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Angel settling in with new responsibilities in Olympia
Jan Angel began this week in Olympia, preparing for the 2009 legislative session due to commence on Jan. 12.
Angel will be serving her first term as state representative from District 26.
She was elected to the seat previously held by Pat Lantz, who retired.
“We’re doing great so far,” Angel said. “I’m learning my way around, how to use all the machines and how to cast a vote.”
Angel hired Debbie Austin as her legislative assistant. Austin worked in the same capacity during Angel’s term as South Kitsap commissioner.
In addition to a two-and-a-half-day orientation, Angel also received her committee assignments.
She will be the ranking Republican on the Local Government and Housing Committee and a member of the Higher Education Committee and the Early Learning and Children’s Services Committee.
Angel has set a goal for her work on the Local Government Committee, to conduct a review of the Growth Management Act (GMA).
“The GMA was passed 18 years ago,” Angel said. “There are parts that are working and parts that are not. I want to show the people the parts that are not working and make the changes that will help county and state government run more smoothly.”
For other priorities, she will work to keep tuition prices down in order to make college more affordable. And she will work toward preventing gang violence.
“I thought I had the most catching up to do in the Early Learning and Children”s area,” Angel said, “but it turns out I have a lot of experience in these areas.
“I want to be proactive,” she said, “to make sure that gangs don’t come across the water to Kitsap and Pierce.”
As for issues where she does not serve on committees, Angel will advocate an upgrade of the ferry system as well as support for the disabled.
“We need to take care of the people who need it most,” she said.
Angel arrived in Olympia to find an empty 9-by-12 office “with nothing in it.”
Angel and Austin then shopped for furniture in Port Orchard, bringing back a two small desks and a round table (which resembled the table she had in her original county office).
She chose Port Orchard in order to generate local sales tax revenue rather than benefitting Olympia area merchants and municipalities.
“I don’t like those big desks,” she said. “I like sitting with people at a round table because it’s easier to converse.”
Angel’s office is number 420 in the John O’Brien Building, and she has what she calls “the best view of the capitol building.”
Her phone is (360) 786-7964.