The Mason County Commission appointed Steve Bloomfield to fill the Commissioner District 3 seat left vacant by the sudden death of Jerry Lingle. The Commissioners spent about ten minutes Tuesday, October 4, 2011 discussing the nomination process before Commissioner Tim Sheldon nominated Bloomfield. Commissioner Lynda Ring-Erickson quickly seconded the nomination and the vote was unanimous. Bloomfield was then sworn-in by Mason County Auditor Karen Herr. Steve Bloomfield is a lifelong resident of Mason County and is currently Clam Farm Manager and Government Affairs Advisor for Seattle Shellfish. His application for the seat was accompanied by letters of support from Shelton Mayor John Tarrant, Port of Shelton Commissioner Jay Hupp, and former Mason County Commissioner Jayni Kamin. Bloomfield said he was humbled by the appointment but also sadden because he was filling Lingle’s seat. He also asked the residents to make sure they keep him on task as a Mason County Commissioner. Bloomfield will serve in the Commissioner District 3 seat until after the 2012 General Election.

Bloomfield was selected from a field of 16 applicants who applied to fill Lingle’s seat after his death on August 19, 2011. Initail interviews were held September 19, 2011. A three-member screening panel interviews 15 of the applicants. The panel consisted of retired Mason County Superior Court Judge James Sawyer, Mason County PUD No. 3 Commissioner Linda Gott, and Mason County Fire District 4 Commissioner Brett Bishop. The three asked each applicant to list their strongest assets, explain their experience with Roberts Rules of Order, describe their perception of the time commitment needed to be a County Commissioner, and to list the top issues for the County. The applicants were also given two minutes to summarize their reasons for wanting to fill the Commissioner District 3 seat. The original applicants were Brian Avery, Curt Bennett, Steve Bloomfield, Randy Churchill, Terra Dittmer, Greg Ferrara, Ross Gallagher, Terri Jeffreys, Joyce Lingle, Annette McGee, James Simms, Alan Tahja, Tom Randall, Mike Rutter, Marlene Taylor and John Price. Price didn’t show up for this interview. Eight were asked back to second interviews by Commissioners Ring-Erickson and Sheldon. Those interviews were held Monday, September 26, 2011 and included Bloomfield, Sims, Bennett, Taylor, Churchill, McGee, Jeffreys, and Price who did show up for the second interview. The Commissioners spent about 15 minutes with each applicant asking questions that ranged from why they applied to listing their top priorities if appointed to the seat left vacant by the sudden death of Jerry Lingle. They also discussed the 2012 Budget, increasing revenue, attracting business and jobs to the County, public works and roads, and the Belfair Sewer. All applicants said they would need to meet with department heads before determining any cuts or increasing taxes. Most felt the Public Works Department has done a good job with county roads. Some noted having the proper infrastructure in place is the key to attracting new business. And all acknowledge the need for sewers in Belfair.