Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder was recently elected as First Vice-President of the Washington State Association of Counties for 2018-2019 and will step up as President in the top leadership role in 2019-2020. The Washington State Association of Counties has served as the collective voice of Washington's counties for over one hundred years and provides training, legislative advocacy and a forum to build a statewide county legislative agenda. WSAC members include county commissioners, council members and executives from all of Washington's 39 counties."It's my great honor to serve as the First Vice-President," said Commissioner Gelder, who is 2018 chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. "As a subdivision of the state, counties play a unique role in the provision of services and programs to our local communities, often on behalf of the state. "It is vital to maintain a strong voice of advocacy in Olympia and Washington, DC for adequate funding for infrastructure (roads, fish passage barrier removal), trial court public defense, and foundational public health services," he noted. "In addition, it's important to challenge new state-mandated services that shift the burden of funding onto the backs of local residents and taxpayers." WSAC is governed by a board of directors led by the executive committee. Each year, county representatives elect officers for the following year. Join Commissioner Gelder on one of his monthly "Walk & Talk" sessions through North Kitsap communities. Upcoming walks take place January 5, 2019, beginning at the Bainbridge Island Senior Center, 370 Brien Dr SE, and February 2, 2019, beginning at the Commissioner's Kingston office, located in the back portion of the building housing the Kitsap County Sheriff's precinct office at 26076 Illinois Ave. The Walk & Talks get underway at 9:30 a.m. sharp. Visit Commissioner Gelder's website to view newsletters, Commissioner's Corner programs and an interactive map of North Kitsap communities, and to sign up for electronic news updates: https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/Dist1home.aspx. To learn more about WSAC, visit http://wsac.org.