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Getting to know you: Jennifer Lautenbach, Everson council member

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EVERSON – She manages the Lynden Community/Senior Center. She’s also a member of the Everson City Council. To top it off, she has lived in the Everson/Nooksack area her entire life and her family has deep roots in the Nooksack Valley.  

No doubt, Jennifer Lautenbach lives a life of variety.

“I view my role as historian” on the council, Lautenbach said. Growing into the person she is today, Lautenbach “knew and respected council members, local business leaders and community members from 20-25 years ago with my involvement in the Chamber of Commerce. Everything I learned from them, whether I agreed with it or not, I keep in the back of my head as the council weighs decisions that will impact our community. 

Which is why Lautenbach looks 15-20 years forward as well as she looks today when she votes.

Lynden Tribune: How long have you been on the Everson City Council? What prompted you to seek election the first time. 

Jennifer Lautenbach: I am completing my fourth term on the council. That means I will have been in office 16 years. When I first ran, my husband and I were newlyweds and new residents of the city (I moved from Nooksack and Dean lived in Bellingham but grew up between Everson and Sumas). I had been heavily involved with the chamber and saw the vacant council seat as an obvious next step in my civic involvement journey. I grew up watching my dad involved in a number of non-profits, the chamber, the school board and supporting our small community. I knew pretty early on that this was something I could be passionate about. I also really like to have the inside scoop on what’s going on. I find local government fascinating.  

Tribune: Why do you continue to want to serve your community?

Lautenbach: I continue to want to serve in this capacity because there are projects that I want to see completed and I still find local government fascinating. I was recently appointed to the WTA (Whatcom Transportation Authority) Board as the representative for Everson, Nooksack and Sumas. That has opened up a whole new world of information that I would love to share with our community.

Tribune: What do you like most about serving on council?

Lautenbach: I love knowing what is going on behind the scenes. I enjoy being able to help community members get information and make connections to people and services that help them with their goals.

Tribune: When you were a child, what did you grow up wanting to become?

Lautenbach: For a long time, I wanted to be a librarian. Barbara Skinner at the Everson Library and Mrs. Wilson at the elementary school were my idols.

Tribune: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

Lautenbach: Spending time with my family. I love taking my three boys up to Silver Lake on hot days. I love going with my husband to watch the boys play sports. I see my mom and dad at least three times a week. And I love visiting my grandma in Sumas on Sundays. My cousin is my best friend.

Tribune: Which around-the-house task is your least favorite?

Lautenbach: I really don’t like cleaning at all and am trying to train my boys to pick up the slack … it’s not going so well. If I had to pick one, it would be cleaning the kitchen floor.

Tribune: What is your favorite food?

Lautenbach: French fries are my absolute favorite, from McDonald’s to Red Robin and everywhere in between. If I’m hungry for a salad, I may order a side of fries anyway.

Tribune: What music do you have in your vehicle right now?

Lautenbach: Apparently, when you start to have teenagers and tweens you lose all control over music selection.  So, we are listening to a current music station on the radio. When I’m alone, I love 1990s country and 1980s hair bands.

Tribune: What is your favorite sports team?

Lautenbach: The Nooksack Pioneers – or any other team my boys play on.

Tribune: What’s the biggest thing on your bucket list?

Lautenbach: I want to go on a week-long vacation with my husband … somewhere tropical.

Tribune: Tell us something about you that very few people know.

Lautenbach: I spent one year working for Whatcom County District Court as a court clerk. As part of the job, I went with the judge to the jail for hearings. It was very interesting.

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