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Jarman tosses hat into District 1 ring
County Councilman-elect Bob Jarman has another race to run.
Elected to the 6-person San Juan County Council in November, Jarman last week announced his candidacy for the District 1 position on the county's reconfigured 3-person council.
“As I take my seat on the council this January, I will be representing my district, but working for all islanders," Jarman said in a prepared statement announcing his candidacy. "I vow to work hard, be open to citizen input, listen to and work with staff and my fellow council members… I am honored to have been elected to represent my fellow islanders now and, hopefully, in the future.”
A San Juan Island resident of 38 years, Jarman is a two-term incumbent on San Juan Island Fire Department's elected commission and for more than 30 years worked in various roles and capacities with the local phone company, operated now by CenturyLink. In his first-ever bid for the county council, he defeated first-term incumbent Lovel Pratt by 90 votes to claim the South San Juan position, formerly known as the county legislative District 1.
Although Jarman will join the council in January, his tenure will prove short-lived, as voters also approved changes to the county Home Rule Charter in November that eliminated three of the previous six council positions, divided the six former legislative districts into three, all three of which are now up for grabs.
Jarman believes the health of the local economy will depend on both the number and diversity of well-paying jobs.
“Construction, the wholesale/retail trades, healthcare, farming and real estate sales, all need to be fostered and encouraged while respecting our environment and maintaining our island way of life," he said. "I’ve been a worker and an employer on San Juan Island, and I know how hard it is to make a living.”
Jarman joins councilman-elect Marc Forlenza, who also will take office in January, as well as Pratt, in the race for the newly reformed District 1 position, which represents San Juan and its outer islands, including Henry, Spieden and Stuart.
With three candidates vying for the District 1 post — three candidates are competing for the District 2 (Orcas) position as well— voters across the county will narrow the field to two in a Feb. 12 primary election. The top two vote-getters will then square off in a countywide "general" election April 23. Each member of the 3-person council will earn $75,000 a year, plus benefits, a compensation package approved by the Citizens Salary Commission Nov. 9 in a 5-2 vote.
Jarman touts the many miles traveled throughout the islands in 30-plus years of working with the phone company in developing an "appreciation of the demographics" of each island. He assisted the former board of county commissioner and local emergency responders is setting up the 911 and E-911 programs, which required mapping and wholesale address changes across the county, and worked with county officials and citizen groups to help formulate the first county cell-tower regulations.
As an elected fire district commissioner, Jarman regularly conducts business with officials of the Town of Friday Harbor, San Juan County and the Port of Friday Harbor, and recently helped to negotiate and pave the way for the merger of the town and San Juan Island fire departments.
“I am committed to bringing the same type of efficient, realistic solutions to our county’s problems while being a county councilman” he said.
A self-described strong supporter of the county Home Rule Charter, Jarman notes he is competing for the non-partisan District 1 position as an independent.
To visit Bob Jarman's campaign website, www.electbobjarman.com