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Front Page » Steve Nolen's Blog

Steve Nolen's Blog

You can browse all of the entries in Steve's blog archives here.

Steve Nolen is new to the blogosphere, having traveled an extraordinary career path with major stops in alternative energy, print journalism, criminal justice policy and local government management. He started college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1970, then married and dropped out a couple of years later. He worked construction, worked an organic farm, owned a small construction company, read everything he could find about alternative energy, worked as an energy auditor, designed and sold solar heating and geothermal heat pump systems, and managed a materials engineering research laboratory.

In 1978, Steve was living in Albuquerque with his 4-year-old daughter, when his ex-wife, Pamela, didn’t show up for a weekend visit. Steve spent 15 years trying to assist and convince local law enforcement to find and prosecute the person responsible for her disappearance. Although there was evidence of foul play and a prime suspect was identified almost immediately, the case is still officially unsolved.

During those years, Steve found an outlet in writing. He returned to college full time in 1986 to study journalism at Arizona State University. He wrote about science and engineering research for ASU Research magazine, and was staff writer for two ASU transportation research magazines. He was awarded a Pulliam journalism fellowship upon graduation in 1988, and went on to cover local government, police and courts, education, science, energy, health care, land use and environmental issues for daily newspapers in the Phoenix and Seattle metro areas.
Steve won journalism awards in Arizona and Washington, and interviewed dozens of powerful and extraordinary characters, and scores of ordinary people whose lives had been touched by tragedy or had found themselves crosswise with the powers that be.

Steve came to the conclusion in 1993 that the person who murdered Pamela would never be brought to justice. In 1994, Steve accepted a job as criminal justice analyst for the King County Council in Seattle. He went on to serve as senior criminal justice policy analyst for then King County Executive Gary Locke. He led the King County Strategic Planning division, then was Criminal Justice Policy Advisor to King County Executive Ron Sims.

With King County, Steve developed an innovative and highly successful contract model for providing county police services to new cities; he coordinated a variety of criminal justice initiatives, served as the Executive’s liaison to criminal justice elected officials, and negotiated a broad range of intergovernmental agreements. Steve supervised efforts to refine growth management and smart growth strategies, and to improve a variety of general government programs and services. Steve worked with judges, police, prosecutors, public defenders and legislators to establish system reforms such as mental health and domestic violence courts, and to pass laws that emphasize treatment over prison for drug addicted non-violent offenders.

After nine years, Steve left King County and went into city management, ultimately serving as city manager of Mill Creek, Washington. Since 2007 he has worked as a consultant on projects ranging from assessment of a regional jail to negotiation of public-private agreements to develop transportation facilities.

Always, Steve’s goal has been to build bridges between historical adversaries to achieve progress. Steve is known for solving difficult problems with creative approaches based on solid analysis and a focus on the core needs of the parties and the public.

We're thrilled that Steve chose to enter the blogosphere by joining our Everyday Citizen community! His passion for fairness and justice, coupled with both his civil involvement and his communications experience make him uniquely qualified to blog with us. He welcomes you to view his blog here.

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