Nelson back for second internship with city

The city is getting help this year from not just one intern but two, Kristina Nelson in the legal department and Tricia Barrett in the public works and planning departments.

Nelson liked her city internship last year so much, she decided to do it again.

A third-year student at Seattle University Law School, Nelson earns school credit for working with City Attorney Craig Ritchie and legal secretary Erika Hamerquist.

Last year as an intern she worked on revising the city's "peddlers" ordinance.

Now she is working on a far more extensive project, rewriting Title 13 of the city code that deals with water, sewer, storm water and reuse water.

Nelson will graduate in May and plans to work for the city through June at least.

"She is absolutely critical. If we could do it full time, we would," said Capital Projects Manager Frank Needham, who deals with the city code Nelson is revising.

Nelson said she took a break from school after graduating from Clallam Bay High School. Then she "got bored" and decided to attend Seattle University Law School, which she does as a commuter.

"I've been interested in the law for a long time. I gravitated towards it," Nelson said.

Specific interests include real property, land use, water law and environmental law, she said.

"I'm real interested in water issues because there's so much going on at both the public and private levels. I'm excited about Sequim's municipal court," Nelson said.

As far as after graduation, Nelson said, "I'm open to opportunities as they arise. My goal is to work on the Olympic Peninsula - all of my family lives here."

Barrett lives in Port Angeles where she also is pursuing a Bachelors of Applied Science in Applied Management degree at Peninsula College.

That's the four-year community college degree program created by the 2006 state Legislature.

"I felt a business degree would be the most useful in any career I take on. I have entrepreneurial dreams and this can only help," she said.

Barrett briefly ran for Port Angeles City Council in 2003 before concluding she didn't have the time to commit to it and wasn't quite ready yet.

She plans to use her degree to go into politics or management, or both, since they are so integrated.

"I'll see what the economy looks like, but that's the plan," Barrett said.

Barrett lived in Seattle for 12 years after moving to Clallam County from Long Island, N.Y. She took her first two years of classes at Seattle Community College and has been at Peninsula College for almost two years.

In addition to going to school and working evenings and weekends for 17-20 hours a week, Barrett works full time as the operations assistant at Clallam County Public Utility District.

She has been working for the city on various projects for five weeks and will be here for another seven.

Needham has been pleased so far with Barrett's contributions.

"The relationship between Peninsula College and Sequim has turned out very well. They have developed the program we need for a flexible intern," he said.

Brian Gawley can be reached at bgawley@

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