It’s Jennings versus Timmons for Grays Harbor PUD District 2 Commissioner seat

Both are confident they have what it takes to succeed in the position

Dave Jennings and Dave Timmons are butting heads for the Grays Harbor PUD District 2 Commissioner seat in the upcoming general election.

Timmons is the incumbent and is just finishing his first term in office.


Challenger Jennings is new to the local political scene, but says he has always been an active citizen and critical of how “our dollars are being spent.”

He’s confident he has what it takes to do the job if elected.

“The position of Grays Harbor PUD commissioner requires a self-motivated and passionate individual. I feel that my job experiences with the State of Washington Department of Corrections have permitted me to work as a self-motivated person,” Jennings said. “I have worked for the Department of Corrections for five years as a correctional officer and have held my current position as a correctional industries supervisor for the last 15 years, which requires me to work independently. “

Working as a corrections officer, Jennings said he’s learned to keep an eye on the state Legislature as each budget cycle meant changes in the operations at the DOC.

“I would see challenges faced by the Legislature as they would attempt to balance a budget and at the same time satisfy the residents of Washington State,” he said. “My current position (correctional industry supervisor) is supported by the money earned from the sale of products that are built within our inmate training programs. So, over the last 15 years not only have I learned what it takes to operate a business using a variety of private industry tools, but also the many different techniques it takes to provide a public service. As the supervisor of a viable business with numerous employees, I appreciate the value of supportive and educated customer assistance and the need to correctly oversee and direct employees.”

If elected as Grays Harbor PUD commissioner Jennings says his No. 1 priority will be to keep the ratepayers of Grays Harbor County better informed of the challenges faced by the PUD.

“In my experience, when challenging the Legislature from enacting unnecessary laws, informed ratepayers can be the greatest advocate,” he said.

His second priority as Grays Harbor PUD commissioner will be to lobby the Legislature to either amend or repeal initiative I-937, which requires large utilities to obtain 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable resources such as solar and wind (but excluding hydro) by 2020.

“This is a perfect example of a law before need,” Jennings said. “This initiative is costing the Grays Harbor PUD and the ratepayers of Grays Harbor County $13 million a year to satisfy.”

Jennings’ third priority he said, would be to become better educated about the facts behind what is actually causing a decline in the number of salmon returning to spawn.

“I want to share these facts with the Legislature. I feel that the dams are not the cause of the reduction in the number of fish returning each year; but the sea lions and seals might be,” Jennings said. “Not only is this an issue that the PUD is facing, but also an issue that fisheries and sportsman are dealing with. Numerous jobs and a substantial amount of recreational fishing is being eliminated due to the reduction of the number of fish.”

Although he didn’t rate it as his top priority, Jennings said the issue he considers most urgent in Initiative I-937.

“I do consider it most urgent, but I also consider this issue the easiest to resolve,” he said. “Several small utilities have made attempts each year to either amend or repeal initiative I-937. I believe the officials of Grays Harbor PUD should be concerned and need to become involved and vocal. It is a $13 million a year issue affecting not only the Grays Harbor PUD, but also the ratepayers in Grays Harbor County. The officials of the Grays Harbor PUD should be advocating for the citizens of Grays Harbor County. They should not be content and continue to pay for initiative I-937.”


Incumbent Dave Timmons is seeking his second term. He is a lifelong resident of Grays Harbor, a veteran of the Marine Corps, serving from 1969 to 1974.

Timmons’ campaign platform will mimic the utility’s mission statement to, “Serve the community with utility services at the lowest practical cost.”

“My focus is to move the PUD to a positive “partnering” business that shares in the community and works with our community partners,” Timmons said. “People should vote for me because my commitment as a PUD Commissioner has always been to do what is best for the entire community over the long haul so future commissioners do not have to fix decisions that have had a negative impact.”

Timmons is on the board of directors for the Washington State PUD Association, which represents 27 nonprofit community-owned utilities, and has been an police officer with the Aberdeen Police Force for over 40 years. He is currently the deputy chief of police.

“This job has provided me with ample experience making difficult decisions. My decisions may not always be popular, but they should be fair and equitable,” Timmons said. “My position (on the board of directors) is to represent our PUD in state, regional and national issues that can impact each of us, and we have been successful at that. I have also had the opportunity to build positive relationships with many legislators whose decisions can and do affect PUD’s.”

Timmons believes customers value three primary things in their PUD: Reliability, affordability and promptness of services. He says his efforts to provide just that are evident in his first term in office.

“My focus over the last six years has been to reduce outages through prevention strategies. This includes tree trimming, replacing poles, maintenance of equipment and the right staffing,” Timmons said. “I am committed to continuing affordable services. We have reduced staff by not filling vacant positions while maintaining safe staffing ratios. The capital budget was reduced significantly as a way to manage the budget. BPA has increased rates to us by 29 percent over the last several years and locally we have never passed along a rate hike that high nor do we plan to. During my term we have reduced the time it takes to get power restored. When issues arise we have highly trained staff that allows problems to be solved quickly.”

Timmons said he’s been able to accomplish a lot of positives in his first term a District 2 Commissioner.

One thing he is most proud of is what he says is a change in the employee culture at the utility.

“When I was elected there was a definite line between employees and administration, (them and us),” Timmons said. “Changes were made and key positions were changed that helped form the team atmosphere you see today. It was a tough process, but well worth the end result. We now have a culture that encourages trust, openness, positive attitude and teamwork, which is really great for our community. We have an amazing leadership team and an amazing staff with the same goals working for our customer-owners.”