QA Hoquiam Council, Ward 5


Brenda Carlstrom

Brenda Carlstrom, 60, is running for her second term on the Hoquiam City Council. She currently works as the lodge secretary at the Hoquiam Elks Lodge. Carlstrom sees herself as an advocate for the disabled community, and she has held leadership roles nation wide. She served on the state Independent Living Council, the governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment, the Home Care Quality Authority, and the Coastal Community Action Program. She also co-chaired the Elks Grand Parade in Hoquiam for seven years, served as the board president for Columbia Legal Services, an organization that advocated for people facing poverty.

Why are you running for Hoquiam City Council? What makes you a good candidate for the job?

I am running for my second term and I feel I’ve been an asset to the council. I would like to continue having a voice for the low income and elderly, while supporting growth.

In recent months, the Hoquiam City Council has passed rate increases for water and stormwater. Wastewater rate increases could come before the council soon. What’s your take on rate increases to replace infrastructure?

It is always tough to make decisions that require raising rates, as I know first hand how difficult it is to make ends meet. But these are the necessary burdens every city faces. We cannot continue to use a”Band-Aid” approach in fixing the infrastructure. We need to fix it now, because the cost 10 or 15 years from now will be astronomical.

Crude-by-rail has been a topic of debate in the region for a while. What are your thoughts?

I know we need to continue to bring in economic development to our city, but I have had concerns with mishaps destroying our environment. I know other places have alleviated these concerns, but accidents do happen and the fragile environments we cherish and ecosystems we need can be destroyed.

The city has been taking steps to revitalize downtown in recent years, with sidewalk replacements and the creation of a historic district among recent projects. What would you like to see happen in downtown Hoquiam?

Having an Historic District is a benefit for those wanting to improve their buildings and businesses while creating an asthetic appearance downtown. Creating new businesses is great, but we also need to keep them open and thriving. I want people to know this town and to want to visit here. I don’t want tourists to drive through town not realizing that Hoquiam lies between Aberdeen and Ocean Shores.

Denise Anderson

Denise Anderson, 52, has lived in Hoquiam her whole life. She currently works as a meat wrapper for Swanson’s Foods. She served as a board member for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 367, and worked as a co-manager at Wesly’s Gull during the 1980s. Anderson managed Fairway Grocery during the early 1990s.

Why are you running for Hoquiam City Council? What makes you a good candidate for the job?

I truly love being from Hoquiam. I was born and raised here and graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1979. I have a really good career that has allowed me to buy a home here, and I can’t think of a better way to give back to this community than to become involved in the City Government and help to give our younger generations those same opportunities.

I believe my love of the city, my sense of pride for my community, and my desire and commitment to making Hoquiam a beautiful, safe, healthy, and prosperous place to live makes me a good fit for the City Council.

In recent months, the Hoquiam City Council has passed rate increases for water and stormwater. Wastewater rate increases could come before the council soon. What’s your take on rate increases to replace infrastructure?

I like that the City of Hoquiam is replacing our aging infastructure. I’m sure the Mayor and Council have given a lot of thought as to how to pay for the replacements, but without an increase in revenue, I don’t see another way to pay for them. Nobody likes to see rate increases or higher fees, but sometimes it’s one of those necessary evils.

Crude-by-rail has been a topic of debate in the region for a while. What are your thoughts?

Ahh yes, Crude by rail. I wonder, could the people vote on the issue? I believe there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before the Port goes ahead with the shipment of oil out of our ports. I have to say that I think it is a mistake to place so much emphasis on shipping one specific item out of Grays Harbor’s port. Grays Harbor needs jobs, but we can still create jobs by shipping other, safer commodities out or in. I think even the slightest risk for disaster is just not worth taking because we could stand to lose EVERYTHING.

The city has been taking steps to revitalize downtown in recent years, with sidewalk replacements and the creation of a historic district among recent projects. What would you like to see happen in downtown Hoquiam?

I’m happy to see the creation of the Historic District, and I hope building and home owners take advantage of the opportunity to showcase their unique properties.

I get to drive through downtown Hoquiam every day on my way to work and I would like to see the few empty storefronts filled with unique shops and restaurants to draw in some locals and the tourists that travel through our City. I would love to see the development of the waterfront and Levee St. the next step for the City of Hoquiam, after all, it’s only a block away from downtown and it can be seen from both sides of the river. I know it is not a simple thing to just develop along the waterfront, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed but the potential for small business owners could be huge, along with increased revenue for the city.