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Ayers joins Orcas county council race
Prompted by recent voter-approved changes to the charter, Dr. Gregory Ayers of Orcas Island will make a first-ever bid for countywide elected office as a District 2 candidate for the San Juan County Council.
Ayers, an Eastsound Water and Sewer District commissioner, touts an extensive background in the medical device industry and a multi-decade career operating more than a dozen privately financed biotech startup companies in providing skills and experience for effective management of day-to-day management of county government.
A specialist in abnormal heart rhythms, Ayers has assisted in the development of various medical devices, such as defibrillators, health monitors and pacemakers, and is co-founder of the Island Reproductive Health Initiative and has served on the Orcas Medical Foundation board of directors.
“With the passage of the controversial Proposition 1, it became clear to me that the county was going to need skilled (council members) who are willing and able to commit full time effort to undertake the operational activities of the county,” Ayers said in a press releases announcing his candidacy. "After speaking with many people, I decided that I can apply my business and government knowledge and experience to help meet our local needs and achieve our community’s goals and objectives. Over many years I have developed processes to solve challenging problems and issues, building consensus and providing desirable results."
Ayers joins Lisa Byers, longtime director of the Orcas-based affordable housing group, Of People and Land, OPAL, in the District 2 county council race.
In November, local voters ushered in changes to the county charter that, among other items, reduce the former county council from six part-time positions to three full-time elected posts, hand executive authority of the county's day-to-day operations to the 3-person council, and re-establishes countywide elections for all three council positions.
Following a 5-2 decision by the Citizen Salary Commission, approved Nov. 9, each member of the 3-person council will earn $75,000 a year, plus benefits. District 2, commonly known as the "Orcas district", consists of Orcas and its surrounding islands, including Blakely, Crane, Obstruction and Waldron islands.
Ayers, in announcing his candidacy, guiding principals of his bid for office include managing county government in a manner that both preserves the islands' culture and improves its quality of life.
“I want to do everything I can to assure that others can have the same experiences I have living here, the ultimate feeling of home," he said.
Visit Ayers campaign website at, www.ayers2013.com.