Realtor Wolters 'key contact' on Government Affairs panel

<I>Contributed photo</I><BR>Char Wolters of Lighthouse Realty spent three "Hill Days" in Olympia in January getting familiar with her new role on the Government Affairs Committee. Her newly-created lobbying position will have a focus of making Peninsula housing more affordable while helping balance the quality of life in the area with economic development.

OLYMPIA - For the first time Pacific County will be represented on the Government Affairs Committee and Char Wolters as key contact will be working directly with Representative Brian Blake and advising him of housing issues directly affecting the local community.

Wolters, a member of the Washington Realtor's Association (WRA) and an employee of Lighthouse Realty, took her seat at the first of the year and spent Jan. 23 through 25 in Olympia using her "(Capitol) Hill Days" to learn the ropes of her new position and to make contacts with Washington legislators.

"My main focus will be on helping to create affordable housing for people on the Peninsula. The mean annual income for Pacific County is only 69 percent of what it takes to qualify to purchase an average home here. I want to do what I can to close that gap. We are losing wonderful members of our community and our schools are getting smaller because it is just too expensive for many to be able to live here," Wolters relates.

She is also concerned with balancing development and economic growth with the quality of life in our area. "I live here, am raising my daughter here and I am passionate about this area. I want the community to stay solid," Wolters explains. "Much of the recent development has been for the secondary home market." Wolters is seeking innovative ways to build more affordable houses on property that is less expensive. Additionally, she is concerned about maintaining public services at acceptable levels and keeping the natural attractiveness of the area intact through responsible development of the environment.

"In my new position I will be able to present our concerns as a realtor to the Washington House of Representatives and the Senate. I will be able to lobby for positive ways to spend excise tax revenues and to help provide a more solid infrastructure in order to benefit the Peninsula," Wolters says.

Until now any concerns local realtors had were channeled through Government Affairs Committee members from Cowlitz County. "This new position will give our area more of a personal say in what matters to us," Wolters states.

In September Wolters and 15 other WRA members went to Louisiana with Habitat for Humanity to help build housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina. While there she worked along-side WRA president-elect Jan Ellingson and because of that connection Wolters was instrumental in helping Pacific County obtain representation on the Government Affairs Committee.

For more information about the Government Affairs Committee's work or to offer suggestions about real estate issues in Pacific County, Wolters can be contacted by calling 665-4114 or by e-mail her at (char@lighthouseproperty.com).

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