Posted 2/14/24

County Commissioner seeks re-election 

Elected to her first term in 2020, District 2 Jefferson County Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour has indicated she will seek re-election this year for a …

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County Commissioner seeks re-election 

Elected to her first term in 2020, District 2 Jefferson County Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour has indicated she will seek re-election this year for a second term. 

“I look forward to continuing effective support for my neighbors in Jefferson County in the future, because I truly love our communities and where we live,” Eisenhour said in a recent media statement.

“With 25 to 30 committees to serve on each year, it takes much of a term to learn the lay of the land and get to know the teams focused in each area,” she said. “I look forward to getting a chance to continue to put all the knowledge and relationships I have gained to work for county residents in the future.”

In her first term, Eisenhour led specific efforts that included the decennial commissioner district redistricting process, in partnership with Quinn Grewell, Jefferson County’s elections manager. She raised the issue of western Washington’s septage capacity within the legislature when she learned of challenges local waste managers were having with Jefferson County’s waste disposal. 

Eisenhower also spearheaded a five-year strategic planning process (2024-28) with County Administrator Mark McCauley and county leaders.

The commissioner takes particular interest in Jefferson County’s forests and forestry economy, and oversaw the transfer of two parcels in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor from the Department of Natural Resources, totaling 120 acres. She served in a leadership role at state tables grappling with multiple forest management issues, applying knowledge of Jefferson County’s natural resources and state land management toward collaborations.

“I look forward to working alongside county leaders, staff and partners to complete important projects in a second term that I have been active on in my first,” Eisenhour said. These include completion of the Port Hadlock Wastewater Treatment system, and developments such as Habitat for Humanity’s Mason Street, which will provide up to 150 units of permanently affordable housing near the Jefferson County library. 

“Heidi is a delight to work with,” McCauley said. “She is a quick study and always does her homework. She is tireless, frequently working late into the evenings and on weekends. Heidi is a strong advocate for transparent government and engagement with our community.”

Humane Society shelter welcomes new director


Holding more than 15 years of experience in non-profit operations and management, Jen Dupree began her tenure as director of the Humane Society of Jefferson County’s animal shelter on Jan. 22.

Dupree will oversee all operations at the shelter, located on Critter Lane, a three-acre wooded parcel with kennels and a mobile medical unit, owned by the county. She worked most recently as the Animal Behavior and Training Manager at the Kitsap Humane Society’s shelter in Silverdale, and earlier worked in Tennessee as a vet assistant at veterinary and emergency clinics, and for the Nashville Humane Association.

“I have a passion for supporting and empowering causes that directly impact the lives of community members and their companion animals,” Dupree said.

Her work in Nashville included community outreach about spay/neuter programs and post-operative recovery support. Dupree also worked for the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society in Georgia, overseeing shelter operations as the manager and rescue coordinator.

Together with the Jefferson County Humane Society’s board of directors, Dupree will work to expand the shelter with temporary buildings that can be relocated as needed. Other goals include improving workflow and customer service, and developing a plan for the future of the shelter that could include a capital campaign for a new facility.

The current shelter facility, formerly operated by Jefferson County, has been leased from the county for more than a decade and provides low income spay/neuter services; shelter, food, and medical care for abandoned, lost and surrendered cats and dogs; and a successful adoption program, placing hundreds of animals in forever homes each year.


Public comment invited on proposed dock rule changes 


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has initiated the process to update state hydraulic code rules related to the installation and use of flotation materials in overwater structures, such as docks and swim floats. 

These rules are designed to protect aquatic life and align with recent changes passed by the Washington State Legislature. The rules also govern the Hydraulic Project Approval permitting process. WDFW issues these permits to protect fish and habitat during construction projects in and around state waters, including floating structures.

Substitute House Bill 1085, adopted by the Legislature in 2023 with the goal of reducing plastic pollution, established standards for the sale, distribution, and installation of flotation materials in overwater structures. WDFW is conducting expedited rule-making to amend portions of the bill that address rules for overwater structures in fresh and saltwater. Amendments to these rules will incorporate language detailing standards for foam flotation, and remove some language regarding plastic wrap.

Proposed changes are subject to review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), and the public is invited to submit comments on the environmental review through Feb. 21 online at or by email at 

Additional materials and information can be found at WDFW’s SEPA website within online.

Expedited rule-making does not include a formal public comment period. Questions should be sent via email to


Free books to Jefferson County youth


Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The Library has mailed more than two million high-quality, age-appropriate books for free each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Each of these books is emblazoned with the recipient child’s name.

In 2021, the Port Townsend Rotary club joined with Parton’s Imagination Library to support Jefferson County by fundraising and managing the database, spearheading efforts to bring to every enrolled child a set of books through Parton’s program. Port Townsend Noon Rotary is proud to announce it has graduated more than 200 youth and sustained more than 500 active Imagination Library subscriptions for several months now, sending more than 10,000 books so far.

Club representatives expressed gratitude to all who have contributed to the project, and said they hope to continue sharing books for as long as possible. Through this program, the Dollywood Foundation has gifted nearly 200 million free books in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland.

Interested families in Jefferson County can find out more or sign up at