Ken Balsley Receives Public Service Award, Requests New Lacey Museum and Cultural Center

By JC Medina

The Town of Lacey has recognized local journalist Ken Balsley for his outstanding service to the community.

Known as Thurston’s most experienced journalist and columnist, Balsley received the Lacey Public Service Award for his service on the Board of Park Commissioners from 2015 to 2021 at the town council meeting last night.

“To say Ken is an involved resident of Lacey and the community at large is an understatement,” said Lacey Parks, Culture and Recreation Director, Jen Burbidge. “He does so much for the community, and we really appreciate his service.”

Speaking at the town council’s first ‘hybrid’ meeting yesterday, Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder said: ‘Parks really are a defining feature of Lacey, and there is, without a doubt, Ken love Lacey. No one can say anything different.”

“You’ve been a big supporter of our parks for a long time. And you’ve done an amazing job,” Ryder told Balsley.

Call for a new museum and cultural center

Prior to his time on the Park Board of Commissioners, Balsey served on the Lacey History Commission for 13 years. Currently, he is a member of the Thurston County History Commission.

“I spent a lot of time trying to make Lacey not a better town, but a better community. I mean, we have a great town, but my goal has always been to make it a community,” said Balsley said in his acceptance speech.

Passionate about preserving the town’s history, Balsley asked the city council to initiate the process of funding a new museum and cultural center.

“We will have a better understanding of who we are and why we are here,” Balsley said. “People will flock to her, and we’ll put the city on the map.”

Ryder expressed his support for the idea of ​​a new museum, adding that he’s “doing everything on my side.”

“You and I are on the exact same page because the museum and cultural center is a passion of ours and I absolutely agree,” Ryder said.

Balsley writes regularly on his blog at He is also a member of Shakingadvisory board of.

James C. Tibbs