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He'll vote for Thrasher


Eyebrows rose when a young woman not born in Okanogan County rallied more votes than the incumbent, moving on to the Nov. 8 general election for District 2 Okanogan County Commissioner.

But the excellence Ashley Thrasher has shown in managing her campaign should come as no surprise. As a voter in District 3, I will now able to cast my vote for her and would like to share my reasons:

As a wildland firefighter for seven years, Ashley internalized Hot Shot training in the five principles of High Reliability Organizations, later practicing this training as a squad boss, incident commander, and a smokejumper. HROs operate in unforgiving social and political environments. They are organizations with a potential for catastrophic failure with nearly error-free performance, including naval aircraft carrier operations, nuclear power plants, intensive care units, and wildland firefighting organizations.

HROs focus attention on emerging problems and then deploy the right set of resources to address those problems. They utilize the following principles. HROs:

1. Ignore no failure, because even a small error can snowball into tragedy.

2. Deal with complex situations and analyze root causes, rejecting simple diagnoses.

3. Understand that front line employees more easily identify failure and opportunities for improvement than executive leadership can.

4. Have the ability to anticipate trouble and improvise when the unexpected occurs, identifying errors and innovative solutions in a changing environment.

5. Expertise, rather than authority, takes precedence in an HRO.

As an engineer, I am keenly aware of the importance of these practices. Ashley’s incredible work ethic, passion to represent all the people, and experience in utilizing these five principles are already demonstrating the impartiality and competence we need now at the Okanogan County Courthouse.

Dave Sunde

Owner, D&G Enterprises

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