PROFILE: Joyce Lindsay, new Washougal council member

January 31, 2012


Joyce Lindsay, City of Washougal Council Member (photo Martha Martin)

Joyce Lindsay was elected as a City of Washougal Council Member starting in January of 2012.   In this Q&A format, she talks about her history, interests, and her experience, so far, as a new city council member.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I was raised and went to school in Denver Colorado. I graduated from South High and attended the University of Denver.  When I was 32, my husband, my 3 sons and his two children moved to Seattle where we lived for 30 years until his death in 1997.  I had owned my own business, a wine and beer making supply shop, selling wine and beer and the most popular item Jelly bellies.  I sold this business in 1980.

For many years I volunteered on political campaigns; Senator “Scoop” Jackson’s last campaign and then on Booth Gardner’s campaign for Governor.  I was with Booth’s campaign for 8 years, and while I did independent contracting for other elected officials and candidates, in 1992 I signed onto the campaign for Patty Murray.  I worked for Sen. Murray until my husband became ill in 1995.  He died in 1997.

In 2000, I sold our home in Lake Forest Park and then went to Colorado to visit with family and care for my aging step-father.  I purchased my home in Washougal in 2004.

What do you like to do?

I read, mostly history, good historical fiction.  I love movies, especially Chinese martial arts.  I am a student of Tai Chi, and still do yoga, garden and walk.

Tell me about your family.

I have three sons and one daughter, eight grandchildren of various ages and three great grandchildren.  They are all talented, beautiful and perfect in every way.

Why did you decide to run for the Washougal City Council?

I realized one day that I wanted to do more for this community that I have learned to love.  I didn’t know I would care so much for this city and its people when I moved here. Community service is important and through Rotary and the Columbia Gorge Women’s Association I have seen how much can be accomplished by one person becoming active.

What do you want to accomplish while on the council?

My goal/desire is to enrich the community.  That may take a different form then what I learn from where I am now.

What do you mean by enrich?

What I am going to say doesn’t sound very big, but I want hanging baskets of flowers in the summer to grace our downtown streets, and I want to see public art.  I grew up in a city that took beauty and its history seriously and there was art in the city that represented the rich history.

Washougal has an amazing beautiful history that I would like to see acknowledged in public form.  I would like to see more opportunities for activities for our community, I started to say children, but then I thought I mean our teenagers, young parents and our elderly.

Let’s get back to the nuts and bolts of city government.  What are your plans?

First of all, I have a lot to learn.

I’ve tried to prepare myself by attending the council meetings and workshops, meeting with citizens, staff and local business people to better understand how the city works for them.  I will continue this process of meeting with the people in our community because it is important to know what they think and how they feel about living and/or working in Washougal.  I am setting up meetings with everyone I think can add to my information pool.

I believe that government can make life better for its citizens.  We have very good fire and police departments.  Our city is clean and safe.  Our water meets standards and we now have a balanced budget.  We have beautiful parks and I would like to see more public events in our parks.  I think our community needs more for our youngsters. I’m exploring this.

A community center that meets the needs of our youth as well as seniors would be good.  A swimming pool would also be awesome.

It concerns me that such a high percentage of children in our city qualify for the free and reduced lunch program: 38% of Hathaway students and 43% city wide.

What do you see as the biggest problems for Washougal’s future?

A matter of great inconvenience to our community will be the increased number of trains coming through our city.  At the present time, we only have one street (Washougal River Road) that gets traffic across the trains.

What do you think is Washougal’s greatest asset?

The location, we are the gateway to the Gorge.  We have an amazing resource in our two rivers, and I might add – if you have never seen a sunset from Cottonwood Beach you have missed a beautiful experience.

The people of Washougal are just plain special.  There’s a spunk and attitude that is superb!

We are a very livable small city.  I want to preserve this.

Joyce Lindsay may be reached at