Opinion

Rosenfeld, Jarman earn Journal endorsement | Editorial

As of Monday, slightly more than 3,000 voters, roughly 27 percent of registered voters, had cast their ballots in the Nov. 6 election.

If you’re not among them, and still undecided, here are the Journal’s endorsements for San Juan Island's two county council races:

District 3

San Juan County has received thoughtful, competent representation from Howie Rosenfeld for six years. His constituents should re-elect him for another four.

“Howie,” as he likes to be known, has taken on issues like ferry service, solid waste and the critical areas ordinance, the latter of which has attracted criticism from property rights advocates. Especially concerning ferry issues — he serves on the county’s ferry advisory committee — he’s represented his constituents, and all islanders, vigorously and effectively, challenging the ferry system to keep fares fair and advocating for sustainability with the Legislature.

His opponent, Marc Forlenza, is an energetic and engaging political newcomer who the Journal hopes will stay active and involved in local matters, perhaps as a member of a town or county board or commission.

Service on a body like the county planning commission or town council would provide a grounding in local issues that for now gives Rosenfeld the edge.

District 1

Bob Jarman is the Journal’s pick for County Council, District 1.

His tireless volunteer work and 30 years of managerial experience with the telephone company and the fire department lends credibility to his campaign pledges: addressing problems proactively, saving taxpayer money, and fostering a strong sense of community.

Jarman’s chief claim to local fame is the very successful merger of the town and county fire departments. As an elected fire district commissioner for eight years, Jarman provided pragmatic leadership and fiscal discipline to one of the larger and more important public agencies in the county. That leadership will be acutely needed as the county repairs the damage done by five years of national recession and unprecedented pressures on its $50 million budget.

This endorsement is a tough call because Jarman’s opponent, incumbent Lovel Pratt, has proven to be thoughtful and hardworking. If her endorsement of the Charter Review Commission amendments results in new countywide elections for a full-time, three-member council, she could make a strong case for the Journal’s support.

But that is then and this is now, and now the county would be best-served by electing Bob Jarman.

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