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Starr appointed to Friday Harbor Town Council; concerned about affordability of town living for families

From left, Dorothy Stone and Barbara Starr chat outside the Friday Harbor Town Council Chambers during a closed session of the council, Thursday afternoon. They were candidates for appointment to the council; Starr won the appointment.   - Richard Walker
From left, Dorothy Stone and Barbara Starr chat outside the Friday Harbor Town Council Chambers during a closed session of the council, Thursday afternoon. They were candidates for appointment to the council; Starr won the appointment.
— image credit: Richard Walker

Barbara Starr showed good political judgment before she was appointed to the Friday Harbor Town Council.

She said she didn't want to have the "audacity or arrogance" to reschedule a client's appointment in case the council appointed her to complete Carrie Brooks' term. As a result, she'll be 30 minutes late to her first council meeting Thursday evening.

Councilman Steve Hushebeck complimented her on her "prudent" decision-making.

Starr, a licensed clinical social worker and a former town planning commissioner, was appointed 4-0 to the council Thursday afternoon. She will be sworn in after she arrives tonight at 6.

The other candidates for appointment were town Planning Commissioner Linda Browne, Chamber of Commerce Vice President Peggy Long, and non-denominational minister Dorothy Stone. Matt Shildneck, a member of the town’s Historic Preservation Review Board and the Planning Commission, had withdrawn his application.

Starr will serve the remainder of the term, which ends Dec. 31, 2011. Council members receive $85 a meeting for up to four meetings a month.

With Starr's appointment, the five-member council is now comprised of four members who first joined the council by appointment. Anna Maria de Freitas and Noel Monin were appointed and subsequently ran unopposed for election. Hushebeck was appointed to complete Carrie Lacher's term after she became mayor.

"I have great respect for how the town is run and I want to be a part of that," Starr told the council during the applicant interviews.

She's been a resident of Friday Harbor for 14 years and of the island for 22 years, and raised her son as a single parent here. "I have a good feel for how issues affect us," she said. As a counselor, "I am a good listener. I am calm when others are not."

She said she plans to run for a full term in the November 2011 election. "I see this as a longer-term commitment."

Her biggest concerns: The affordability of town living for families, closed storefronts, and property crime. She wants to help create opportunities for existing and new businesses.

She was nominated for appointment by Councilman Noel Monin. "Out of respect for Carrie Brooks, I think you fit her position well," he said. Councilman Felix Menjivar seconded the nomination.

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