Candidate Q&A: Lisa Guard, County Council San Juan South

1. Education and background: I am proud to be a graduate of Friday Harbor High School and to have lived all of my childhood and adult years in Friday Harbor.

Along with my husband Rex of 23 years, I have raised two amazing sons solely in the islands. This gives me a great perspective of raising children and the hardships we face daily.

I owned and operated Sunshine Dry Cleaning for six years and understand the challenges that business owners face. I have been involved with some form of farming my entire life and am currently raising lamb and hay. I am a testimony to the island farmer and understand that it’s not just about preserving the land, but also the farmer.

My dedication, commitment to everyday life and strong work ethic prepare me to be a part of the County Council.

2. What priorities should determine where the island’s solid-waste transfer station will be located?
My family and I have used the current transfer station most of my life and have experienced no problems with operation. I would have to be convinced that a new site was warranted.

The environmental impact statement will give more facts that are critical in the decision making process. However, the main priority for me revolves around the concerns of the citizens. This is a very sensitive issue and needs to be approached with balanced factual data and thought.

3. What role, if any, should the county have with regard to affordable housing?
The county should be involved with affordable housing. If we fail to plan ahead, our children and grandchildren will not be able to consider making their homes here.

Our islands are unique and will require innovative and collaborative solutions to our housing issues, possibly cluster housing and low-cost architectural designs. The various non-profit organizations have dedicated themselves to this project with great success; what would happen if everyone pooled their efforts?

4. What changes, if any, would you like to see in ferry service to the San Juans?
I would like to see more frequent service and stable affordable prices, but we have to go back to the issue of financial conflicts and our effectiveness to influence action.

I would like the idea of a reservation system for local residents for a reasonable fee. This would generate funds for the ferries quickly and add some relief for local passengers. Implementing this plan in today’s world of computers and e-mail would be relatively quick to start up. Think of the extra time that is usually spent in the ferry line; it could be used more efficiently and reduce stress of the “ferry rush.”

5. Are you satisfied with the progress of the pending replacement of the stretch of Cattle Point Road threatened by erosion?
It would be premature for me to offer a view on this issue. It is clearly a highly complex engineering and planning issue with many variables. I would need to have access to the full range of studies that have taken place up to this point.

The area is part of the National Park, so I believe that we are partnering with the federal government on this project. I personally am interested in taking care of the road sooner rather than later. Whether the federal government feels the same way is unclear.

6. Are you satisfied with the implementation of the county charter?
There has been a lot of progress, however, growing pains in the implementation of a new government are to be expected. This is an area where I pledge to make a major effort to align with the council members. In the long run, I believe the charter will be a great benefit for the islands and its voters.

7. What issues do you think are unique to your district?
I like the idea of the smaller election districts that the charter created. This will steer my focus on the problems of the different neighborhoods.

District 1 is unique in that contains a large amount of the major farm lands. Agriculture is important to the sustainability of the islands which I will wholeheartedly encourage. Nevertheless, I see most of the larger issues as being islandwide, and even countywide. My role will be to address these areas without a strong polarization toward any single issue, studying the facts of the situation and taking a sensible and balanced position for my district.

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