfastly to find a way to safely move into the new jail and we are now happy to announce that as of Friday, January 30 we signed a resolution of agreement with Sheriff John Snaza outlining the terms of the county's transition into the ARC. 
Romero signs Letter of Intent
Commissioner Sandra Romero signs the Letter of Intent to open
the Accountability and Restitution Center.
Photo courtesy of Paul Henderson.
I believe that occupying the ARC is in the best interest of all of the citizens of Thurston County. The agreement does require some additional funding for the Sheriff's Corrections budget. For the most part, this addition is due to cost increases resulting from the new contract with the corrections union that was ratified on October 17, 2014. It is our intent to provide the additional support for corrections with as little impact to other county offices and departments as possible.
For security reasons, the exact date of the move won't be publicized, but the Sheriff and his team are already working on the plan for the move. At the latest, we expect to be fully transitioned into the new facility by the end of the summer!
Thurston Bountiful Byway Launched
Bountiful Byway Logo
This logo, designed by local artist Nikki McClure, represents Thurston County's agricultural community. The logo has been turned into road sign that designate the Bountiful Byway's route.
If you live in rural Thurston County you've probably noticed the newly installed signs for the Thurston Bountiful Byway along the picturesque roads that weave throughout the country side. Designed by local artist Nikki McClure, the signs designate a scenic route that will lead tourists off of Interstate 5 and straight into the agricultural heart of our community. Along the way, adventurers will discover farm stands selling local produce, blooming nurseries, and even Thurston County's first (legal) craft distillery!
The Bountiful Byway is the culmination of five years of work to promote agricultural tourism (agritourism) in south Thurston County as a means of boosting its economy. For half a decade farmers, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and government institutions have been working together to make this tourist attraction a reality. Now that the signs are up, we are working with the Visitor and Convention Bureau to sign up interested business owners and market the byway to out of town travelers. 
To learn more about the Thurston Bountiful Byway visit or check it out on Facebook at If you would like to get involved with agritourism planning just contact my assistant, Becca Pilcher, at or (360) 786-5747.
Neonicotinoids banned on TC properties and bee-yond!

Over the past nine years there has been a significant increase in the collapse of bee colonies and declining populations of bees in Washington State and the nation. Bees and other insect pollinator populations are critical for food crop production and agriculture, and the state and local agricultural economies are highly dependent on pollinators.

Bee-friendly Seeds
Free packets of bee friendly non-invasive flower seeds are currently available through Thurston County Noxious Weeds. Call (360)786-5576 or email to get your packet today!

In response to this crisis, my fellow commissioners and I amended the county's Pest and Vegetation Management Policy (PVM) to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on county owned or managed property. Neonicotinoids are a group of systemic chemicals used to control insects that chew on or suck liquids from plants. The insecticides are sprayed onto a plant or the soil in which a plant is growing to be absorbed and circulated throughout the plant. Some seeds are actually coated with these chemicals so the plants absorb them as soon as it sprouts. These chemicals make the stems, roots, leaves, flowers, pollen and nectar poisonous for an extended period.


The continued viability of the agricultural industry is important to our food security, the agricultural heritage of our region, and the health and well-being of county residents. Banning these toxic chemicals furthers our goal of minimizing the use of pesticides in county practice whenever possible.


Now, I'm asking my fellow community leaders to take the same initiative by signing onto a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), pledging not to use neonicotinoids on properties that they manage. I'll let you know who signed on in the next newsletter!