Hello and welcome to Anacortes! I'm Mayor Laurie Gere.

When you think of Anacortes, what comes to mind? Do you think of the rich maritime heritage of how we got started? Do you remember your favorite dish at one of our amazing local restaurants or unique finds at one of the small business in town? Can you remember the song the band played at one of our summer concerts run by the City or the Port of Anacortes? Or perhaps you think of our beautiful parks and forest lands like Washington Park, Mount Erie, or Whistle Lake. I believe that we are so fortunate to live on this island - we have an abundance of natural beauty and so much talent in our community. We are lucky to live on such a beautiful island and I am proud to call this home.

I have always had a passion for community service. I have been an active member of our community through a number of service groups, owning my own business, and leadership roles since I moved to Anacortes 42 years ago with my family. Before I was elected Mayor in 2013, I was involved in local and county government in a variety of ways that gave me valuable experience and insight into the needs of our community. I learned so much from working with these organizations and am grateful for these relationships.

Perhaps the greatest honor of my career was being elected as Mayor of Anacortes in 2013. I am committed to providing the leadership necessary for an efficient, open, and responsive government that is receptive to our community. As Mayor I have overseen the creation of our award-winning Comprehensive Plan in 2016 that lays out goals for growth in Anacortes for the next 20 years. The City is currently updating the development regulations that will implement the Plan and they will be done by December 2017. One of my personal goals as Mayor is to build a Community Recreation Center. Its development would strengthen current efforts of the Community Task Force to address youth substance-abuse and give them the tools they need to become successful adults. The combination of the existing Community Task Force with a Community Recreation Center would build a solid foundation upon which we could continue to support our young people and their families. I have sought opportunities for economic advancement and sustainability by exploring fiber-optic internet for Anacortes and by partnering with the Port of Anacortes to develop a Maritime Strategic Plan. One of the City’s highest priorities is to promote and expand a sustainable maritime economy while preserving our authentic maritime culture. These things utilize the best asset of our City - our community members! Your participation and input are appreciated.

The role of Mayor lets me serve the broader community, too - I serve on the Skagit Council of Government Board of Directors, Skagit Transit Board of Directors, Skagit County Emergency Management Council and the 911 Board of Directors, while still keeping the smaller community of Anacortes in my mind. The role also lets me reach beyond local government to work closely with state and federal partners on national issues to support local business and community interests. I view my relationship with these partners as a valuable way to ensure that the Anacortes community has a voice on a state and federal level. I also help cultivate the friendships that Anacortes has with its international Sister Cities through visits and other cultural exchanges.

Your continued participation and input are vital to accomplishing the goals that reflect our collective values. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming city meeting or at one of my monthly coffees. Every voice matters to me. I believe that by working together we can move forward to meet the needs of our citizens and continue to make Anacortes a wonderful place to live.