Elections

Q&A: Carrie Lacher and Robert Low, candidates for mayor of Friday Harbor

Top photo: Carrie Lacher, candidate for mayor of Friday Harbor. Bottom photo: Robert Low, candidate for mayor of Friday Harbor. - Scott Rasmussen
Top photo: Carrie Lacher, candidate for mayor of Friday Harbor. Bottom photo: Robert Low, candidate for mayor of Friday Harbor.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Carrie Lacher and Robert Low, candidates for mayor of Friday Harbor, participated in separate Q&As at The Journal booth during the San Juan County Fair.

The election is Nov. 3.

The mayor is paid $148 per meeting, with a maximum of four meetings per month (council members receive $85 per meeting).

The mayor is the chief executive of the town. The mayor has ultimate hire and fire authority, although most of that responsibility is delegated to the town administrator.

The mayor has the authority to appoint members of town commissions and committees, although the mayor has traditionally sought the endorsement of the Town Council.

The mayor works with the town administrator and town treasurer to write the budget, but the budget is approved by the Town Council. The mayor also presides over Town Council meetings, but can vote only to break a tie.

Here are highlights of what the candidates had to say.

Carrie Lacher, resident of Carter Avenue.

— Experience: Friday Harbor Town Council member, chairwoman of the San Juan County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, member of the San Juan County Housing Bank Commission.

— Issues: As Friday Harbor's first female mayor, she said she would be a positive role model for girls and young women. She wants to establish a funding source for street improvements; possible revenue sources include a paid lot for public parking. Would consider a moratorium on utility rate increases while money is raised to fix needy streets. Would consider Friday Harbor joining a countywide stormwater utility to further spread the costs of stormwater improvements. Would consider commercializing recycling downtown.

— Quote: "The mayor sets the agenda and makes sure it gets done."

Robert Low, resident of Spruce Street.

— Experience: San Juan County fire marshal, San Juan Island hospital district commissioner, former town fire chief.

— Issues: Wants to establish a revenue source for street improvements. Supports bringing the town and district fire departments into a single fire authority; says this would free up money from the general fund for streets and other town needs. "I don't want to see new taxes for roads." Supports making Harrison Street two-way all the way to Turn Point Road and making Warbass Way one-way for Warbass residents only, to relieve traffic burdens and improve safety there. Believes all island residents should somehow share the cost of utilities in town, because most residents use the town as a place of business or employment. He's not sure how that cost should be shared; "The solutions are out there."

— Quote: "I want to give back to Friday Harbor. I owe this community quite a bit."

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