Seattle City (spot)Light: Vonie Polomis

Vonie Polomis has worked for the City of Seattle for more than 33 years. Born in Washington, she’s lived in different parts of the state like Chelan, Yakima and Spokane. Now, Vonie enjoys the scenic beauty of the North Cascades as an Administrative Specialist III at City Light’s Skagit project where she’s lived the past 10 ½ years.

Family is also the upmost importance to Vonie who has two children and three grandchildren. She’s also an animal lover which is seen through the affection and care toward her 13-year old pet dove, Girlbird. In this week’s (spot)light, we learn about Vonie’s love of people, her community and Mother Nature.

Vonie is all smiles with her pet dove, Girlbird

“It’s been a blessing in my life to be up here. People always ask me how I live here. My reply is ‘How can I NOT?’ When I walk out that door, I’m in God’s country. The mountains are just beautiful; I’m so at peace in my home. I have two huge 12-foot windows where I just sit and look at nature. I like to feed the birds. I joke that the blue jays think of me as the bird lady.”

“I love people and the work I do for City Light. Customer service is something I greatly value. I also enjoy working with all the different teams and meeting the different folks throughout the utility. I’ve been with the City for the chunk of my career so I have a whole network back in Seattle! I work hard to make sure that the Skagit project sees different programs and events, such as Family Day and the RSJI initiative which I’ve been involved with the past six years.”

“I like being involved with the community. The people of Concrete are waiting for me to move there! So, now I’m thinking of what I can do for them once I’m there. One of the things that comes to mind is a Boys and Girls Club. They don’t have one and I’d like to focus on that when I move to town. They also want me on the Historical Museum Committee.”

“Another hobby of mine is softball. I played into my 40s. There’s a softball tournament called ‘Squash Ball’ that’s been held for the past 30 years or so. It’s with the firefighters in the community and other local folks. Anyway, I realized that Newhalem didn’t have a team last year. So, I rallied and made it happen. I even played! I actually hit the ball and got a double. It was amazing. So much fun.”

“I’ve come across many people in my life, but one piece of advice from a friend really stood out. She told me ‘If you don’t define yourself, I guarantee you that somebody else will, and you won’t like it.’ And that’s what I live by. I’m even writing a book about it called ‘I Wish I had the Nerve.’ Maybe one of these days when I retire, I’ll finally finish it!”

Seattle City (spot)Light: Kathy Hunter

Kathy Hunter’s City Light career began in June of 1990 when she joined the utility as a Cook Camp Service Aid for Skagit Tours. In her time at the utility, she’s taken on various roles from cooking and backing for the tours to other jobs as a Janitor, Laborer, Food Service Supervisor and Store Clerk. In 2013, she became a full time Administrative Specialist II starting at Ross Powerhouse, also filling in at Diablo Powerhouse. She now works out of the Skagit Office in Newhalem.

Kathy lives in the town of Marblemount with her husband of 36 years. Together, they have two children and three grandchildren. “We live near the Cascade River,” Kathy said. “We like to take our grandkids down there to walk along the trail. Gardening is another hobby of ours. Right now, our peas are starting to bloom!” Kathy also volunteers in Marblemount and has been a member of the Board for ten years, serving as president for the past three. In this week’s (spot)Light, Kathy recounts her days of Skagit Tours and shares her love of the outdoors.

Kathy Hunter at Skagit

“My first job at City Light was with Skagit Tours. I was hired as a camp service aide and worked at the cook house during the tour season. Back then, we worked out of Diablo at the old cookhouse and had three tours a day. The incline was also part of the tour. Guests would ride it up, get on the boat and ride it back down after the tour. We used to serve the Dam Good Chicken Dinner when they returned. I did that for about ten years. Eventually, I was brought on as an admin for the team at Ross Dam. That’s actually what started my career as an admin for the Skagit which is where I am today.”

“You can imagine what it was like to work up at Ross Dam. Getting there was a little adventure. There used to be a big crew boat that would transport us to the office. They do it differently now, but it was still kind of neat at the time. Occasionally, we would see something interesting during our boat ride. One time we saw a bear. Another time we saw a little two-seater amphibian car skirting across the lake. That was pretty funny.”

“One thing I really enjoy about my job is the location. Who can drive to work every day and just look at the scenery? There are very few folks who can. I love the country and its quietness. I just truly enjoy the outdoors. My dad was a farmer so I grew up on a farm. We had raspberries, but also chickens, pigs and cows. I even talked my dad into a horse. Those are some of my favorite memories. It was just amazing to grow up that way and have that kind of lifestyle.”

“Being at the Skagit is kind of like family. I love everyone I work with up here. When it’s time to retire, it’s going to be hard. Working with these folks for so long has been truly special.”