Tapert chosen for Parks board

Alison Tapert, the newly appointed commissioner for South Whidbey Parks and Recreation, hangs out in Community Park. - Gayle Saran
Alison Tapert, the newly appointed commissioner for South Whidbey Parks and Recreation, hangs out in Community Park.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

"Parks are where memories are made."

That's a philosophy Alison Tapert hopes to bring to the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation Board this year.

Tapert was appointed to the board last week, to serve out the term of Tara Barlean, who moved out of state in February.

Tapert said she visits South Whidbey parks often with her children.

Before moving to the the island from Everett three years ago, Tapert said she found herself taking her children to the park for many different activities.

"We would listen to concerts and enjoy art, in addition to playing games and on the equipment," Tapert said.

The other members members of the South Whidbey parks board -- Curt Gordon, Carl Westling, Jim Porter and Paul Arand -- were unified in their selection of Tapert.

"I think she will bring a nice balance and a lot of energy to the board," Gordon said.

Tapert will serve as an appointee until the November election, when the position and the seat held by Paul Arand will be before voters.

Tapert owned her own graphic design business and was involved with the Everett Chamber of Commerce and as a volunteer on the board of the American Red Cross before moving to the island.

She worked with the Everett Chamber of Commerce to bring concerts and art to the downtown area. Previously she worked as an advertising representative for a newspaper in the San Juan Islands. She is now a stay-at-home mother.

She and her husband, Geoff have lived on Whidbety Island for three years and have two children, 6-year-old Simon and Zoe, who is 4.

Gordon said there was a tremendous amount of interest in the board position.

"We had six candidates to choose from, and I received another six or seven calls from people wanting more information about the position.

The other candidates who were also considered were Dean Enell, Mike Cotton, Scott Pascoe, Dave Hayworth and Karen Cook.

"It was a tough decision. All of them love our parks," Gordon said.

"It was a lengthly process. We interviewed all six candidates, all were qualified, he said.

Once commissioner Barlean resigned in February according to the district's policy, they had 90 days to flll the vacated position.

Selection was in one evening with three hours for interviewing all six people, and two and half hours of deliberation by the board.

"We wanted to make the decision now because the district has several major issues to address this summer including the Feb. 2004 levy, and the budget," Gordon said.

The next parks meeting is April 16.

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