Tracie Markley: The mayor who listens By Rachel Kelly | Photo by In-Gear Media
No doubt you’ve heard, but longtime resident and Peninsula High School graduate Tracie Markley is the new Gig Harbor mayor, and she has high hopes for the future. “Even though we are still somewhat restricted due to COVID-19, I have some ideas for how we can engage with our citizens face-to-face. I feel that is extremely important as we come out of this pandemic. I am excited for the new council members who have come on board as well. They have all expressed a desire to work together …. We are starting fresh, and it feels really good to take a collective breath and move forward,” says Tracie.
Tracie Markley first moved to Gig Harbor in 1982 with her parents and two sisters. Her father moved here to pioneer a church, and did so for 30 years. The church is still active today. Growing up in her family, Tracie would say that her dad knew no strangers, and neither did they. That resounding value has been passed on through how Tracie herself lives in Gig Harbor today, with her husband Joshua of 20 years and two teenage daughters. She is raising her family in the same place and with the same integrity that she was raised with. With the same love.
Just out of high school, Tracie became the youngest licensed real estate agent in Gig Harbor. She was only 18. This is part of what has led Tracie to be so well-known by, and so involved in, our community. Her experience in real estate, mortgages, advertising, office management and human resources has led Tracie to be a solution finder; solutions that she has found as a result of truly listening to people, their needs, their hopes, and their difficulties. Listening is what has allowed Tracie to provide real results and connect her clients to resources that provided real solutions.
What especially marks Tracie as unique is her ability not only to listen and respond, but to use those skills for service. She served as parks commissioner for two years, and then as City councilmember from 2019 on. She was elected to council just shy of the beginning of the pandemic, which had the effect of showing her outstanding value to Gig Harbor. During the pandemic she navigated the unknown by listening to the needs of our city and responding in kind. It has been a balancing act of recognizing needs and providing assurances during uncertain times.
Through it all she has held fast to the knowledge of the character of Gig Harbor. Our resiliency, our care for our neighbors, our connection to all that makes this place so special. Tracie reminds us that we have a lot to be proud of, while not ignoring that there is still much to be done. Electing Tracie Markley as our mayor means that we are confident in her ability to listen to the needs of our city, while recognizing the unique value of the place we all call home.
As a city, Gig Harbor is very connected. Everyone is very involved in what’s going on in government service; we like to know where we’re going and who is taking us there. Tracie has promised to continue to bring stability, civil discourse, and transparency in her position as mayor. She has promised to listen to the heartbeat and the footfalls of the people and the history that make up Gig Harbor. She will do this in much the same way that she has done everything up until now, by connecting, listening, collaborating, and providing real solutions.
“I have every confidence that we will rise to the challenge and overcome any obstacle standing in our way. This is our city. We need to protect and cherish it. Gig Harbor is a true gem. I’m so optimistic for our bright future and so incredibly honored to serve this community with honor and integrity. Thank you for putting your trust in me. Here's to you, Gig Harbor!” says Tracie.
It would be silly to say, “Welcome to Gig Harbor, Tracie!” to such a long-time veteran of our city. So perhaps a more appropriate exaltation would be something like “Thank you” or “We’re excited to be working with you!” While both of these are true, perhaps the simplest smile and hello will suffice. It’s not as if we don’t know you, Tracie. Gig Harbor electing you as mayor seems like the right thing. We need someone to continue to bridge the gap between that which might divide us, and you’ve shown that you’re capable of doing that. And we’re willing to do that with you.
So, cheers to a wonderful few years Tracie. Wherever we find ourselves, we’ll no doubt end up there together. And together, the journey is well worth it.