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Windrope will resign from San Juan Island Park and Recreation Commission

From right, Island Rec commission candidates Amy Windrope and Jeremy Talbott enjoy a light moment during the Oct. 12 candidates forum in the Friday Harbor Middle School commons. Windrope won the election, but is resigning six months into her term because she and her husband are moving. - Richard Walker / Oct. 12, 2009
From right, Island Rec commission candidates Amy Windrope and Jeremy Talbott enjoy a light moment during the Oct. 12 candidates forum in the Friday Harbor Middle School commons. Windrope won the election, but is resigning six months into her term because she and her husband are moving.
— image credit: Richard Walker / Oct. 12, 2009

Amy Windrope said Friday she will resign next week from the San Juan Island Park and Recreation Commission.

Windrope's husband, Brian, became executive director of the Washington Trails Association in April. He was formerly the development director of the San Juan Preservation Trust in Friday Harbor. She said they expect to move to Bainbridge Island.

The Windropes have lived in Friday Harbor for four years; they have two children, ages 9 and 5. She managed the San Juan Initiative until its work was completed, and has been a consultant since then.

Windrope said her final Island Rec commission meeting will be July 1.

"It's very disappointing to me, but you follow your true love," she said of resigning. She said her fellow commissioners are committed to public service and are open to public input. She most enjoyed working with the San Juan Island Trails Committee, which is part of Island Rec.

"The volunteers are amazing and are doing lots of work on the island," she said of the trails committee. "Improving our trails system benefits everybody. It's a very forward thing and it's inspiring to be involved with those folks."

The Island Rec commission is accepting letters from islanders interested in serving on the commission. Submit a letter of interest to the Island Rec Board of Commissioners and attend an interview at the July 1, 5 p.m., commission meeting, at Island Rec’s office. Selection of new commissioner is expected to take place that evening. The appointee will take an oath of office at the Aug. 5 meeting.

To qualify, applicants must be a San Juan Island resident and registered voter. The appointed commissioner will have to run in the November 2011 election for the right to serve the rest of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013.

Windrope won election to the Island Rec commission in November, receiving 1,865 votes to Jeremy Talbott's 1,234. It was a friendly campaign between two political newcomers who had more in common than not. Each supported raising the Island Rec property tax levy as a means of helping the cash-strapped San Juan Island School District fund its high school sports program. And both praised the recreation district's staff and its board of commissioners for the variety of programs Island Rec provides.

"Sports are a critical component of growing up in America," Windrope said at the time. "You learn about character, about playing fair and about following the rules. It teaches good stuff."

During the campaign, Windrope also said she wanted to see Island Rec branch out in some new directions, such as programs for pre-schoolers and for parents of young children.

The commission meets on the first Thursday of every month at 5 p.m. In addition to participation in board meetings, commissioners act as a liaison on special assignments and with other community organizations and volunteer at special events and projects.

Island Rec operates the Family Park, Skatepark, Eddie and Friends Dog Park, and the Lafarge property, a primitive area that is open for pedestrian use. Additionally, Island Rec operates a year-round comprehensive recreation program. As authorized by voters at the 2009 general election, Island Rec is the main funding source for the Friday Harbor High School sports program.

To learn more about serving on the commission, contact Recreation Director Sally Thomsen, 378-4953; or contact one of the current commissioners: Bill Cumming, Jim Ricks, Alisa Schoultz, Amy Windrope and Scott Zehner.

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