Washington Public Works BoardState of Washington
Hailed nationally as a model of innovation, Washington’s Public Works Board has invested more than $2 Billion statewide through a self-sustaining mechanism to fund infrastructure. The Board’s program is a vital funding source for cities, counties, and water and sewer districts’ capital projects, where traditional federal funding programs are less flexible. The Board sets financing and infrastructure policy, rates and ranks projects, and advocates with legislators for program funding. As a gubernatorial appointee, Kathryn Gardow served as Vice Chair and represented the general public for nine years on the Washington State Public Works Board.
During Kathryn’s term, the Board was challenged by pressure to meet more needs and ever-growing demands for its limited resources, all under constant legislative scrutiny. She developed skill in navigating legislative processes on behalf of vital public goods, particularly as competing demands for limited resources clamored for priority in an ever-shifting, politicized context. Kathryn also gained a statewide perspective, working closely with local elected officials who served as Board colleagues, often representing diverse needs and perspectives.
She also participated in a week long Lean evaluation of the permit approval process to streamline the grant and loan programs issued by WA Department of Health’s Drink Water Revolving Fund, which is administered by the Public Works Board. By working with such variety of partners and their unique challenges, Kathryn developed a high level of skill to work amongst many different situations across the state.